Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (63)

Denis Naughten


63. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if he will provide details of the impact that the national broadband plan will have on Ireland's carbon emissions profile; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2967/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

A sustained reduction of commuters and commuting time will, over time, bring a reduction in transport carbon emissions. Previous work in this area indicated that, for each new full-time remote worker, estimated average daily transport-related emissions savings of approximately 2.6-2.9 kg CO2, depending on petrol/diesel fuel mix, could be achieved. My Department is currently in the process of updating this analysis to inform the development of new actions to support Ireland’s emissions reductions to 2030 under Ireland’s Climate Action Pan.

The National Broadband Plan State led intervention has been designed to ensure that as much as possible of the network infrastructure will comprise the re-use of existing poles and ducts which NBI will lease from existing infrastructure owners. Infrastructure re-use in this manner ensures the State complies with State Aid Guidelines and environmental sustainability best practice.

Deployment of the NBP has the potential to deliver a range of environmental benefits linked to Government policy and cloud services as well as reduced emissions from teleworking and business travel. The Cost Benefit Analysis behind the business case for the Government decision to proceed with the NBP highlighted environmental benefits among a variety of other economic and social benefits. It did not, however, set out to specifically forecast the impact of the NBP on emissions. My Department will be looking at this in more detail when we start to assess the benefits that are being delivered on foot of the ramping up of investment in the NBP.