CAP Introduction


Dublin City is our home, the place where we create memories of the past and dreams for the future by living, learning, working and playing today.  In our present day we know that the dreams of our shared future are in our hands.

Take a moment, imagine Dublin City in 2030. It is only 6 years away and a lot can happen…

We see a Dublin City in 2030 that is flourishing.  People living in the city are happy and healthy.  Walking, cycling or using public transport to and from their homes that are powered by 100 % renewable sources of heat and electricity; moving through the city is easy, seamless and safe!

We have a vibrant economy that is globally recognised for the diversity of businesses that make up Dublin’s social and circular economy. Traditional businesses are leaders in embedding sustainable practices.  Social enterprises are emerging, growing and are continuously innovating and building wealth in communities across the city. Employment and investment opportunities are abundant and sustainable. 

Dubliners and visitors to the city experience our built and natural history. Sitting in College Green under the shade of a native tree, enjoying a meal made with locally sourced and seasonal ingredients they strike up a conversation with a neighbouring table about the buzz and the craic in the city… 

Climate change is the greatest risk to our future.  Through our local authority climate action plan, Climate Neutral Dublin 2030, we will take action to prepare our city and people living here for the known impacts of climate change – flooding, sea level rise, extreme weather events, drought – and the known unknowns – the intensity and frequency of events, and slow burn impacts (see Appendix 2) for how climate is impacting on weather patterns over time). Climate Neutral Dublin 2030 will set out how we will mitigate greenhouse gas emissions (Appendix 3) and do our part to limit warming to below 1.5oC.  

We recognise that the implementation of Climate Neutral Dublin 2030 is key. This is the beginning of an ambitious journey, one we know that will not be without challenges.  We will need to work together with you.

Vision and Mission

Dublin City Council’s Corporate Plan puts forward our vision and mission for both the City, and Dublin City Council, as an organisation and the principles by which we will be guided in all elements of our work on climate action. Our vision and mission in the Corporate Plan for 2020-2024 are:


  • Our Vision: A dynamic, sustainable city, that is future-ready, built on thriving, inclusive neighbourhoods and communities, a strong economy, a vibrant cultural life, and compact, connected growth.
  • Our Mission: To drive the sustainable development of the City through strong civic leadership and delivery of effective services that promote the well-being and quality-of-life of citizens and communities.

Climate Neutral Dublin 2030 responds to our vision and mission through the inclusion of actions that align and contribute.  Realising a Dublin City where we are resilient, resource-full, creative, and social requires all of us. Join us, as we work together to prepare Dublin City, our home, for the impacts of climate change now and into the future.


Targets to 2030 and beyond

Our first climate change action plan covered the years 2019 to 2024.  In the life-time of our first plan we met and exceeded our emissions and energy efficiency targets for 2020[1].

We aim to build on our first plan’s successes and learnings. As with the first, this plan is a living document that will respond to the science (IPCC) and to changes in National and EU policy.

This plan covers the period 2024 to 2029. In this time, we will strive to reduce our emissions by over 51% from the 2018 baseline ahead of the 2030 target and make Dublin City resilient without causing harm.  We will also strive for climate neutrality, an ambitious goal that together with Cork City and over 100 cities across Europe we will work towards, by engaging our citizens.

We have to do our bit for all sectors – Built Environment, Transport, Electricity, Industry, and Agriculture, and Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry,  (LULUCF[2]), [3]. In other words, our plan must enable all sectors to reduce emissions. Emissions from one sector are inextricably linked to another - Farmers need roads to bring food to the businesses that occupy buildings, which use energy transmitted and distributed by utilities under the roads, to cook the food that feeds you.

We know that as climate science advances and the understanding of the impacts of human activity on the planet deepens, targets will shift.  Already the IPCC (2023) has stated we need to accelerate action to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

Ireland is off target even though there was a decrease in emissions of 1.9% in 2022 (EPA, 2023). In 2022, Ireland’s GHG emissions were estimated to be 60.76 Mt CO2eq million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2eq).  While the reduction is welcome, the latest report indicates that Ireland will not meet the National Climate Objective of 51% by 2030 (EPA, 2023).

[1] In 2021, it is estimated that DCC consumed over 161 GWh of Total Primary Energy, emitted over 30,500 tonnes of COat an estimated cost of €11.4 million.  Note Figure 7 below from our energy management platform – Energy Elephant - displays total final consumption, total primary energy includes energy losses in transmission and distribution to point of use.  While this is positive, a large proportion of the reduction is attributable to the increasing percentage of renewables on the national grid. An ongoing challenge is the thermal element, which has only recorded a marginal reduction in the same period

[2] The LULUCF sector is made up of six land use categories (Forest Land, Cropland, Grassland, Wetlands, Settlements, and Other Land) and Harvested Wood Products

[3] We now have an Amended act that requires us to meet new targets - 51% by 2030 from 2018 and Neutrality by 2050. While there are sectoral ceilings there is not a public sector target as there was for 2020.  It is as a whole.

Graph of green house gas emissions declining in the future


(Source EPA:

While 592,713 people live in the city, our daytime population is 1.5 times this (CSO, 2022). The emissions from their commute, the goods and services they consume and their activities cannot be spatially constrained. Like people, emissions do not stop at county borders.  

Similarly, the impacts of climate change such as flooding, storms, heat waves, and drought are not limited by geography. In 2023, the need to act has never been more evident both globally and locally.  From record breaking rainfall in July for Ireland that resulted in multiple flood events across Dublin, to wildfires engulfing Canada and Southern Europe, our climate has and is changing, yet we can still act.

DCC will lead by decarbonising our building stock and changing the way we work, to demonstrate what is possible and needed for a climate resilient city, prepared for a future with climate change (Appendices 2 and 3).

Importantly, while this plan focuses on functions that Dublin City Council has control over, we acknowledge that Dublin City’s success is Ireland’s success. As we are part of the EU Mission for 100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities, this plan will evolve as you join us to exchange knowledge and ideas to develop innovative solutions to increase our city, our home’s resilience.


Our plan has three targets that are interdependent:

  • A 51% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in line with our National Climate Objective by 2030, while striving for neutrality before 2050 as per Dublin City’s participation in the EU Mission for 100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities (Net Zero Cities).
  • A Climate Resilient City prepared for the known and unknown impacts of climate change
  • A Just Transition meaning that the actions we take do not cause harm.

Foundations and Connecting Actions

Achieving our targets requires collaboration to ensure that the actions connecting the foundations of our plan are interdisciplinary and account for the diverse systems that support life in our city.  The foundations of our plan build on our city’s strengths.

The connecting actions support the foundations – A Resilient City, A Resource-Full City, A Creative City and A Social City.  While the actions are categorised they are not independent of each other.  All actions are interconnected and require a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach (Appendix 1).  

Our progress will be monitored with headline indicators and crosscutting indicators as well as our climate readiness toolkit (Appendix 8). 

graphics of city with the four foundations of the climate action plan

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