DUBLIN, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Ireland is playing "catch-up" on its obligations in relation to climate change, according to a cabinet minister on Wednesday.
"This obligation is as much an opportunity as an obligation. In any event it is a moral necessity and a vital national interest," said Denis Naughten, minister for communications, climate action and environment, when publishing Ireland's first statutory national mitigation plan.
The plan contains a series of mitigation measures and actions to address the immediate challenge until 2020 and to prepare for the EU targets that Ireland will take on until 2030.
The purpose of the plan is to specify the policy measures required in order to manage greenhouse gas emissions and removals at a level appropriate for furthering the achievement of the national transition objective and to take into account existing EU and international obligations on the country in relation to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Naughten said.
It covers greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity generation, built environment, transport, and agriculture, forest and land use sectors.
"This plan is the culmination of months of sustained work across government and represents a first step in our 'whole-of-government' approach to addressing Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions. The work does not end here, however, but rather begins," he said.
"Energy efficiency is central to this plan. This is because using less energy and using it more efficiently is the most cost-effective and accessible way to tackle climate change," Naughten said.
He added the plan provides a sustained, considered and strategic approach to incremental and permanent de-carbonization involving all of government and society.