Last week finally saw the publication of the report of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action entitled Climate Change: A Cross-Party Consensus for Action. The extent to which there is actual cross-party consensus for action remains to be seen. Sinn Féin took the surprising decision to reject the final draft of the report despite having been actively involved in drafting it for months. Its rejection by the Socialist Workers Party was less of a surprise.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a stark warning last year that we have only 12 years left to make major changes to our economies and ways of life in order to keep global warming at 1.5°C. That was last year so we now have 11 years left to take action. Even that 1.5°C warming is already linked to prolonged droughts in equatorial countries and to chaotic weather patterns across the globe.
Our cross-party climate report is our response to that international challenge. It provides a pathway to achieve our international commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by nearly half over the next 11 years and a total reduction of emissions to net zero by 2050. This can be done but it will be hugely ambitious.
I am not going to reiterate the contents of the report because we will have an opportunity to do so when we debate it in the House. I want to focus on the headline challenges that the report entails. We know where our greenhouse gas emissions come from so we can identify the sectors which require immediate action. The largest sources of emissions are agriculture, electricity generation and transport, with industry and commerce and people's home heating providing most of the rest.
Ireland's current emissions are the equivalent of 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and includes methane and other greenhouse gases. Our commitment is to reduce our emissions to 33 million tonnes by 2030, 11 years from now. We must further reduce that to zero by 2050 which means offsetting all remaining emissions by absorbing carbon elsewhere.
My questions to the Government are not only urgent but are direct and straightforward. Is the Government prepared to oversee the agricultural sector reducing its emissions from 20 million tonnes to 11 million tonnes over the next 11 years? How will that be achieved? Is the Government willing to invest public money in a massive programme of retrofitting all the homes in the State to bring emissions from people's home heating from 5.7 million tonnes to approximately 3 million tonnes and reducing energy poverty at the same time? Is the Government ready for the challenge of getting transport emissions down from approximately 12 million tonnes to 6.5 million tonnes over the next 11 years and all that entails in transforming public transport and how all of use transport in this country?