An Taisce's Advocacy Unit is dedicated to addressing the climate and biodiversity crises while promoting human health and wellbeing, the creation of sustainable communities and the protection of our rich built heritage.

The Unit is made up of technical staff, interns, volunteers and our many local association members across the country who work on issues and projects affecting the environment.

Planning and Policy

A cornerstone of the Advocacy Unit's work is our involvement in a range of development consent processes. An Taisce is the only independent charitable body in Ireland that is listed as a prescribed body in the planning process. As such, we are consulted and make submissions on planning applications of all types and sizes that may impact the environment or built heritage. We are also a prescribed consultee for infrastructure developments (such as large electricity projects), forestry licensing, aquaculture licensing, pollution control licensing, and dumping at sea permits. The detailed submissions we make often result in changes to the proposals to better promote sustainable development and ecological protection. Our work can also result in particularly problematic proposals being refused. Learn more about our various prescribed functions here.

In addition to our role in the various development planning processes, we are also heavily involved in policy-making processes. We provide detailed submissions to policy consultations at all levels, from the local to the national, and on a wide range of issues, from County Development Plans to marine conservation to climate legislation.

The Advocacy Unit's focus in our oversight and policy roles is to advocate for the full implementation, enforcement and improvement of national and European environmental law and policy. We also promote the right to full public participation in all environmental decision- and policy-making process.

Cycling Advocacy

Shifting to more sustainable modes of transport, particularly cycling, is crucial for improving human health and wellbeing and reducing our impact on the environment. Since 2013 An Taisce has maintained a strategic partnership with (the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network) to advocate for the growth of everyday cycling around Ireland. Through the work of our National Cycling Coordinator,  we are creating a stronger network of cycling advocacy groups around the country, providing high quality feedback on planning applications for cycling infrastructure as well as other developments which may impact on cycling, and advocating for improved cycling-related policies. 

    Climate Committee

    An Taisce's Climate Committee (ATCC), an entirely voluntary group of experts and activists, is one of the strongest voices in the country advocating for a society-wide response to climate change commensurate with the scale of the problem.

    ATCC seeks to drive effective climate action at all levels, informed by the best available scientific understanding. Preparing detailed responses to policy consultations is a key part of this. The Committee also engages with the media on climate change science and policy, providing critical, evidence-based commentary. ATCC seeks to directly influence key actors in Government, media, business, etc. to promote strong, proactive, engagement and leadership by the Irish state in international climate policy and the achievement of effective international action.

    Click here to see some examples of the Advocacy Unit's recent work