The Government's first ever Carbon Budget will be launched in the coming days in order to meet climate targets.
The Programme for Government is committed to a 51% reduction in emissions by 2030 and to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050.
Reports suggest the agriculture sector will have to cut its emissions by 21%, and the electricity sector by 80% by 2030.
Marie Donnelly is chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council. She told Newstalk Breakfast the targets involve 'very high ambition'.
"The targets are very ambitious, that is certainly the first thing, and it does mean that we will have to change.
"Across all of the sectors we'll change, and indeed even at individual and community level will have to change.
"But what we're doing here and the ambition out of that plan - and indeed the procedure and mechanism shall we say, that is established by that plan - it's looking at this: the planet is on fire.
"We have a choice - we either plan and manage the necessary change... or we do nothing and we respond in a very haphazard way to when the storms come and the damage happens".
She says she believes the issue is now being taken seriously.
"I think it's very true to say that climate change is being taken very seriously now.
"With the adoption of the act in July, Ireland has established a very clear and ambitious target to achieve net zero by 2050.
"And as a shorter-term target to have a 51% reduction of emissions by 2030".
She says the ultimate decision around sectoral climate targets lies with the Government.
"The Climate Change Advisory Council sets what's known as a Carbon Budget - this is a budget to cover a five year period.
"It sets the maximum amount of emissions that can be emitted from all of the economy during that five year period.
"That recommendation then goes to the Minister, to the Government, and they take it through the Oireachtas.
"And then it is the Government that allocates that budget to each of the individual sectors."
She says this will be followed by a Climate Action Plan, which will support each sector to keep to its targets.
"We have a real challenge here, the objectives that we're going for by 2050 is a very high ambition.
"And the allocation of the budget across each of the sectors... it's a Government decision.
"It's one that they have to take in the light of the best available scientific advice - which is of course what the Climate Change Advisory Council is working on - and it will ultimately be a matter for the Government to decide".