Tougher penalties should be handed out to businesses that break environmental laws, according to environmental lawyer Deborah Spence.
Speaking to the Environmental Protection Agency conference, Ms Spence urged for a system that could see firms which breach the law face stricter consequences such as trading restrictions or de-licensing.
"We recommend the use of incremental offences, so that offending organisations might accumulate penalty points in appropriate circumstances," said Ms Spence, according to the Sunday Business Post.
"A certain number of penalty points could then trigger a more serious consequence, such as the imposition of restrictions or the revocation of a licence."
The conference was held to discuss how to make Ireland more sustainable.
EPA director general Doctor Mary Kelly said that even though the country was facing economically testing times, it was still important to face climate change.
She told the Belfast Telegraph: "We will be comparing our own regime here in terms of regulation with some other regimes and seeing how we could make it more effective."
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