Last week, the Irish government published Our Sustainable Future, a paper which outlines the policies that will guide Ireland’s sustainable development, as well as forming Ireland’s main contribution to Rio+20.
Progressio Ireland is happy to see that many of the recommendations it made have been included, especially the recognition that sustainable development, and indeed prosperity, can’t be measured just in economic terms, and that instead needs to include wellbeing. We look forward to seeing the new metric for prosperity that the department will be developed that will allow wellbeing to be measured in conjunction with economic growth.
We are also pleased to see that report specifically recognise the key challenge of “Global Poverty and Sustainable Development” which affirms Ireland’s commitment to reducing global poverty through sustainable development. This section also recognises the importance of climate justice, and that while the world’s poorest did the least to cause climate change, they are the ones who are most vulnerable to its effects.
Also welcome is the news that upcoming water payments will be based on an usage over free allowance system, that will all everyone to have access to the water they require to fulfill their basic needs.
…but a lack of time frame and legally binding commitments!
This policy document is a great first step, but to ensure it is effective, it must be implemented, this is where some problems emerge. Too many of the measures proposed don’t have a solid timeframe attached to them. This means that it is too easy for them to be pushed aside, to be forgotten. The lack of a timeframe also means that it is difficult to measure how successful the government is being at implementing the targets. A second concern with the implementation is that there are currently no consequences for not implementing the measures. None of these measures are legally binding. This means that it will be too easy to once again slip into apathy and place our sustainable development commitments into the never-never.
The problems caused by unsustainable development grow every day. All around the world, unsustainable development is negatively affecting people’s lives. (Read more on our water and climate change blog.) Our planet cannot continue this way. Too often in the past plans have been drawn up, and never seen again, and it is our planet and our people that bear the cost. We need to work to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
This framework is a positive plan. Now it is time for us to implement it.
Progressio Ireland supporters are asking the Irish delegation to Rio to take a stand for sustainable development. Minister Phil Hogan received a list of signatures and a pledge for Rio +20 from us… Read more.
Download “Our Sustainable Future – A Framework for Sustainable Development for Ireland” (2,99 MB)
Click here to go to the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government’s press release.