The threats created by Climate Change are such that Climate Action must feature prominently in the upcoming General Election campaign and in the programme for government which follows. An Taisce is calling on political parties to declare their plans for Climate Action and is urging voters to question canvassers and candidates vigorously on this topic using the proposed list of topics below.

The historic Paris Agreement, adopted in December 2015 by 196 countries, has committed countries to keeping average global temperature increases compared to pre-industrial levels well below 2° C, and as close to 1.5° C as possible. Given that average global temperature increases have already reached 1° C there is very little scope for further delay or prevarication.

John Gibbons, spokesperson for An Taisce’s Climate Change Committee stated “It is critical that all nations take the necessary action to stop climate change in its tracks. Ireland should be no exception to this”.

He continued “As one of the countries with the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the world, we have a responsibility to do our fair share in the transition to a sustainable global society.

An Taisce has prepared 7 questions that cover the key requirements of a Climate Action Plan and seeks the position and proposed policies of the political parties on each of these topics.

Gibbons concluded that “For the sake of the future generations, the electorate should ask these questions of canvassers and candidates looking for their vote”.

An Taisce’s 7 questions:

  1. Policy:
    • What will your party do to improve Ireland’s record in climate policy-making?
  2. Emission Reduction Plan:
    1. What approach will you take to managing emission reductions fairly across all sectors?
    2. How will you ensure that sectors with excess emissions pay for reductions in emissions elsewhere?
  3. Agriculture:
    1. How will you move to a more sustainable and lower emission pathway for agriculture?
    2. How will you mandate cuts in agricultural emissions for 2020 and 2030?
  4. Buildings:
    1. How do you intend to incentivise/legislate for increased efficiency in buildings, in relation to retrofitting and new builds?
    2. What plans do you have for a substantial programme for retrofitting buildings?
  5. Transport: Do your plans to reduce transport emissions include:
    1. Investment in public transport in urban and rural areas;
    2. incentivising the use of alternative travel modes;
    3. urban planning policy situating essential services within walkable communities;
    4. adapting the national grid to cope with increased uptake of electric vehicles.
  6. Electricity:
    • How do you propose that Ireland develops a sustainable electricity system?
  7. Communications:
    • How do you intend to communicate the importance of acting upon climate change to the public?


John Gibbons, An Taisce Climate Change Committee Tel: +353 87 233 2689
Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce Tel: +353 87 241 1995
email: [email protected]
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland

Note: Further details are available on An Taisce’s website