The Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, said in the evening that the Supreme Court’s decision to undo the Government’s plan to tackle climate change had lessons to learn.
The Government ‘s plan to tackle climate change was overturned in the Supreme Court today because it is too abstract and lacking in data.
Seven Supreme Court judges ruled that the plan did not provide enough information on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, said in the evening that the court’s decision would have lessons to be learned and applied.
The case against the state was brought by the Friends of the Irish Environment (SEI) group and their victory in the Supreme Court is expected to have implications for environmental policy issues in other countries.
The court also ruled that a National Mitigation Plan (2017-2022) was inconsistent with Ireland’s obligations under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act, 2015. It stated that the plan did not contain sufficient detail on how the State would recover. achieve a low carbon economy by 2050.
It was stated that the Government had a duty to provide “sufficient realistic data” but that the information provided was “far from it”. Chief Justice Frank Clarke said it would not be clear to any reasonable person reading the plan exactly how the government’s climate change policy was intended to achieve its goal in thirty years.
Friends of the Irish Environment welcomed this “significant” decision. They called on the Government to take immediate action to reduce emissions in the short term by introducing new, stronger climate law and setting ambitious 5-year carbon budgets in their first 100 days in office.
Oisín Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth, said:
“The previous Government had a scientific, political and moral obligation to step up its efforts to reduce climate pollution emissions. This Supreme Court decision now places a legal obligation on the Government as well. ”
“Emissions need to be further reduced and specific measures and policies need to be put in place to achieve these reductions.
“These emission reductions need to be made equitably. The case for faster and fairer climate action is much stronger today as a result of this decision. ”
Oisín Coghlan said that the citizens of this country should not have to go to court to protect themselves from the effects of the climate.
“We should not have to resort to the law to persuade the Government to deliver on its own promises. The story should not be allowed that long.
“The era of unfulfilled promises must end today. Mechanisms need to be introduced immediately to ensure that emissions are reduced in the short term.
“It is essential that the Government introduces stronger climate legislation in its first 100 days in office and has ambitious 5-year carbon budgets.”