Go Vegan World’s Submission to the Public Consultation on the Irish Climate Action Plan 2024

Ireland has a track record of being a laggard when it comes to action on climate change and has repeatedly been shown to be among the worst offenders by international comparison. There are many factors contributing to this, but a severe lack of domestic political will and pandering to the industries contributing to climate chaos are chief among them.

Under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021, the Irish Government is required to provide an annual update to the State’s Climate Action Plan, which was first published in 2019. Just before Christmas last year, a draft Climate Action Plan for 2024 was published. Coming in at over 400 pages, this would give the appearance of a significant advance in climate action (being 140 pages more than the 2023 Plan). Closer inspection of the draft, however, shows no evidence that it sought to address the shortcomings of the 2023 Plan.

In the summer of 2024, the EPA assessed the 2023 Plan as being insufficient to deliver emissions cuts in line with the Government’s own commitments.

The draft 2024 Plan doesn’t critically review the failings of the 2023 Plan, and it is barely credible that both Plans ignore addressing the animal agriculture industry and dietary emissions. Eliminating animal agriculture and transitioning to a plant-based, vegan diet are measures that would address emissions, while also positively contributing to the parallel biodiversity and habitat crises, water pollution, resource consumption, human health issues and, of course, our ethical view of the other species we share this planet with.

Neither the 2023 or 2024 Plans gave mention to system change in agriculture or dietary change in society. To end global warming, there is no doubt that we must end our use of fossil fuels, but that alone is insufficient. Rapid and sustained system change in agriculture and dietary change are needed to cut our emissions and stay within commitments made in the Paris Agreement.

Go Vegan World made a submission to the public consultation on the Climate Action Plan 2024, which closed early in April. This submission is available to read Go Vegan World Submission on Climate Action Plan 2024.