The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has published its Annual Report 2017. The Department’s mission is to support economic and social progress and help the country reach its full potential by:
- facilitating the development of communications and energy infrastructure and markets
- leading the national transition to a sustainable, low-carbon, resource-efficient economy
- protecting and improving our high-quality natural environment
- ensuring the sustainable and productive use of our natural resources
- promoting the development of the public and private broadcasting sectors.
Delivery of the goals and objectives set out in the Department’s Statement of Strategy will be underpinned by the values set out in the Civil Service Renewal Plan:
- a deep-rooted public service ethos of independence, integrity, impartiality, equality, fairness and respect
- a culture of accountability, efficiency and value for money
- the highest standards of professionalism, leadership and rigour
For more information , view the Annual Report for 2017 – Click Here
Environment policy and awareness
In 2017, the Department continued its efforts to advance the protection of the environment. Allocations from the Environment Fund, which consists of revenues generated from the plastic bag levy and the landfill levy, amounted to €38.8m in 2017.
These allocations included, inter alia, the provision of:
- €9.35 million to Local Authorities for waste enforcement initiatives
- €7.1 million to the EPA
- €4.7 million to Met Éireann
- €2.9 million to the National Waste Prevention Programme
- €1.6 million to environmental awareness, including funding for the LA21 Scheme, Green Schools, the Environmental Pillar and the Irish Environmental Network of environmental NGOs, and
- €1.35 million to Anti-Litter Initiatives, including the Anti-Litter Awareness Grant Scheme, the National Spring Clean, and the PURE Initiative covering South County Dublin/Wicklow.
During March 2017, the Department hosted the European Commission’s first ever Clean Air Dialogue with an individual Member State. The Dialogue facilitated an open and informal discussion on clean air policy in Ireland, including linkages with EU policy and legislation, and resulted in the publication of a set of shared conclusions, available here.
At the same time, a Clean Air Issues paper was published to inform a public consultation on Ireland’s first ever National Clean Air Strategy, which will be launched in 2018. Over 100 responses to the consultation were received, from a wide variety of stakeholders and members of the public, indicating the importance of this issue.
During 2017, the EPA announced a review of the ambient air quality monitoring network. The new National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme will double the number of ambient air quality monitoring stations in Ireland by 2022, and enhance the provision of real- time air quality data to the public. Funding of some €5 million has been allocated by the Department over the lifetime of the programme. A further consultation was held later in the year on implementation of the Medium Combustion Plants Directive (Directive (EU) 2015/2193), which was transposed by the Department in the European Union (Medium Combustion Plants) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 595/2017). The Department also submitted draft regulations to implement a national ban on smoky coal to the EU Commission under the procedure established for Directive 2015/1535 on technical barriers to trade. No objections were received to the draft regulations from the Commission, nor from any Member State or third party.