The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, has launched a set of statutory guidelines to assist local authorities in preparing local authority climate action plans. Under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021, each local government is required to prepare a climate action plan for its respective administrative area. The plans will be consistent with the most recent approved climate action plan and national adaptation framework and are being developed over the next 12 months. Once adopted, each plan will be valid for five years.
Local authorities are key drivers in advancing climate policy at the local level across the country. The climate action plan will help local authorities to address, in an integrated way, the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change adaptation and strengthen the alignment between national climate policy and the delivery of effective local climate action.
The guidelines have been issued under the provisions of the Act and are therefore statutory in nature. They are intended to provide robust guidance to local authorities in preparing their plans and to ensure a coherent and consistent approach while not being overly prescriptive.
The guidelines have been developed in collaboration with key players in the local government and climate sectors, overseen by a Project Advisory Group. It is acknowledged that each local authority is coming from differing starting points on climate planning and the guidelines are premised to encourage greater ambition on climate action, to build progressively over time.
See the guidelines here.