New watchdog for Government’s climate action progress established

16 Jul 2019

Image: © kevers/

A new Climate Action Delivery Board will act as a watchdog looking over Government departments to see if they’re sticking to agreed changes.

Following the publication of the Climate Action Plan last month, the Government has now established the Climate Action Delivery Board. Its purpose is to act as a watchdog over the various departments to monitor their implementation of more than 180 actions set out in the plan.

These actions include efforts to have approximately 1m electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2030 and make Ireland carbon-neutral by 2050.

Convened for the first time today (16 July), the board will report directly to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, TD, and will be chaired jointly by the Secretary General to the Government and the Secretary General of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. Reports on the departments’ progress must be published on a quarterly basis.

The board will also discuss and review key strategic projects and areas of work, such as establishing a new model for retrofitting, to identify barriers, challenges and key lessons to date.

Holding departments accountable

The Government said that the board’s establishment is the first in a series of new governance arrangements set out in the Climate Action Plan. These also include carbon-proofing policies, establishment of carbon budgets, a strengthened Climate Change Advisory Council and greater accountability to the Oireachtas.

“With our recently published Climate Action Plan, we set out how we will drive forward climate actions that reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, as well as climate actions that will give us warmer homes, cleaner air, better quality of life,” Varadkar said.

“The climate actions that will create the jobs and businesses of the future. We have dealt with environmental threats in the past like the depletion of the ozone layer and acid rain, and I am confident we can overcome this threat also.”

Minister Richard Bruton, TD, added that the new board will “ensure that each department and public body is held fully accountable to delivering on the actions required to enable Ireland achieve its 2030 climate target and put us on a trajectory to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050”. He added: “This is the same model we used for the Action Plan for Jobs and it proved extremely effective.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic