New Feasta submission on Sustainable Development in Ireland

This submission has been made in response to the Irish Department of the Environment’s request for comments on its Draft Framework for Sustainable Development in Ireland.

We welcome the opportunity to input into this Framework. Our recommendations are as follows:

1. Increase the extent and depth of the Framework.
2. Incorporate a review of the last 10 or 15 years into the Framework.
3. (Re-)Establish a National Sustainable Development Council.
4. Recognise the roots of the economic crisis in the growth-dependence of the monetary system and constrained energy resources.
5. Implement a Job Guarantee to achieve full employment and move towards sustainability.
6. Adopt a programme of Environmental Tax Reform.
7. Strengthen local economies, by means including local currencies.
8. Prepare for major disruptions due to peak oil.
9. Continue and develop engagement aimed at assisting international agreement on Climate Change.
10. Bring forward a Climate Change Bill.
11. Expand building retrofit.
12. Develop better statistics and analysis for sustainable development.
13. Integrate Sustainable Development into research policy.
14. Develop and implement Waste Policy based on Sustainability.
15. Educate for systemic change not just individual responsibility.
16. Develop agricultural policies to mitigate climate change impacts.
17. Accelerate the implementation of the Smarter Travel policy.
18. Link health with transport, spatial planning and agricultural policies.
19. Expand on education/training.
20. Support transparency for extractive industries and multinationals.
21. Specifically give County/City Development Boards a Sustainable Development remit.

Download the complete submission (PDF format)

Featured image: Poulnabrone pasture. Author: Nicolas Raymond. Source:

Note: Feasta is a forum for exchanging ideas. By posting on its site Feasta agrees that the ideas expressed by authors are worthy of consideration. However, there is no one ‘Feasta line’. The views of the article do not necessarily represent the views of all Feasta members. 

2 Replies to “New Feasta submission on Sustainable Development in Ireland”

  1. “Draft Framework for Sustainable Development in Ireland.”

    my advice is not to proceed under this delusional headline.

    1 “draft” suggests that there is time for extended discussion.

    2 discussion, 40 years after ‘the limits to growth’ was first published, is no more than a way to postpone action.

    3 submitting ideas to the government implies, erroneously, that it is central government which holds the initiative in implementing action.

    4 “framework” suggests that even if an outline is agreed, details will have to be worked out before actual action begins. in other words, political cover will be provided for inaction.

    5 “sustainable” has no real meaning. everything that exists is sustainable in the shorter term, if not in the longer term. the iron law of sustainability is that to be sustainable in the longer term – you have to be sustainable in the short term.

    6 “sustainable” coupled with “development” is like the word “temperance” coupled with the word “off-licence.”

    5 “in ireland” implies that the dublin government rules ireland, which is obfuscatory and conceited. it also implies that the country has control over its economy rather than being a local province of a globalised economy made vulnerable by ever increasing complexity.

    6 apart from that, a great idea. good luck lads.

    7 o k lets try to be positive. mark the dublin spire in fathoms. sell low lying coillte land to the germans but tax any planning permission for fish farms. licence all the ferry ports in carlow. hold an architectural competition for design of a new capital in the slieve bloom mountains.

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