Policy Work

The Green Economy Foundation is actively involved in both National and European policy work.

We are currently working in several areas including Food Harvest 2020, FoodWise 2025, Coillte, the Circular Economy Package, the Action Plan for Jobs, Green Public Procurement, Forestry Policy, Climate Change, the CAP and the Resource Efficiency Roadmap.

The Green Economy Foundation works with the Environmental Pillar and the Irish Environmental Network in Ireland and contributes to many reports and submissions on environmental issues.

Cillian Lohan, our CEO, is a member of the following groups and Boards:

  • The Irish Environmental Network (IEN) – Chairperson
  • Coordinator of Green Economy Advisory Group
  • Environmental Pillar –  Steering Committee
  • European Economic Social Committee – Member and Rapporteur on The Circular Economy Package
  • Strategic Policy Committee for Cork County Council – Member

2012 finally saw the ratification of the Aarhaus Convention. Click here to download the information leaflet (PDF).

Below are links to the types of reports and submissions that we have contributed to.


From protest to action – The Parliament Magazine (July 2019)

Time to rethink forestry model in response to climate crisis (June 2019)

New ‘novel’ circular economy fund available (May 2019)

Greening the Economy and Creating Sustainable Employment (December 2012)

Environmental Pillar Consolidated Policy Document (November 2012)

Environmental Pillar Tree Cover Policy (November 2012)

Proposals for the 2013 Budget from the Environmental Pillar (October 2012)

Environmental Pillar Policy on Site Value Tax (October 2012)

Environmental Pillar Policy on Shale Gas (August 2012)

Press Releases

At last, some justice for the largest animals on earth – April 2 2014

Environmental Pillar calls on RTE to deal with Science and not Fiction – March 14, 2014

Letter to Minister Quinn: Third Level Campuses as Living Laboratories for the Green Economy and a Sustainable Ireland – February 7 2014

Conference on Marine Protected Areas – March 24 2014

Irish environmental movement sees red over Constitutional Convention – February 6 2014

Environmental Pillar calls for a national energy strategy – January 29 2014

Critical changes to Forestry Bill are needed to safeguard our natural assets – January 28 2014

Environmental Pillar dismayed by Commission’s lack of agreement on climate policy – January 22 2014

EU civil society voices opposition to European Commission green light for fracking – 20 January 2014

Environmental democracy is still a long way off – 8 January 2014

Environment lights the way forward on access to information – 26 November 2013

Government should promote renewable energy not more fossil fuel exploration – 12 November 2013

Local government reforms won’t deliver on sustainable development unless changes made – 7 November 2013

NESC support for greening the economy is welcomed by environmental groups – 7 November 2013

Massive increase in emissions from dirty fuels highlights the lack of coordination in Government policies – 9 October 2013

Spread of ash dieback highlights outdated forest policies – 7 October 2013

Vote “No” – reject the abolition of the Seanad, demand reform – 29 September 2013

IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report is a bleak reminder of Government’s inaction on climate change – 27 September 2013

Your future, your environment, your health, your decision – what the Aarhus Convention means for you – 24 September 2013

Environmental Pillar questions credibility of sustainability report on Food Harvest 2020 – 16 September 2013

No basis for Minister’s decision to get rid of packaging levy and container deposit return scheme – 12 September 2013

Minister Coveney puts wildlife and agricultural sustainability at risk – 10 July 2013

Energy Minister’s promotion of fossil fuels is short–sighted – 13 June 2013

Environmental Pillar welcomes Ireland’s participation in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition – 6 June 2013

Aquaculture Licencing Appeals Fees Contrary to Access to Justice Provisions of the Aarhus Convention – 4 June 2013

Bioenergy policy reform is vital for long–term economic sustainability in rural communities – 15 May 2013

Policy Submissions

Environmental Pillar submission to the Consultation on the SEA for the Draft Forestry Programme 2014–2020 October 2014 (PDF)

The Environmental Pillar submission on the Action Plan for Jobs 2015  September 2014 (PDF)

The Environmental Pillar submission on the Budget 2015 August 19, 2014(PDF)

The Environmental Pillar submission on the National Risk Assessment 2014 June 30, 2014 (PDF) More info here

The Environmental Pillar comments on the 2014 review of the National Reform Programme:April 10, 2014 (PDF)

Environmental Pillar response to the EU Commission Consultation on Community Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection February 14, 2014

Proposed plan for septic tank inspections needs more detail and transparency: November 7, 2012.

Submission on Environmental Analysis of Scenarios Related to Implementation of Recommendations in Food Harvest 2020 (FH2020): July 6, 2012.

Living within Planetary Boundaries – The Safe and Just Space for the People of Europe:June 6, 2012 .

Environmental Pillar submission to National Climate Policy Development Consultation: May 3, 2012.

Environmental Pillar Consultation Response to the Draft Framework for Sustainable Development for Ireland: March 6, 2012.

Advocacy letters

The Forestry Foundation has signed to the below letters from the Environmental Pillar on environmental issues.

The Access Initiative – National Coalition for Ireland: To An Taoiseach, The Minister for the Environment and the Government of Ireland. 26 March 2012.

Rights at Risk at the United Nations: Open Letter to the Secretary General for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), Co–Chairs of the Bureau for Rio+20 and Member–States of the United Nations. 26 March 2012.

Right to Water Letter:  Seeking to protect the United Nations historic recognition of the Human Right to water and Sanitation by the General Assembly and Human Rights Council through resolutions A/Res/64/292  and A/HRC/15/L/14 respectively. March 21, 2012.

Three Demands campaign for Rio 2012: To An Taoiseach, The Minister for the Environment and the Government of Ireland. February 22, 2012.