Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021
Jurisdiction: Republic of Ireland
Commencement: 7th September 2021
- Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015
- Planning and Development Act 2000
The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 provides details on approval plans made by the Government in relation to climate change for the purpose of pursuing the transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy. This Act establishes a body to be known as the Climate Change Advisory Council.
This Act will not affect existing or future obligations of the State under the law of the European Union (including Directive 2001/42/EC, Council Directive 92/43/EEC, Directive 2003/87/EC and Decision No. 406/2009/EC), existing or future obligations of the State under any international agreement, any Act or instrument that gives effect to any such obligation or existing or future entitlements of the State or any person under the said law, agreement, Act or instrument.
The Planning and Development Act 2000 is designed to serve as a planning code and therefore, in order for any development to be valid it should be undertaken in compliance with the requirements of this legislation, as well as any other legislation such as the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992.
The Planning and Development Act 2000 revised the entire amount of planning law into a single piece of legislation, covering all forms of planning and development. The scope of the Act is wide and sets out a detailed section-by-section analysis of the provisions of the Act, including development plans, local area plans, regional planning guidelines, architectural heritage, housing supply, appeal procedures and environmental impact assessment. Under the Act each Local Authority has a responsibility to determine policy in its area through a Development Plan and for applying the policy through planning control, planning applications and enforcing planning decisions.
The amendments of 2002 include changes to Part V of the 2000 Act (Housing Supply) and other miscellaneous amendments.
In order for Ireland to meet plans set out by the Government in relation to climate change to help the transition to a climate resilient, biodiversity rich and climate neutral economy before the end of 2050, significant changes have been made to The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 (‘2015 Act’). These changes (mainly affecting requirements of the Government, Ministers and local authorities) are reflected in the summary and duties above.
Section 3 of the 2015 Act has been replaced with the “national climate objective” outlined in the summary and duties above. Section 4 of the 2015 Act has been replaced with the “climate action plan and national long term climate action strategy” outlined in the summary and duties above.
Technical amendments are made to section 5 (national climate change adaptation framework) to clarify the matters that the Minister and Government must consider in the national climate change adaptation framework. Updates are made to the specific documentation which the Minister and Government must jointly make and submit in section 6.
The following new sections are added to the 2015 Act:
- section 6A – Preparation of carbon budgets;
- section 6B – Approval of carbon budget;
- section 6C – Sectoral emissions ceiling; and
- section 6D – Revision of carbon budgets.
The content of these regulations are further explained above in the duties section.
Section 14A (Climate Reporting and Sections) and section 14B (Role of local authority) are added into the 2015 Act. These sections explain the specific climate areas that the Minister should report on, and the role of local authorities in achieving climate goals.
Section 15 (Duties of certain bodies) is amended to update the rules which a relevant body must adhere to.
Changes to the Planning and Development Act 2000 require development plans to include objectives to reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and address the necessity of adaptation to climate change, taking account of the local authority climate action plan.
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