I thank the Seanad for inviting me to discuss the carbon budget programme and the recently published report of the Oireachtas joint committee on the proposed carbon budgets. I welcome the committee's recommendation for the carbon budgets to be adopted and I greatly appreciate the approach taken by its members. A number of Senators were centrally involved in some of the work of the committee in the production of its report as they engaged with numerous stakeholders and experts and sought to achieve political consensus on the need for robust climate action. As I told the committee in November after returning from COP26 in Glasgow, I witnessed there the powerful testimony of many international leaders from climate vulnerable nations who painted a stark picture of the impact climate change is having on their nations.
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, report, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, establishes incontrovertibly that the negative effects of climate change are already being experienced globally and will continue to increase exponentially in magnitude and volatility along with global temperatures.
We made some progress towards this goal in Glasgow. Ireland had a significant presence there and undertook extensive engagement on a number of key areas that will feed into the global decarbonisation efforts. The Glasgow Climate Pact, which is an overarching agreement, keeps alive the ambition of restricting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. It strikes a balance between increasing climate ambition and delivering on calls for increased climate finance and adaptation supports. It provides a way for new dialogue on loss and damage, critical to supporting climate justice for those most exposed to climate change.
Last year saw a step change in our approach to climate action with the signing into law of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 and our new climate action plan. The plan establishes our climate objectives in law and will underpin national climate action in the medium and long term. On 25 October last, the Climate Change Advisory Council submitted the first carbon budget programme under the Act. This programme comprised three consecutive five-year carbon budgets, bringing us to 2035. The first two budgets in the programme provided for a 51% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 relative to 2018, as set out in the Act. The third budget is provisional and is consistent with the 2050 national climate objective.
Last December I caused a copy of this proposed carbon budget programme to be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas. The Dáil referred the programme to the Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action for its consideration. On 1 February the committee voted to support the proposed carbon budgets and on 7 February it published its report recommending that the budgets be adopted by both Houses of the Oireachtas.
In parallel and in accordance with the climate Act, a public consultation on the carbon budgets concluded last week and the submissions received are being reviewed by my officials. As part of the process to consider the proposed carbon budgets, I have consulted the relevant Ministers. Following consideration of the public consultation, the recommendation of the joint committee's report and input from Government colleagues, I will take the proposed carbon budget programme to Government for approval and a motion will be considered on the Government's proposed carbon budgets taking effect. Once these economy-wide carbon budgets are adapted, the Government will divide the budgets into sectoral emissions ceilings. Such ceilings will establish how each sector must contribute to meeting the target through further established sectoral decarbonisation targets.
It is crucial we prepare our carbon budgets and sectoral emissions ceiling and that delivery of climate action continues at pace. The climate action plan that I launched on 4 November with the Taoiseach and Tánaiste provides a detailed roadmap for meeting our climate ambition under the Act. The 2021 plan sets out indicative ranges of emissions reductions for each sector of the economy. Following the legal adoption of carbon budgets and sectoral emission ceilings, these ranges will be finalised and reflected in the 2022 climate action plan.
The Government has published an accompanying annex of actions to support the delivery of the climate action plan. The annex sets out the detailed actions and measures with timelines that are required to drive delivery and ensure our emissions fall. It also identifies the key Departments, State bodies and other key stakeholders that will oversee and implement the actions. The Government will support the changes through major public investment announced recently in the €165 billion national development plan, including increased funding for retrofitting our homes, building new public transport, reskilling workers and supporting a just transition.
While climate action plan for 2021 builds on the ambitious targets of the 2019 plan, it represents a significant step up in ambition and implementation. I will highlight a number of the most significant measures in the plan. It commits to increasing the proportion of renewable electricity to 80% by 2030, including an increasing target of 5 GW of offshore wind energy, and to a significant reduction in transport emissions by 2030, which will be achieved by enabling 500,000 extra walking, cycling and public transport journeys per day by 2030 and supporting the take-up of 1 million electric vehicles by 2030. It includes the implementation of a new national retrofit plan, which we discussed in the previous debate. It commits to a faster uptake of carbon neutral heating in our enterprise sector, increased electrification of high temperature heating and the phasing out of F-gases with high global warming potential. It includes reducing emissions associated with agriculture and provides a pathway to doing so while supporting world-class food production through innovation. There will be a reduction in chemical nitrogen. There will be more targeted use and a fall in the use of fertiliser, while maintaining our position as global leader in healthy, pastoral family farming systems. Reducing emissions for land use and moving it from being a source of emissions to a store will involve huge amounts of bog rehabilitation, significantly increased afforestation and the rewetting of peat organic soils. A new forestry programme will be prepared for launch in 2023.
The plan places a just transition at the core, setting out four principles that will guide our policymaking and implementation over the coming years to ensure we effectively monitor and manage our transition and that our responses remain flexible so we can respond to future transition challenges and target the areas in need of support. Each Minister as well as the Government as a whole will be expected to consider these principles as we develop and implement our climate policies. We have committed in the plan to establishing a just transition commission, which will make periodic recommendations to Government, building on research, engagement through the national dialogue on climate action and the annual review from the Climate Change Advisory Council, on how Government policy can further the just transition.
In delivering this ambitious climate action plan, we must ensure we bring people with us and the transition is fair. The national dialogue on climate action, launched in March 2021, will facilitate public engagement, participation, community action, networking and capacity-building activities, giving everyone in society the opportunity to play their part. Last November, I announced €60 million in funding from the climate action fund for community climate action projects to support and empower communities to shape and build low carbon sustainable communities in a coherent way.
The proposed carbon budget programme provides Ireland with a strong and deliverable framework for meeting our national climate objectives and our international obligations on climate action and emission reductions. It will require a considerable level of co-ordination and co-operation to ensure we meet these budgets. The processes undertaken to consider the proposed budgets highlights how to build political consensus towards robust and impactful climate action. It will take similar levels of engagement to achieve the delivery of the budgets.
The transition to a climate neutral economy will provide significant opportunities to foster innovation, create new jobs and grow businesses in areas like offshore wind, cutting-edge sustainable agriculture and low carbon building. While we must all act together towards our climate objective, I realise the cost of climate action will be more acutely felt by some than others. As a Government, we are committed to protecting those most vulnerable and ensuring a just transition to a low carbon economy.