Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Questions (158)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

158. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if an internationally recognised benchmark is being used for determining qualification as the €23 billion green capital spending outlined in the NDP; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26093/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

While there is no standard taxonomy in place internationally to determine exactly what might qualify as green spending, it is clear that the items contained within Strategic Outcome 8 in the National Development Plan on Transition to a Low-Carbon and Climate-Resilient Society (€21.8 billion) would meet any reasonable definition of green expenditure.

For example, Ireland's Sovereign Green Bond was issued under a framework designed to align with the Green Bond Principles published by the International Capital Market Association. These principles are the most common principles in use internationally. Among other categories, the green bond principles consider investment in environmentally sustainable management of living natural resources and land use, sustainable water and wastewater management and clean transportation as eligible to be considered to be green.

As you will note, the National Development Plan took a narrower definition. The €8.6 billion investment in sustainable mobility was contained within a standalone National Strategic Outcome, as was the €8.8 billion investment in Sustainable Management of Water and other Environmental Resources and the €14.5 billion allocated to Compact Growth.

It is clear that were any standard benchmark of what constitutes green expenditure applied to the National Development Plan, the proportion of the NDP's expenditure that could be considered to be green would be vastly higher than the sums provided for National Strategic Outcome 8 on Transition to a Low-Carbon and Climate-Resilient Society.