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Environment

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The Joint Committee on Climate Action is meeting this morning to further discuss the Report of the Citizen’s Assembly with representatives from the Climate Change Advisory Council and the Environmental Pillar.

With 10,000 people - including 3,600 children - homeless, 72,000 mortgages in arrears, and 87,000 households on social housing waiting lists, it can hardly be denied that Government policy is a dramatic failure.

Social Justice Ireland enthusiastically welcomes the news that Ireland will become the first country in the world to divest its sovereign wealth fund of all investments in fossil fuels.

On Thursday, 26th April 2018, Minister Denis Naughten unveiled Government's Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018-2020Social Justice Ireland welcomes this development and the commitment of Government to document the specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which each current and new Government policy relates, and calls for the addition of an impact assessment for each of those policies in achieving Ireland’s goals and the closing of data gaps to support the development of an achievable SDG strategy.

Social Justice Ireland, as part of our work with Coalition2030, recently submitted our Sustainable Progress Index to inform its report on Ireland's performance under the Sustainable Development Goals.  Our Index monitors Ireland’s performance under each of the 17 SDGs, using data collected on 53 indicators, and ranks that performance against the EU15 countries.  We then provide a list of policy recommendations and considerations for Government based on the evidence gathered. 

Ireland is performing in the bottom half of 15 similar European countries on a range of important UN backed indicators covering Economy, Environment and Society. Measuring Progress: Economy, Society and Environment in Ireland puts Ireland’s overall ranking in the Sustainable Progress Index at 11th out of our peer countries in the EU 15.

Social Justice Ireland marks UN World Day of Social Justice each year with a seminar looking at Ireland's progress to date in meeting our responsibilities under the Global Goals. You can view video footage of the seminar here.

The current approach to housing policy in Ireland is not working; the private sector will never build social housing units on the scale required.  Government must commit to building sufficient social housing units to eliminate the current housing waiting list.  This is the only way to address Ireland’s ongoing housing and homelessness crisis.  This is a key finding of Social Justice Ireland's National Social Monitor 2017.

The National Social Monitor is Social Justice Ireland’s annual contribution to the public debate that is needed on Ireland’s future and how Ireland is performing in terms of promoting the wellbeing of all in society. It examines progress in areas such as housing, healthcare, education, employment, rural development and the environment among others.

A full analysis of the challenges in promoting sustainability and our policy proposals are contained in our Socio-Economic Review 2018, Social Justice Matters. The chapter is available below.

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