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OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Ireland 2021

image of OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Ireland 2021

Ireland’s progress in delinking the economy from environmental pressures has been uneven in the last decade. Greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation and nutrient pollution rose with strong economic growth between the mid-2010s and the inception of the COVID‑19 pandemic. The country’s dispersed settlement pattern implies that roads are the dominant transport mode. Climate, circular economy and biodiversity policies have gained renewed impetus, with various ambitious policy initiatives and large public investment plans. These need to be swiftly implemented to alleviate the growing pressures from intensification of agricultural practices, demographic development, urban sprawl and road traffic. Encouraging businesses and households to take action is key. This requires providing consistent price signals for the use of energy and natural resources and for better managing travel demand, while taking into account affordability, employment impact and regional disparities.

This is the third Environmental Performance Review of Ireland. It evaluates progress towards green growth and sustainable development, with a special chapter focusing on sustainable mobility and freight.

English Also available in: French

Towards green growth

This chapter reviews Ireland’s progress in mainstreaming environmental considerations into economic policy and in promoting sustainable development and green growth. It looks at efforts to ensure a green and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and to increase investment in environment-related infrastructure and services. The chapter reviews steps taken to green the tax system, including the use of energy and transport taxes to pursue environmental objectives, and to remove environmentally harmful subsidies. Finally, it discusses the country’s eco-innovation performance, as well as opportunities for expanding employment in green sectors as means to ensure a just transition to a green, low-carbon economy.

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