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SEA Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021

Client: Department of the Environment, Climate, and Communications

The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill of 2021 establishes the legal framework for Ireland’s shift towards a climate-resilient, biodiversity-rich, environmentally sustainable, and climate-neutral economy by no later than 2050. The legislation includes provisions for a 2030 interim target, five-yearly carbon budgets, sectoral emissions ceilings, an annually updated Climate Action Plan, and a Long-Term Climate Action Strategy.

EnvEcon Decision Support conducted a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) on the 2021 Bill. The SEA process is mandated by SEA Directive 2001/42/EC when a plan or program is expected to have significant effects on the environment. In cases where legislation, such as the 2021 Bill, is primarily aimed at achieving positive environmental outcomes, the interpretation applied suggests that the SEA process is not meant to offer a policy critique of those objectives. Instead, its purpose is to evaluate and recommend mitigation strategies for potential environmental impacts arising from the plan in question.

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