Planning Ahead

The government has agreed to move Ireland to a carbon free economy by 2050. There will be a Climate Action Plan prepared every year. A lot will have to change. The whole system.

What might that look like? For you? For your community? Will you wait and see what the government plans for you? Or do you want to have a say in the changes? To have a say means knowing what you want then letting the government know. It means making sure there is policy to deliver on the changes you want to see. The changes that will work for you and your community.

Light Bulb Ideas Creative Diagram Concept

In this episode of Eco Eye Dr Lara Dungan investigates Ireland’s ambitious pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 50% in just 10 years. Mindful of Irelands response to Covid-19 she takes a look at Irelands Programme for Government commitment to decarbonise Irelands economy. Is this reduction even possible? What is the Green New Deal. What is a “Just Transition”? Can we decarbonise and grow the economy at the same time? (25mins)

Policy drives change in Ireland and it is shaped by those who make submissions to it, those who engage in the consultation process. Very often strong lobby groups have an advantage in shaping policy as they have the resources to put into researching, writing and lobbying with their plans.

Having a say in policy is not as hard as some may think. A letter, email, survey response, collaborative document or a lengthy submission are all valid inputs to policy formation. All submissions must be considered and if there is strong support for similar ideas they stand a chance of being included in the policy. The more people singing from the same hymn sheet, the better. Alerting public representatives to an idea also adds support from within the system and the more people who lobby their representative the better.

Register for updates from the local authority and learn when policies are up for consultation. The County Development Plan, the Climate Adaptation Strategy and the Local Economic and Community Plan are all developed at local authority level. They are the first port of call for community plans. Keep in touch with elected representatives updating them of local ideas and plans.

Keep up to date with national environmental and climate policies at the Departments website. These are what guides the direction of local authorities. Very often it is national policy that needs to be changed to support local action. All policies will need to be climate proofed so watch out for them also – food, agriculture’s, energy, transport etc.

Every local authority has a PPN, Public Participation Network. A PPN is a network that allows local authorities to connect with community groups around the country. The PPN acts as a conduit for community groups to influence policy. It is worthwhile following their social media and registering for newsletters. All community are welcome to join and participate.

NGOs, Non Governmental Organisations are also engaged in policy. The Environmental Pillar is made up of Irish environmental NGOs who work together to advocate on behalf of the environmental sector. A look at their policy submissions will offer great insight into what can be achieved with some policy changes.

Stop Climate Chaos is a coalition of civil society organizations campaigning to ensure Ireland does its fair share to tackle the causes and consequences of climate change. Current members include development, environmental, youth and faith based organisations. Their YouTube channel has a lot of insight into climate related activism, policy and law in Ireland.

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Published by Theresa OD

Change maker and mother of 5 living in the west of Ireland

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