I apologise on behalf of the Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Donohoe. He has to go to the Seanad for the Finance Bill.
Policy responsibility for tackling climate change is a matter for the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment in the first instance. However, a sustained whole of Government approach will be required to enable Ireland’s transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050. The Minister, together with his Departments, is committed to playing his part in this transition.
The funding available to Departments is determined through the annual budgetary and estimates process. Each Department makes proposals on a range of measures they would like to implement in the coming year and climate action measures are embedded within the proposals from those Departments covering sectors of the economy responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. It is therefore a matter for those individual Departments to identify the amount which is being spent on climate action from within their own spending envelopes.
The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has committed, under action point 12 of the national mitigation plan, to develop proposals for identifying, monitoring and reporting of climate related expenditure through the Exchequer. As a first step, this year’s Revised Estimates Volume, REV, will tag climate related expenditure in a separate section of that report.
Ireland has also joined the OECD Paris collaborative on green budgeting. The Minister's objective and that of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in joining this initiative is to integrate environmental and climate outcome based reporting into our annual budgetary processes. This will be an iterative process but Ireland's participation in the Paris collaborative will lead to more transparency on the level and effectiveness of Ireland's climate expenditure.
In addition to funding made available to Departments for tackling climate change through the annual budgetary and Estimates process, the national development plan and Project Ireland 2040 also provide significant increased levels of funding for climate action related measures. Project Ireland 2040 commits a record level of investment for climate change initiatives over the next decade, with €21.8 billion specifically allocated for national strategic outcome 8 - transition to a low carbon and climate resilient society, and I understand some of that announcement will be made later in the week.
A number of the other national strategic outcomes in the national development plan are also directly relevant to delivering on our climate action goals - €14.5 billion is allocated to ensure compact smart growth and a further €8.6 billion is allocated for investment in environmentally sustainable public transport while €8.8 billion is allocated for the sustainable management of water and other environmental resources.