The national climate policy is a greenwash – the country is certain to miss its 2020 emissions target and still handing out drilling licences

On the face of it, Ireland appears to be acting on climate change. Last year it appointed its first ever “climate action minister”, and in June it outlawed onshore fracking. What’s more, the telegenic new taoiseach Leo Varadkar dedicated much of the first day of his Cabinet retreat to discussing climate change.

Last week Varadkar introduced Ireland’s first national mitigation plan (NMP) in more than a decade, and said that addressing climate change would “require fundamental societal transformation and, more immediately, allocation of resources and sustained policy change.” If success could be measured simply by repetition – the word “sustainable” appears no fewer than 110 times in the NMP – Ireland would undoubtedly be among the world’s leading countries.

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