Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, secured Government approval for a new Climate Action Framework for the commercial semi-State sector (the Framework), which will help ensure that they can play a lead role in Ireland’s transition to a carbon neutral economy and society.
The Framework will apply to every commercial semi-State company and comprises of a series of five commitments as follows:
- Governance of climate action objectives;
- Emissions measurement and reduction target;
- Emissions valuation in investment appraisal;
- Circular economy and green procurement;
- Climate-related disclosures.
The commitments reflect requirements that apply to the public sector more generally, as set out in Climate Action Plan 2021 – in relation to the measurement of carbon footprint, green public procurement and carbon pricing in capital evaluation. Two of the commitments (governance of climate action and financial disclosures) are specific to the commercial semi-State companies. By signing up to the Framework, each commercial semi-State company would be entering into the commitments it contains.
Launching the Framework, Minister Ryan said, “the public sector generally has a lead role in Ireland’s shift to a carbon neutral economy and society. Many of our commercial semi-State companies are already playing a significant role in the decarbonisation of Irish society. Our ambition with this new Framework is to go further by committing every commercial semi-State company to action – in line with our climate ambitions to achieve a 51% reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to set us on a path to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.”
“The Framework will assist each company to publicly demonstrate its commitment and the steps it will take to deliver on this commitment. This will have positive benefits for each company as an employer, and in terms of their engagement with financial markets.”
The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Acts 2015 to 2021 place an obligation on public bodies, including commercial semi-State companies, to carry out their functions in a manner that is consistent with our national climate action ambitions. The Framework provides a means for the commercial semi-State companies to demonstrate how they are meeting their obligations under the Acts.