The principal aim of the OECD Environmental Performance Review programme is to help member and selected partner countries improve their individual and collective performance in environmental management by:

  • helping countries assess progress in achieving their environmental goals

  • promoting continuous policy dialogue and peer learning

  • stimulating greater accountability from governments towards each other and public opinion.

This report reviews the environmental performance of Ireland since the previous review in 2010. Progress in achieving domestic objectives and international commitments provides the basis for assessing the country’s environmental performance. Such objectives and commitments may be broad aims, qualitative goals or quantitative targets. A distinction is made between intentions, actions and results. Assessment of environmental performance is also placed within the context of Ireland’s historical environmental record, present state of the environment, physical endowment in natural resources, economic conditions and demographic trends.

The OECD is indebted to Ireland’s Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and the Department of Transport for their co-operation in providing information and in organising the virtual review mission (15-18 June 2020) and policy mission (29 October 2020), as well as for facilitating contacts inside and outside government institutions. Thanks are also due to all government departments and agencies that participated in the virtual missions and/or provided information and comments, as well as to the non-governmental organisations that provided written inputs, including An Taisce – The National Trust for Ireland, Chambers Ireland, Engineers Ireland, Irish Business and Employers Confederation, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Irish Farmers’ Association and the public transport provider Córas Iompair Éireann.

The OECD is grateful to the representatives of the two examining countries, Philippe Ayoun (France) and Therese Lundblad (Sweden), for participating in the review.

The authors of this report are Carla Bertuzzi, Nils Axel Braathen, Ivana Capozza, Eugene Mazur (OECD Environment Directorate) and Tatiana Samsonova (International Transport Forum – ITF), under the co-ordination and guidance of Ivana Capozza. Nathalie Girouard provided oversight. Carla Bertuzzi provided statistical support; Annette Hardcastle, Shellie Phillips and Fiona Smyth provided administrative support; and Mark Foss copy-edited the report. Natasha Cline-Thomas provided communications support. Preparation of this report also benefited from inputs and comments from Ellie Avery, Martha Baxter, Jane Ellis, Guillaume Gruère, Aimée Aguilar Jaber, Xavier Leflaive, Britta Labuhn, Mark Mateo, Anna Pietikainen, Douglas Sutherland, Jonas Teusch, Konstantinos Theodoropoulos of the OECD Secretariat, and Till Bunsen, Pierpaolo Cazzola, Jari Kauppila, Orla Therese McCarthy and Elisabeth Windisch of the ITF Secretariat.

The OECD Working Party on Environmental Performance discussed the Environmental Performance Review of Ireland at its meeting on 9 December 2020 and approved the Assessment and Recommendations.

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