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Legal challenge to Government on its climate action steps
Rose Wall

07 Sep 2023 / environment Print

Legal challenge to Government on climate

A legal challenge has been launched by Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE), against the Irish Government over its failure to meet its legal obligations on climate change.

Represented by the Centre for Environmental Justice and Community Law & Mediation (CLM), the case argues that the Government has failed to show with a sufficient level of specificity that Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2023 (CAP2023) will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with Ireland’s legally binding carbon budget and is a breach of legal duties under the Irish Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015.

Analysis by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and An Taisce, show that Ireland will fall significantly short of its legally binding 2030 climate targets.

The case seeks to ensure that CAP23 complies with effective climate action in line with Ireland’s legal obligations.

CLM solicitor Rose Wall (pictured) said: “This is the first time that an independent community law centre is representing a client in a challenge on Ireland’s climate policy."

Human rights

“We are doing this because climate change impacts a wide range of human rights, including the right to life, food, water, sanitation, health, and the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. 

“Given Ireland’s poor performance on emissions reductions to date, we have a right to know if and how Climate Action Plan 2023 will deliver the required emissions reductions in line with Ireland’s legally binding carbon budget for 2021-2025,” she said.

The High Court has granted permission or ‘leave’ for the legal challenge to proceed. The case is listed again for 6 November.

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