Dr Kian Mintz-Woo of the ERI, the UCC Department of Philosophy, UCC's Eco-Humanities Research Group, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria) has recently been appointed by the EPA to the Carbon Budgets Working Group of the Climate Change Advisory Council.
How do the Carbon Budgets influence government policy on climate action?
As part of its work, the Climate Change Advisory Council is responsible for proposing three five-year economy-wide carbon budgets, covering the periods 2021-2025, 2026-2030 and 2031-2035, to assist the State in achieving its national climate objectives and greenhouse gas emissions targets agreed by the European Union. All greenhouse gas emissions and all relevant sectors are included in the carbon budgets.
The carbon budget programme is then presented to the Oireachtas by the Minister of the Environment, Climate and Communications. Once adopted by the Oireachtas, the Minister will use each carbon budget to prepare sectoral emissions ceilings for relevant sectors of the economy. On final agreement of these sectoral emissions ceilings by Government it will then be for sectors to determine which mitigation options are best placed to serve their needs in terms of delivering on their new commitments.
Every year, the Climate Change Advisory Council will undertake a review of progress made against these carbon budgets. The review will assess reductions achieved in GHG emissions, compliance with the carbon budget, and every sectoral emissions ceiling for that period.
The role of Dr. Mintz-Woo's research
Dr Mintz-Woo works on moral and normative issues, both fundamental (in moral ontology and metaethics) and applied (in climate ethics and climate economics). Recently, he has been working on questions related to carbon prices including carbon taxes; loss and damage in the post-Paris climate policy space; the ethics of negative emissions technologies, and the threat of climate change to social structures and governmental capacity. On the basis of this work, Dr Mintz-Woo will contribute to the carbon budgets methodology for the coming five-year carbon budgets, by bringing in a climate justice and just transitions perspective.