Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Questions (162)

Bríd Smith

Question:

162. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Climate Action and Communication Networks the status of the commitment on page 36 of the programme for Government to end the issuing of new licences for exploration and extraction of gas on the same basis as the recent decision on oil exploration and extraction; the legislation that will be put forward in this regard; and the form it will take. [23788/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Climate)

The Programme for Government - Our Shared Future - contains a commitment to end the issuing of new licences for the exploration and extraction of gas on the same basis as the decision taken in 2019 by the previous Government in relation to oil exploration and extraction.

I have made this commitment effective immediately: my Department is no longer accepting new applications for exploration licences for natural gas or oil, nor will there be any future licensing rounds in Closed areas.

While there is no requirement for legislative underpinning, I and my Department will evaluate whether any further actions would be useful in terms of providing maximum clarity.