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Statement – Special Government Meeting – 19 July 2017

 

The Government today held a special all-day meeting focusing on the related issues of Climate Change, preparation of the National Planning Framework (Ireland 2040) and preparation of a Ten-Year Capital Investment Plan.

The special meeting reflected the Taoiseach’s objective to ensure that Ministers have sufficient time, outside of dealing with the normal busy weekly Cabinet Agendas, for in-depth discussion on some of the big strategic issues facing Ireland in the years ahead.

Climate Change

The meeting started with a presentation from the Minister for Climate Action, Communications and Environment Denis Naughten on the global and national challenge of climate change.

The Government also published its first National Climate Change Mitigation Plan.

This is an important initial step towards the required transformation of the Irish economy and society, including in transport, in agriculture and in the built environment.

Meeting the challenge of climate change will require investment and policy actions by Government, and also radical changes in behaviour by businesses and citizens. The Government discussed how this investment and change could be supported and incentivised by changes to taxation and regulation, as well as the many opportunities climate change will generate for new types of enterprises and new jobs.

In conclusion, the Government agreed:

- that Climate Change is one of the most important long-term challenges facing Ireland and that the Government is committed to the transformation required to achieve a low carbon and climate resilient future;
- to focus all Government Departments and agencies on implementing the Mitigation Plan published today;
- to develop further actions across each sector for inclusion in the Plan over the years ahead;
- that the forthcoming Budget and 10 Year Capital Plan will be informed by the need for Climate Action;
- that a National Climate Change Adaptation Framework, to deal with the impacts of Climate Change on Ireland, will be published by the end of the year; and
- that there will be intensive engagement with citizens and awareness raising through the National Dialogue on Climate Action, to be chaired by Pat Gilroy.
A New National Development Plan-National Planning Framework to 2040 and Ten-Year Capital Investment Plan 2018-2027

In the second part of the meeting, the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform Paschal Donohoe and the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy made a joint presentation on the preparations for:

- Ireland 2040 - the National Planning Framework
- The Government’s Ten-Year Capital Investment Plan

The discussion focused on the opportunities for Ireland as our economy grows and our population is projected to grow to 5.6 million to 2040.

The Government is determined to ensure that national policies for planning, development, public service provision and capital investment are strategic and in the long-term interests of all of our citizens, across the generations.

The Government noted the importance of planning and project delivery systems, capacity within the construction sector to deliver, and the link to climate change and other environmental goals.

A key issue discussed was the need to ensure that the potential implications of Brexit, particularly for rural and border regions, is fully reflected in planning and investment decisions.

The Government agreed that:

- taking this longer-term perspective will allow for an ambitious approach to Ireland’s future, while maintaining a prudent approach to the public finances;
- the National Planning Framework and the Ten-Year Capital Investment Plan will be closely integrated to ensure full alignment of planning and investment decisions;
- that the Government will publish the National Planning Framework and the Ten-Year Capital Plan before the end of the year.


Ends