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Sustainability

Ireland has signed up to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and is committed to legally binding climate commitments in 2020 and 2030.  We have a national commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050 yet we spend up to €4 billion every year on potentially environmentally damaging subsidies.

In the Sustainability edition of our National Social Monitor,  we assess whether current policy on sustainability encompasses the three pillars of environment, society and economy and make proposals on how to transition towards a sustainable future. 

A sustainable economy would involve transformative change and policies. The ‘circular economy’ theory is based on the understanding that it is the reuse of vast amounts of material reclaimed from end of life products, rather than the extraction of new resources, that is the foundation of economic growth.  In July 2019, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation launched its paper – Realising the opportunities for enterprise in the bioeconomy and circular economy in Ireland, which considers the impact of transitioning to more sustainable practices to provide solutions to ‘issues ranging from climate change, to pollution, to economic and regional development’.

Budget 2020 is an opportunity for government to implement a number of policies which would assist Ireland in meeting its environmental targets. Social Justice Ireland's budget submission contains a number of proposals that would help meet Ireland's targets while also incentivising better behaviour by our citizens and raising hundreds of millions of euros in revenue.

The Government has just launched a new initiative to track Ireland’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the SDG Hub.  The SDG Hub is a Geosite – a website developed in collaboration with Ordinance Survey Ireland, the Central Statistics Office and Esri Ireland – and contains a lot of useful data and information on the SDGs and how Ireland is measuring them.  This work complements the Sustainable Progress Index produced each year by Social Justice Ireland, and the call for open source data to fill the gaps which remain in creating a full picture of the SDGs echoes our call to the Minister last year.

The contribution of airplane emissions to climate change is well documented. It's time the aviation industry made a contribution to society that more accurately reflects the harm it does while ultimately incentivising individuals to fly less. Click here to read how Government could raise €200m in 2020 while benefiting the environment.

The OECD is seeking public comments on the draft Recommendation on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD).  The format of the consultation is a short survey (5 questions) and the deadline for submissions is Friday, 28th June 2019.  Social Justice Ireland has published extensively on Ireland's progress towards the SDGs.  To support you to make your submission, we have collated our most recent work in this area in one place.  Please click 'Read More' to access the latest from Social Justice Ireland on Ireland and the SDGs.


We are facing into local elections in May 2019. Sustainable local development should be a key policy issue on the local government agenda.

Watch the videos from our 2019 Global Justice Day Seminar here. Professor Charles Clark of St John's University in New York and Catherine Kavanagh of University College Cork launched our Sustainable Progress Index 2019, and Coalition 2030 Coordinator Jennifer Thompson responded.


Social Justice Ireland’s
annual Socio-Economic Review is entitled Social Justice Matters. This book is about charting a course to a better Ireland. At the foundation of that is the model of development we follow.

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