Legislation and Policy
Environmental protection comes from legislation and policies either 1) specifically for an environmental issue (standalone policies) or 2) within general legislation and policies that include environmental provisions (mainstreamed policies). The standalone agreements are often adopted through international conventions. For example, a standalone policy for climate change is the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. A policy with mainstreamed environmental provisions is the Europe 2020 policy that focuses on jobs and growth and also includes provisions for a resource efficient Europe to safeguard the environment.
In addition to the international conventions and EU policies, national government has legislation and policies to protect the environment. The Irish government advances environmental matters through the work of the Department of the Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government and the Oireachtais passes laws for all matters, including those related to the environment. For example, the plastic bag levy is a standalone environmental policy to reduce waste and safeguard the environment. A general policy with mainstreamed environmental provisions is the requirement that all developers submit a Strategic Environmental Assessment for any development that is likely to have significant effects on the environment.
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