Government’s climate change plan quashed by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has today, Friday, July 31, quashed the Irish government’s 2017 plan for tackling climate change.

The judgement was delivered this morning, in the most recent development in ‘Climate Case Ireland’.

The case, which was brought by Friends of the Irish Environment, will see the National Mitigation Plan 2017-2022 quashed.

‘Breaches fundamental rights’

Friends of the Irish Environment argued that by failing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the short-term,  the state “breaches Ireland’s Climate Act 2015, as well as fundamental rights under the Irish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to life”.

The court’s ruling means that the government will now have to devise a new plan for meeting climate targets.

The aim of the National Mitigation Plan was to transition Ireland to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050.

Clodagh Daly, spokesperson for Climate Case Ireland, previously stated that it was “regrettable that citizens had to turn to the courts at all to try to compel the government to do what it has repeatedly agreed is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate breakdown”.

“By failing to dramatically reduce our emissions, the Irish government is ignoring public calls and a political consensus for more ambitious climate action,” Daly added.

Programme for Government

The ambition of the government, as outlined in the Programme for Government is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions annually by an average of 7%. It is also outlined in the programme a commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.