Ireland draft Climate Change Bill due early 2013
Ireland's long-awaited draft Climate Change Bill is at "an advanced stage" and set to be published in the first quarter of this year, following a series of delays.
In announcing the update, Irish Environment Minister Phil Hogan said that work on developing provisions of progressive primary legislation for the document is now in its final stages and that an outline heads of a bill will be issued early in 2013.
Hogan's comments came last week as the country prepares to embark on a national adaptation strategy to mitigate the effects of climate change with the publication of a new framework.
The Irish Government has launched a national climate change adaptation framework which will require government departments, agencies and local authorities to prepare sectoral and local adaptation plans for draft publication by mid-2014.
The framework looks to integrate policy to ensure adaptation measures are taken across different sectors and levels of government to manage and reduce Ireland's vulnerability to the negative impacts of global warming.
In launching the plan, Environment Minister Phil Hogan said that addressing climate change requires two types of action responses - mitigation and adaptation.
"Over the past decade or more, the predominant focus has been on strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, findings of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change have revealed that some level of climate change is inevitable," he said.
The approach Ireland is taking will effectively empower action at a local level, allowing municipalities to identify and manage climate adaptation requirements within their own areas.
The Minister also revealed that "significant progress" in addressing greenhouse gas emissions had been made over the past year.
He highlighted the extension of the carbon tax to solid fuels, and the re-structuring of vehicle registration and motor tax as key steps on transition to a low-carbon future.
In addition, government departments with responsibility for key sectors in the transition to a low carbon economy have been tasked with the preparation of individual 2050 low-carbon roadmaps.