Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (115)

Timmy Dooley


115. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the recurring weekly meetings attended by either him or the Secretary General of his Department in 2019 at which climate change and-or preparations within his Department to enact a climate plan has been an agenda item; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31338/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Department of Defence is currently examining the Climate Action Plan 2019 which was approved by Government and published on 17 June 2019. Implementation of policies impacted by the Climate Action Plan on the Organisation will be monitored through standing governance structures, including the Management Board that is chaired by the Secretary General and meets weekly.

The Department of Defence has, since 2007, been proactive in seeking to implement practices which will address climate change. Under the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) the Department is committed to reducing its energy consumption and to improve energy efficiency by 33% by 2020 and meet net zero targets to 2050. By the end of 2017 (the latest date for which figures are available), the Department had reduced it's energy consumption by 25%.  In line with the Public Sector Energy Efficiency Strategy 2017 an Energy Performance Officer has been appointed, at Assistant Secretary level, to provide leadership and accountability in reaching the NEEAP targets. The Department is also engaged in the OPW's Optimising Power at Work Scheme and has won a number of awards under this Scheme.

Most recently, the Department has been working on developing a Resource Efficiency Action Plan with the aim of achieving savings in water, materials and energy use and maximising recycling, in line with the Government Decision of 3 January 2019.

The Department is making every effort and will continue to strive to be more resource efficient to reach the ambitious 2020 and 2050 targets by continuing to implement existing initiatives in a proactive approach in order to improve efficiency. In addition its Green teams will continue to meet on a regular basis to devise and implement new resource efficiency saving initiatives and further support green procurement in order to reach climate change targets. 

The implications of the Climate Action Plan will be also considered in the development of the Department's Capital Infrastructure Investment Programme, a key driver of Defence Forces infra-structural development.