Public consultation on the draft Clean Air Strategy for Ireland launched
The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, recently launched a public consultation on the draft Clean Air Strategy for Ireland. Speaking at the launch, Minister Ryan said “Clean air is central to supporting life in all its forms and the environment on which we all depend. It is also synonymous with wellbeing. Clean air benefits our communities, our habitats and our wildlife. It contributes to the best possible environment for us, as a society, to live, work, grow up and grow old in. While we are fortunate that our air quality is generally good, it is still estimated that 1,410 people die prematurely each year in Ireland due to air pollution. I am committed to addressing this critical public health and environmental challenge and am pleased, therefore, to launch a public consultation on the draft Clean Air Strategy for Ireland.”
This strategy provides a high-level policy framework. This policy framework identifies and promotes integrated measures, across Government policy, that are needed to reduce air pollution and promote cleaner ambient air, while also delivering on wider national objectives.The changes that it promotes will have positive economic and societal benefits. These include: cleaner air; warmer homes; improved agriculture practices; more sustainable transport options; better health; and lower carbon emissions. They will enable the transition towards a more sustainable economy – for the longer term.
This consultation will build on existing work that has been carried out by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications in this space over recent years. The strategy will take account of recent developments, not least building on the ambition of Climate Action Plan 2021, which was launched last November.
Highlighting this, Minister Ryan added “This strategy complements our Climate Action Plan. It includes a range of measures to realise the synergies between coherent air and climate policy, including those aimed at improving the energy efficiency of our homes and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. Air quality is closely associated with our climate and ecosystems. Many of the sources of air pollution, including those from burning solid fuels, are also sources of CO2 emissions. There is a clear correlation between the actions needed to lower air pollution and those needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Five priorities are outlined in the strategy:
- To ensure continuous improvements in air quality across the country
- To guarantee the integration of clean air considerations into the development of policy across Government
- To increase the evidence base, to help evolve our understanding of the sources of pollution – to address them more effectively
- To enhance regulation and improve the effectiveness of our enforcement systems
- To promote and increase awareness of the importance of clean air
Minister Ryan added “This consultation is an opportunity for everyone to consider the issues, input to the process, provide supporting information and data where possible, and to make suggestions on how best to reduce air pollution and promote clean air.”
The consultation will be open for approximately eight weeks. The closing date for submissions is Tuesday 3 May 2022.
Source – gov.ie
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