It’s Wednesday, August 5, and Ireland’s Supreme Court is forcing the country to beef up its climate plan.
The Supreme Court of Ireland handed environmental campaigners a win last week, ruling that the Irish government’s climate plan doesn’t go far enough to cut carbon emissions and prevent dangerous climate change.
The government’s National Mitigation Plan, adopted in 2017, set a broad roadmap for slashing Ireland’s carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, as required by a landmark 2015 climate law. But the environmental group Friends of the Irish Environment argued that the mitigation plan was not “fit for purpose,” since it allowed for emissions increases in the short term and didn’t set intermediate targets for the government to reach. Ireland currently emits around 13.3 metric tons of carbon dioxide per person, the third-highest level in the European Union.
In a ruling last week, the Supreme Court sided with the environmentalists. They ordered the government back to the drawing board to explain exactly how they intend to lower emissions in the near future.
The government can “no longer make promises it can’t fulfill,” Friends of the Irish Environment spokesperson Clodagh Daly told BBC News.
The decision marks the second time in history that a supreme court has ordered a government to ramp up climate action. In December, the Urgenda Foundation won a similar case against the government of the Netherlands.
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