This document offers an initial response by An Taisce to the First Report of the Irish Climate Change Advisory Council (3rd November 2016) in which we focus on the formulation of the long term, overarching, National Mitigation Objective. We assert that this has pivotal significance in framing all prospects for effective mitigation action in Ireland in the years immediately ahead. If the mitigation (emissions reduction) policy destination is not clearly and unambiguously identified, there can be little serious hope of charting an early course toward it. Indeed, there would be a significant danger of investing large effort and scarce resources on well-meaning but ultimately ineffective, or even counter-productive, policy measures.
We have suggested a number of specific actions that we hope the Council will consider. Most urgent among these is the request that the Council prepare an early statement of its views of the coherence and consistency between the mitigation objectives of the current National Policy Position and the stated commitment for Ireland to play its “fair part” in the achievement of the temperature objectives of the Paris Agreement, on a basis of science and equity; and the specific implications of this for the design of the National Mitigation Plan process.