Posted on 18th June 2019
The Rediscovery Centre is delighted to welcome the publication of the Climate Action Plan in response to climate breakdown.The plan contains more than 180 priority actions specifically aimed at delivering a more sustainable, low-carbon future.
Launched yesterday, it presents a comprehensive, cross-sectoral approach which will be necessary to achieve effective climate action and widespread behaviour change. Care will be needed to ensure collaboration between the various actors and interdependent themes of the plan. However, governance and oversight of the plan are well considered and highlighted as critical so it is expected this will be a key element of the implementation.
As the National Centre for the Circular Economy, we welcome the focus on the Circular Economy. The Commitment to developing a CE policy and plan is very much needed and overdue. It would be great to see this fast-tracked as this will be the real driver of circular economy in Ireland. An all-encompassing plan with set priorities and time-bound targets will shape the transition to a truly circular economy and support citizen engagement and community action.
The Circular Economy focus of the Climate Action Plan addresses plastic waste. This is warranted given its abundance and impact. This approach should be applied to other problem materials causing a detrimental impact on the environment. Eco-modulation for plastic packaging is included within the plan, which is a a fantastic approach placing the burden of recycling difficult packaging back on the producer. Extended producer responsibility such as this, will result in material substitutions and improved reuse & recycling performance. It would be great to see this approach applied to other materials for example, paint & textiles where different materials within the same waste stream have very different ecological footprints. The eventual ban on non-recyclable plastics is also welcomed and will encourage eco-innovation in packaging.
The Circular Economy element of the plan places emphasis on waste which accounts for <2% carbon emissions. Given that 40% of the carbon impact of products results from their production, manufacturing & distribution, it is envisaged that the Circular Economy policy and plan will target the upstream impact of resources also. The recycling & reuse section of the Climate Action Plan could benefit from highlighting the huge potential socio-economic benefit of reuse initiatives and ultimately it would be great to see Ireland establish a national target for reuse.
The Climate Action Plan, Annex and infographic can be viewed here