Environmental group launches court challenge to Government's National Mitigation Plan

An environmental group has launched a High Court challenge against the Government's plan aimed at reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change.

The action has been brought by Friends of the Irish Environment CLG which claims the Government's National Mitigation Plan, which was published in July, is flawed.

The plan sets out measures that are the firsts step on a path designed to transition Ireland to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050.

The plan concerns all sectors of government, with a particular focus on certain key areas such as electricity generation, transport, and agriculture.

In its proceedings against the Government of Ireland, Ireland and the Attorney General , the group says Government approval of the plan should be quashed on several grounds including that it fails to specify any measures to urgently reduce greenhouse emissions as it is required to do.

It further claims the plan does not comply with the requirements of the 2015 Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act.

At the High Court today, John Kenny Bl for the group said the plan does not contain any mitigation measures by which the State can satisfy its international or EU obligations..

Without these measures the plan, counsel contended is unreasonable, unconstitutional, and in breach of human rights laws.

The Government was under an obligation to specify the manner in which that national transition objective would be achieved.

Measures such as specifying how greenhouse gas emissions would be managed or removed to levels to appropriate levels were not included in the plan.

The group seeks orders quashing the government's decision to approve the National Mitigation Plan. It wants the plan remitted to the government for revision in accordance with the requirements of the 2015 on Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act.

It also seeks various declarations from the court including the plan does not take any adequate account of the State's obligations under EU laws or various international agreements including the 2015 Paris Accord on climate change.

Permission to bring the proceedings was granted, on an ex parte basis, by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan.

The case will come back before the court in December.



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