CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

On the 17th of June 2019 Ireland’s Climate Action Plan was revealed, detailing the changes necessary to become a carbon neutral country by the year 2050. 

It is split into several different sections, covering the main greenhouse gas emitters in the country, and the actions necessary to reduce emissions in these sectors.

The main points of interest are included below. Please click on the link to view the Climate Action Plan in full.

Quarterly Update

An important aspect of the Climate Action Plan is the publication of quarterly reports which track the progress of climate goals set out for that particular quarter. Grian will include these quarterly updates to provide information on the success or indeed failure of the Climate Action Plan.

 

According to the update 85% or 149 of actions for quarters three and four of 2019 have been met, with the remainder scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. The actions completed are not significant changes but they hopefully provide a platform for necessary future actions.

The list of completed actions are included below. These are taken directly from an RTE article by Environmental and Science Correspondent George Lee.

  • Increase in carbon taxes in the budget.

  • Commitment to ring fence up to 6 billion from the tax over the next 10 years for climate related projects.

  • Phasing out of oil exploration in Irish waters.

  • A new scheme for 1,200 on-street public charge points for electric vehicles, led by local authorities.

  • The delivery of the first Luas extension.

  • New requirements to ensure all new homes are Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) standard.

  • New energy efficiency regulations for home renovations over a certain size.

  • The signing of Climate Action Charters signed with all 31 local authorities.

  • A commitment to a Just Transition Plan, with €31m announced in Budget 2020 for new measures.

  • New rules for public procurement, meaning €12bn of State investment each year will be invested sustainably.

  • A Budget 2020 commitment to increase the price of carbon to €80 per tonne in 2030, and to ring-fence all of the proceeds for climate action, tackling energy poverty and delivering a just transition.

  • The establishment of a Climate Action Plan Delivery Board, led by the Department of the Taoiseach.

  • A retrofitting model taskforce to deliver the new national retrofitting plan which will group homes in the same area together to lower cost, introducing easy pay back models (eg through utility bills) and smart financing.

  • A €530m EU grant to deliver the Ireland-France Celtic Interconnector, which will link the Irish and French electricity grids to increase renewable electricity from 30% to 70%.

  • The acceptance of Climate Advisory Council advice to ban all new oil exploration off Irish coastal waters.

  • The holding of eight town hall meetings across the country to engage with local communities about climate action.

Electricity

Increase share of electricity generation from renewably sources from 30% to 70% by 2030.

Introduce support scheme for micro-generation allowing sale of excess power back into the grid.

Phase out operation of coal and peat-fired electricity generation plants.

19.3% GHG emissions 2017

Enterprise

Reduce Ireland's ETS emissions 10-15% by 2030.

Increased energy efficiency of processes, buildings and transport.

Improve how resources are managed and introduce new technologies or innovative processes to reduce emissions.

Work closely with SEAI to bring about necessary changes to enterprise.

13.4% GHG emissions 2017

Built Environment

Increase energy efficiency of current buildings through retrofitting (500,000 by 2030).

Switch to new building standards, e.g. oil heating to heat pumps with an expected 600,000 heat pumps installed by 2030.

Reduce CO2 emissions by 40-45% by 2030.

12.7% GHG emissions 2017

Transport

100% of new cars sold by 2030 to be fully electric or hybrid electric vehicles (950,000 on the road by 2030).

Increase raw bio-fuel content of fuel.

Conversion of public transport fleets to zero carbon alternatives.

Increased public transport investment as well as a roll out of EV charging ports.

19.8% GHG emissions 2017

Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use

Methane and nitrous oxide abatement measures.

8,000 ha/annum new forestry plantations.

Preservation and restoration of carbon sequestering peatlands.

40,000 ha/annum reduced management intensity of grasslands on drained organic soil.

33% GHG emissions 2017

Waste and the Circular Economy

Recycle 65% municipal waste, 70% of packaging and 55% of plastic packaging by 2030.

Reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.

Ban specific single use plastic items.

1.5% GHG emissions 2017