Ireland remains a low performer in the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), dropping six places this year to 43rd among 59 countries. The Index findings note the importance of Ireland’s legally binding five-year carbon budgets and government-set sectoral emissions ceilings in 2022. However, the CCPI report finds that Irish policy implementation is falling far short of meeting these budgets and ceilings.

The new CCPI 2024 rankings, compiled in consultation with experts in each country, have been released today at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai. At COP28, the world is taking stock of progress in meeting the Paris Agreement (the landmark climate treaty agreed in 2015) and aims to chart a course of action to dramatically reduce emissions and protect lives and livelihoods.

Therefore, meeting Ireland’s five-year carbon budgets is crucial as they were agreed by the Oireachtas as legally binding, fair share national contributions to meeting the Paris Agreement. They require achievement of early, deep, and sustained cuts in demand for fossil fuel use –in heating, transport, and electricity– and substantial reductions in nitrogen inputs to animal agriculture from feed and fertiliser. But this is not happening.

The summary of CCPI results for Ireland strongly criticises the lack of a long-term strategy for phasing out fossil fuel infrastructure, Ireland’s failure to limit agricultural emissions (especially methane from cattle and sheep), and a “highly questionable” roll-out of unsustainable biomethane production from purpose-grown grass silage. 

On the positive side, experts welcome Ireland’s medium-term offshore wind and solar plans. This year, a very competitive wind auction took place and support for solar photovoltaic (PV) technology was increased, though experts criticise the slow rate of renewables auctions relative to the declared ambition. 

Overall, the stark message from the new CCPI 2024 ranking is that Ireland is failing to implement the policies and measures needed to align with our fair share of climate action. As analysis from An Taisce has again recently shown, the gap between the actual/projected emissions and the carbon budgets is rapidly widening. Urgent action is required to close this implementation gap. 

Government needs to recognise and make it clear to the public that climate policy is falling far short of what is required. Emissions and energy intensive activities – such as SUVs, air travel, dairy farming, and data centres – do now require direct regulatory intervention to meet applied quota limits. 

Urgency requires effective direction. Appeals to techno-fixes, efficiency measures, and voluntary efforts are no longer enough. Honesty about the escalating urgency required for climate action continues to be absent from public debate and media. This needs to change otherwise there is little societal understanding of what is required.

The CCPI rankings find that other countries are doing far more to implement fair and effective climate action to achieve a resilient transition aligned with the Paris Agreement temperature goal. The low and falling CCPI ranking shows progress in Ireland is very far from good enough. 

Six years ago, An Taoiseach accepted that Ireland was a laggard in climate action. Gauged by the carbon budgets and the CCPI assessment, Ireland’s action remains grossly inadequate to meet our international commitments. Morally and legally, we are obligated to do much better.



Since 2005, the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) has provided a tool to enable comparative transparency in national and international climate politics. The CCPI uses a standardised framework to compare the climate performance of 59 countries and the EU, which together account for 92% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The CCPI assesses climate protection performance in four categories: GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy, Energy Use, and Climate Policy.