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Local Authority Climate Action Plans

Local Authority Climate Action Plans

Date: 14 Mar 2023

Guidelines formally launched by the Minister

The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications has launched a set of statutory guidelines to assist local authorities in preparing local authority climate action plans. 

Under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021, each local authority is required to prepare a local authority climate action plan for its respective administrative area. The guidelines have been issued under the provisions of the Act and are therefore statutory in nature. They are intended to provide robust guidance to local authorities in preparing their plans and to ensure a coherent and consistent approach while not being overly prescriptive.

There are five separate documents comprising the guidelines with one overview document and four technical annexes drilling into the greater levels of details required. The five  documents are: 
  • Local Authority Climate Action Plan Guideline gives an overview of the concepts behind the local authority climate action plan 
  • Technical Annex A provides guidance on managing the process of Developing and Implementing the Climate Action Plan. This follows the provisions of Climate Acts 2015-2021.  
  • Technical Annex B provides guidance on how to undertake a Climate Change Risk Assessment to inform adaptation actions. 
  • Technical Annex C provides guidance on how to develop a county/city-wide baseline emissions inventory through a Climate Mitigation Assessment to inform mitigation actions.
  • Technical Annex D provides guideance to support local authorities developed their Decarbonsed Zones.
All five documents are available to view/download on website HERE.

The guidelines were developed in collaboration with the department, CARO, local authority representatives from the 4 CARO regions, Climate Ireland, SEAI, MaREI and the three Energy Agencies (Codema, 3CEA and Tipperary Energy Agency), and overseen by a Project Advisory Group.

Local authorities are key drivers in advancing climate policy at the local level and the Plans are aimed at assisting local authorities to address, in an integrated way, the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change adaptation and strengthen the alignment between national climate policy and the delivery of effective local climate action. In addition to the sectors own targets and actions, local authorities will have a key role to play in the co-ordination, facilitation and advocation with other stakeholders to deliver a plan that is fully accountable and will deliver on climate actions within the councils own administrative boundaries.  

The MInister formally instructed local authorities to commence work on their LACAPs on the 24th February 2023. The Plans are being developed over the next 12 months and once adopted, each plan will be valid for five years.