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EU and International Policy

Many environmental issues, such as air pollution and climate change, occur widely and are not specific to one country. In recognition of this ‘transboundary’ dimension, Ireland participates in international efforts to address regional and global environmental challenges. For example, Ireland actively supports the United Nations Environmental Programme and the international negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. A significant portion of Ireland’s environmental policy is also influenced by Ireland’s membership of the EU.

In September 2015, the Member States of the United Nations agreed 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 related targets. The 17 goals provide the basis for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, “Transforming Our World”. The 169 targets assist us in understanding of the scale of the task and in measuring progress. The goals and targets will guide the actions of all the UN member countries in their efforts to eliminate poverty and hunger, and achieve sustainable development over the next fifteen years to 2030. The environmental dimension focuses on pursuing high standards of water and air quality, tackling pollution from toxic chemicals, pursuing sustainable transport and renewable energy, and tackling the environmental impacts of cities. The Department will play a lead key role in implementing the environmental objectives of the goals and targets in Ireland. More information on the 2030 Agenda can be found on the UN Sustainable Development website.​​​