In 2020 CTC carried out a research project for the EPA in order to meet a recommendation of the Ireland’s Environment 2020 – An Assessment , the need for an overarching environmental policy for the country was identified, as follows:

A key message from our assessment is that Ireland needs an overall integrated national environmental policy position, or it risks existing environmental protection measures failing or  competing with each other. Such a policy position could set out an ambition for protecting Ireland’s environment in the short, medium and long-term with the aim of having a clean, healthy environment, that is valued and protected by all. It should be a national vision to which all government departments, agencies, businesses, communities and individuals can sign up to play their part in protecting our environment.

In order to recommend such and overarching policy CTC examine national environmental policies across a number of countries, as well as a review of other related policies at an EU and international level.

Policies from the following countries and international levels were reviewed in detail and reported upon:

In summary, the approaches taken in the overarching environmental policies from countries that have been reviewed include the following:

Approaches that have been well developed and are well underway by countries with a long and successful history of environmental protection are of special interest and may be of specific value to Ireland in terms of replicability, such as those in Sweden, Scotland, Belgium and Finland. The approach of the United Kingdom is also notable, in the way that the vision is specifically focused on environmental and well-being issues and there is no confusion as to how it is interlinked with the SDGs.

CTC recommendations for consideration for Ireland in drawing up a national environmental

policy are as follows:

The final Report is available here.