Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (549, 556, 564)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

549. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the degree to which potential signs for failure to meet carbon reduction targets can be set against the cost of providing extra renewable electricity generating capacity in view of the fact that the provision of extra generating capacity is more productive and better use of resources than payment of fines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22101/19]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

556. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans and vision for improved carbon reduction throughout industry; if he has had discussions with his ministerial colleagues with a view to strategic and selective afforestation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22108/19]

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John Curran

Question:

564. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the additional powers or funding that he may hold to fast-track projects on both the prevention, that is, energy efficiency, renewable generation and so on and adaptation, that is, flood defences and so on measures necessary in view of the fact that a climate emergency has been declared; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22123/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 549, 556 and 564 together.

The decision of the Dail to declare, on Thursday 9 May, a climate and biodiversity emergency in the context of endorsing the report of the Joint Committee on Climate Action is a significant statement. It underlines the importance that all Parties in the Dail attach to taking urgent action on climate.

In response to this challenge, the All of Government Climate Plan will set out how this Government intends to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change by driving the delivery of policies to reduce emissions in all key sectors, including electricity, agriculture, transport, industry, buildings, waste management, and the public sector. The Plan will have a strong focus on implementation, including clear timelines and steps needed to achieve each action.

It will lead to a significant step-up in policy ambition and delivery, to ensure that we at least meet our 2030 targets and get on a clear pathway to meeting our 2050 objectives. I have already signalled the Government's commitment to meeting 70% of Ireland's electricity demand from renewable sources by 2030.

I have also welcomed the publication of the report of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action, and acknowledge the important work of the members and chair of the Committee in preparing this milestone report in relation to Ireland’s climate policy.

The final report of the Committee contains a detailed set of recommendations addressing polices and measures across a range of Government Departments and agencies. The recommendations are now being taken up by the Government in the context of the All of Government Climate Plan.

The Plan will build on the previous actions and framework put in place by both the National Mitigation Plan and the National Development Plan, and is to be completed shortly.