We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

climate case

Irish environmental group takes legal action against Government over climate plan

Friends of the Irish Environment has been granted leave by the High Court to to take the case.

AN IRISH ENVIRONMENTAL group has been granted leave by the High Court to take a case against the Irish Government over its climate action plan, saying that the plan will not be enough to meet legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Environmental NGO Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) has taken the case and is being represented by the Centre for Environmental Justice at Community Law & Mediation, an independent community law centre.

The case centres on the Government’s Climate Action Plan 2023 (CAP 2023), with FIE arguing that the plan and the Annex of Actions to go along with it do not sufficiently show how the Government will reduce emissions in line with its legally binding carbon budget.

The case argues that this is a breach of the Government’s legal duties under the Irish Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act (Amendment) 2021.

Under the act, Ireland has committed to reducing its GHG emissions by 51% by 2030. Under EU law, each country must commit to legally binding economy-wide reductions. 

Each year the government publishes an updated Climate Action Plan to ensure it remains aligned with commitments at EU level. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in June that taking into account all planned climate policies and measures (in CAP 2023), Ireland would fall well short of the 2030 target.

Legal case

The FIE is taking its legal action in this context. In a statement, the group said that is case aims to ensure that CAP 2023 and the Annex of Actions within it complies with certain sections of the Climate Act.

Specifically that the plan provides what the Supreme Court called a “sufficient level of specificity in the measures identified” in the plan so that the way is clear for Ireland to meet its targets.

FIE previously won a landmark case in 2020, when the Supreme Court ruled in their favour that the Government’s National Mitigation Plan was too vague in its targets and breached the then-requirements of the 2015 Climate Act.

Commenting today, Director of FIE Tony Lowes said that the “Climate Action Plan 2023 must have what the Supreme Court called a ‘sufficient level of specificity in the measures identified’ so that the roadmap for effective climate action is clear”.

The case has been granted leave by the High Court and is next listed for 6 November.