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Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021

Written Answers Nos. 111-129

Brexit Issues

Questions (111)

Neale Richmond

Question:

111. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if his attention has been drawn to the fact that as a result of Brexit persons living in Northern Ireland cannot be a director of a company in Ireland; if his attention has been drawn to the impact this is having on small companies; if he is taking steps to address this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61980/21]

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Written answers (Question to Enterprise)

At the outset, I should clarify that there is no restriction under company law on residents of Northern Ireland being directors of Irish registered companies. I am taking it that the issue the Deputy is referring to relates to the requirement, as per Section 137 of the Companies Act 2014, that a company on the register of companies must have at least one EEA resident director. As an alternative, a company can either put a bond in place pursuant to Section 137(2) of the Companies Act 2014, or obtain a certificate, in accordance with Section 140, from the Registrar of Companies certifying that the company has a real and continuous link with one or more economic activities that are being carried on in the State.

As a consequence of the UK leaving the European Union, and the ending of the transition period on 31st December 2020, with effect from 1st January 2021, UK (including Northern Ireland) resident directors of companies registered in Ireland are not considered resident in the EEA for the purposes of Section 137. Companies that previously relied on having a UK (including Northern Ireland) resident director to meet the requirements of Section 137 are required to either appoint an EEA resident director or else pursue one of the alternative options.

I understand that the number of companies impacted by this issue is not readily available but that in the region of 2,000 bonds have been received by the Companies Registration Office in 2021 in relation to the EEA residency requirement.

Work Permits

Questions (112)

Gary Gannon

Question:

112. Deputy Gary Gannon asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the options open to persons in cases in which they have an employment permit which is due to expire in the short-term in view of the fact that persons with expired workplace permits are not permitted to work as in the case of a person (details supplied); if the renewal will be expedited given their employer is experiencing a staff shortage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62006/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Enterprise)

In order to work in the State all non-EEA nationals require a valid employment permit or relevant immigration permission from the Minister for Justice and Equality which allows them to reside and work in the State without the requirement for an employment permit.

Applications for employment permits, including renewals, may be submitted online via the Employment Permits Online System which also provides intuitive advice and information on the eligibility requirements and relevant criteria. In order for a renewal application to be considered, it must be submitted to my Department no earlier than four months before the permit is due to expire or within one month of the permit expiry date. An employment permit holder may continue to work whilst their renewal application is being processed. A suite of information is also provided on my Department’s website with advice on the different types of permits, remuneration and other eligibility criteria, employer checklists and an FAQ document which answers the majority of the most common questions, all of which are available through this link - dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Workplace-and-Skills/Employment-Permits/.

The Employment Permits Section of my Department inform me that on 13th October 2021 a renewal application for a General Employment Permit was received in respect of the named person. As the renewal application was received within the prescribed timeframe for renewals set out in the employment permits legislation, the individual concerned can continue to work in her employment while waiting for the renewal application submitted on her behalf to be processed.

Applications for employment permits are processed in date order, Employment Permits Section are currently processing standard applications received on 17th August 2021. Applicants can keep track of Employment Permit applications current processing dates at enterprise.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Workplace-and-Skills/Employment-Permits/Current-Application-Processing-Dates.

Cybersecurity Policy

Questions (113)

Patricia Ryan

Question:

113. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the progress being made with the National Cyber Security Strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61673/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The National Cyber Security Strategy 2019-2024 is a whole-of-Government approach to address the growing threat of cyber security incidents and to ensure that Ireland can benefit fully from the digital transformation. The Strategy includes 20 separate measures to safeguard public sector networks and essential services, to facilitate the development of the cybersecurity industry and to promote awareness raising and international cooperation. A number of measures are being led by my Department, and I am pleased to report that good progress is being made on their delivery.

As part of the implementation of the Strategy, earlier this year external consultants were commissioned to conduct a Capacity Review and to benchmark the NCSC with similar agencies in Europe and internationally. The report on the Capacity Review was received in June 2021 and in July the Government agreed a number of measures to support the continued development of the NCSC over the coming five years.The measures agreed include increasing the overall fulltime staffing complement of the NCSC to at least 70 over the next 5 years. with a first tranche of an additional 20 staff recruited by end 2022 bringing the serving complement to 45. A cyber security graduate training programme will also be introduced. In addition, the General Scheme of a Bill will be prepared for Government approval, to establish the NCSC on a statutory basis and provide for related matters including clarity around its mandate.

My Department has also recently published the baseline cyber security standard to be applied by all Government Departments and Agencies. The NCSC has worked with colleagues across Government to develop the standard which will support public bodies to identify cyber risks, deploy appropriate mitigation measures, and protect personal and other important data.

At the time of its publication, a commitment was made to conduct a mid-term review of the Strategy. This was also a recommendation in the recent NCSC Capacity Review. It is intended that this review will be conducted in the second half of 2022 and will take account of the evolving global threat landscape, EU cybersecurity policy developments such as the review of the Network and Information Services Directive, as well as lessons learned from the HSE cyber security incident in May 2021.

Energy Prices

Questions (114)

Patricia Ryan

Question:

114. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the action that will be taken to address spiralling energy prices. [61687/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

Government is acutely aware of the impact that the recent increases in energy prices is having on households.

This is a global phenomenon and expert commentators, including the International Energy Agency (IEA), have attributed this to a range of demand and supply factors that have contributed to a tightening of the European gas market supplies and the upward trend in wholesale gas prices we have witnessed since mid 2020. The best long-term approach for Ireland to insulate consumers from volatility on international wholesale energy markets is to invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy and to expand interconnection with our European and neighbouring markets and to deepen internal electricity market integration.

Government’s immediate response to address the increase in domestic energy prices has been to utilise the tax and social welfare system to counter rising costs of living. Budget 2022 increased the weekly rate of the Fuel Allowance so that €914 will be paid to eligible households over the course of this winter. Increases to the Qualified Child Payment, the Living Alone Allowance and an increase to the income threshold for the Working Family Payment were also announced.

Consumers should continue to switch or engage with their energy supplier and many households could still save on their bills if they did so. As recently as the 9th December, switching supplier could save a customer consuming the average amount of electricity up to €313.

CRU has in place a suite of protections against disconnection that are set out in the Supplier Handbook. In brief, priority customers cannot be disconnected, while vulnerable customers are protected over winter months from 1 November to 31 March each year while a CRU moratoria on disconnections for all customers comes into effect over the Christmas period. Additionally, under the supplier led voluntary Energy Engage Code, suppliers will not disconnect a customer who is engaging with them at any time.

Furthermore, due to the ongoing pressure on households, the Government agreed today to provide a once off credit of €100 to every domestic electricity account holder, through their electricity supplier in quarter one of 2022."

Energy Prices

Questions (115)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

115. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if he will consider in the absence of a reduction in VAT on domestic energy sources including electricity, a discount scheme for low and middle income households that would then be reimbursed to providers in a similar manner to the operation of the free electricity allowance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61995/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

Government is acutely aware of the impact that the recent increases in global energy prices is having on households.

This is a global phenomenon and various commentators, including the International Energy Agency, have attributed this to a range of demand and supply factors that have contributed to a tightening of the European gas market supplies and the upward trend in wholesale gas prices we have witnessed since mid 2020. The best long-term approach for Ireland to insulate consumers from volatility on international wholesale energy markets is to invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy and expand interconnection with our European and neighbouring markets and deepen internal electricity market integration.

Government’s immediate response to address the increase in domestic energy prices has been to utilise the tax and social welfare system to counter rising costs of living. Budget 2022 increased the weekly rate of the Fuel Allowance so that €914 will be paid to eligible households over the course of this winter. Increases to the Qualified Child Payment, the Living Alone Allowance and an increase to the income threshold for the Working Family Payment were also announced.

Consumers should continue to switch or engage with their supplier and many households could still save on their bills if they did so. As recently as the 9th September, switching supplier could save a customer consuming the average amount of electricity up to €313.

CRU has in place a suite of protections against disconnection that are set out in the Supplier Handbook. In brief, priority customers cannot be disconnected, while vulnerable customers are protected over winter months from 1 November to 31 March each year while a CRU moratoria on disconnections for all customers comes into effect over the Christmas period. Additionally, under the supplier led voluntary Energy Engage Code, suppliers will not disconnect a customer who is engaging with them at any time.

Furthermore, due to the ongoing pressure on households, the Government agreed today to provide a once off credit of €100 to every domestic electricity account holder, through their electricity supplier in quarter one of 2022."

Departmental Schemes

Question No. 117 answered with Question No. 69.

Questions (116)

Denis Naughten

Question:

116. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the number of homes that will be retrofitted in 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61990/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The National Retrofit Plan, published last month as part of the Climate Action Plan, set ambitious targets to retrofit 500,000 homes to a Building Energy Rating of B2 or carbon equivalent and to install 400,000 heat pumps in existing buildings by the end of 2030. These targets represent a very significant increase in both the volume and depth of retrofit activity in Ireland.

COVID-19 related restrictions on construction activity in the residential sector between January and April have had a significant impact on activity this year. The SEAI estimates that approximately 16,000 retrofits will be supported by SEAI in 2021. Of this number 2,350 will be energy poverty retrofits and 4,700 will be B2 retrofits. To the end of October, 11,418 retrofits had been delivered, including 3,103 B2 retrofits and 1,625 energy poverty homes.

Budget 2022 commits €202 million in carbon tax revenue to fund the SEAI residential and community retrofit schemes and a further €10 million from the Exchequer for the Solar PV scheme. This investment will support over 22,000 home energy upgrades, including over 6,000 homes to a Building Energy Rating (BER) of B2 and over 4,500 upgrades under the SEAI energy poverty schemes. It will deliver warmer, healthier and more comfortable homes with lower energy bills. It will also reduce emissions from the residential sector and improve air quality.

The detailed current and capital allocations for 2022 are being finalised as part of my Department's annual business planning process. The final Programme allocations will be included in the Revised Estimates Volume to be published later this month. These will be reflected in the SEAI business planning process.

The Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage will invest a further €85m as part of the Local Authority Retrofit Programme in 2022. This will deliver approximately 2,400 B2 / cost optimal retrofits next year.

The total spend that is attributable to labour costs and the average spend per unit of housing is not readily available. However, retrofitting homes is highly labour-intensive and creates quality sustainable jobs in local communities throughout the country, it is estimated that up to 60% of total retrofit cost can be labour. The request for detailed information has been sent to the SEAI and available data will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible upon receipt.

The SEAI's total spend and no. of homes completed on retrofitting schemes* for 2018 - 2020 were:

- 2018 €91.5m 21,478

- 2019 €104.1m 24,742

- 2020** €78.25m 17,671 *Includes Better Energy Homes, Better Energy Warmer Homes, Warmth and Wellbeing, Deep Retrofit, Communities Energy Grants, Solar P.V and Better Energy Finance schemes.

** In 2020, in line with public health and Government guidelines in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, all works under SEAI funded schemes were advised to pause for a period of time.

Question No. 117 answered with Question No. 69.

Illegal Dumping

Questions (118)

Denis Naughten

Question:

118. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications his plans to tackle the rise in illegal dumping; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61189/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

2020 data indicates an increase in the reporting of illegal dumping incidents, perhaps due to increased activity levels locally due to lockdown. However, data received from the National Litter Pollution Monitoring System for 2020 and from the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities (WERLAs) indicates that this was not matched by a corresponding increase in illegal dumping volumes.

€3m was allocated to local authorities under the 2021 Anti-Dumping Initiative (ADI) and while 2022 ADI Allocations are yet to be finalised, I intend to ensure that a similar amount will be made available.

My Department will also continue to invest significantly in the local authority waste enforcement network under the Local Authority Waste Enforcement Measures Grant Scheme. €7.7m was provided under the scheme in 2021, while over €1mn was provided to support the ongoing enhancement of the role, capacity and responsibilities of the WERLAs. Support for both will continue in 2022.

€4m was also provided to local authorities in 2021 under a new Litter Infrastructure Support Grant Scheme, designed to support local authority provision of additional litter infrastructure in the context of the Government's emphasis on an outdoor summer. Over 1,300 bins have been purchased and installed by local authorities under this scheme, including over 400 smart bins.

In addition, the Circular Economy Bill, currently undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny, will advance a number of priority provisions identified in the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy, including providing for the GDPR-compliant use of a range of technologies, such as CCTV for waste and litter enforcement purposes and the introduction of new Fixed Penalty Notices for illegal dumping offences. Other relevant measures outlined in the Waste Action Plan will also be progressed during 2022.

Postal Services

Questions (119)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

119. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the correct contact details for TDs and Senators to use in order to contact An Post on behalf of persons who have complaints and concerns that are not being addressed via the usual channels of communication with An Post; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61194/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

In accordance with Circular 25/2016, An Post also provides a dedicated email address for Oireachtas members. The relevant contact details have been forwarded to the Deputy directly.

An Post has a dedicated Customer Service Charter page on its website outlining the complaints process in place by the company. www.anpost.com/Customer-Charter/Feedback-Complaints

The Commission for Communications Regulation, ComReg, is the statutory body responsible for the regulation of the electronic communications sector (telecommunications, radio communications, broadcasting transmission and premium rate services) and the postal sector. Full contacts details for ComReg are available at www.comreg.ie/

Offshore Exploration

Questions (120)

Jennifer Whitmore

Question:

120. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if he will provide information on an offshore petroleum exploration licence (details supplied); if the licence remains in operation; if consented or permitted activities remain underway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61207/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

Information on all petroleum authorisations is updated and published on a quarterly basis on gov.ie (www.gov.ie/en/publication/10d43-acreage-reports-and-concession-maps/). The most recent such report was published in respect of the three-month period ending 30 September 2021.

In addition, Section 57 of the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act 1960 requires that I lay before the Houses of the Oireachtas every six months a report detailing all petroleum authorisations extant and granted during the period of the report. The last such report laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas was in respect of the six-month period ending 30 June 2021.

In February 2021 I granted approval to the licensees to undertake a seabed geophysical, environmental baseline and habitat assessment survey within the licensed area referred to. This survey took place in October 2021.

Departmental Schemes

Questions (121)

Holly Cairns

Question:

121. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the supports or grants in place for hotels converting heating systems to CHP boilers to become more energy efficient. [61237/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

There are a wide range of capital supports funded by my Department and administered by the SEAI that enable all businesses to reduce their carbon emissions and improve their energy efficiency:

- The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) provides financial support in the adoption of renewable heating systems by commercial, industrial, agricultural, district heating and other non-domestic heat users. This includes biomass or biogas High Efficiency CHP heating systems

- EXEED Certified grant scheme supports organisations with the costs of embedding energy efficient design in their assets, to reduce lifecycle impact with lower energy use and carbon emissions.

- Support Scheme for Energy Audits supports SMEs with a €2,000 voucher towards the costs of a professional energy audit.

- Communities Energy Grant (CEG) Scheme makes grant funding available for community-based partnerships to improve the energy efficiency of the building stock in their area.

Other supports for businesses include:

- Project Assistance Grants helping fund feasibility studies and business cases for energy performance improvements.

- Training (SEAI Energy Academy), information and advisory service, access to energy auditing services and case studies of best practice.

- Large Industry Energy Network where members work together to improve energy performance and share experiences.

- Accelerated Capital Allowances is a tax incentive scheme which allows businesses to reduce their taxable profits by the full level of expenditure on energy efficient equipment in the year the investment is made.

Full details on these supports are available at: www.seai.ie/business-and-public-sector/

Cybersecurity Policy

Question No. 123 answered with Question No. 81.

Questions (122)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

122. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the future direction for the State to ensure that Ireland’s connected future is safe; and if the State has plans to develop its cyber-security capabilities in this regard. [61244/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The National Cyber Security Strategy 2019-2024 is a whole-of-Government strategy to address the growing threat of cyber security incidents, to ensure Ireland can benefit fully from the digital transformation. The Strategy includes 20 separate measures to safeguard public sector networks and essential services, to support the development of Ireland's cyber security industry and ensure we play our part in defending a free, open, secure and stable cyberspace. A number of measures are being led by my Department, and good progress is being made on their delivery. For instance, my Department has recently published the baseline cyber security standard to be applied by all Government Departments and key agencies. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has worked with colleagues across Government to develop the standard which will support public bodies to identify cyber risks, deploy appropriate mitigation measures, and protect personal and other important data. In addition, the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) based within the NCSC has developed and deployed technology on the infrastructure of Government Departments to detect and warn of certain types of threat.

Recognising the growing dependence on digital services and the evolving global cyber threat landscape, earlier this year Minister Ryan commissioned external consultants to conduct a Capacity Review and to benchmark the NCSC with similar agencies in Europe and internationally. Minister Ryan and I received the report in June 2021 and in July the Government agreed a number of measures to support the continued development of the NCSC over the coming five years. These measures include increasing the overall fulltime staffing complement of the NCSC to at least 70 over the next 5 years with a first tranche of an additional 20 staff recruited by end 2022 bringing the serving complement to 45. The Government also approved the preparation of a General Scheme of a Bill, for Government approval, to establish the NCSC on a statutory basis and provide for related matters including clarity around its mandate.

Question No. 123 answered with Question No. 81.

National Broadband Plan

Question No. 125 answered with Question No. 81.

Questions (124)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

124. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if he has been notified by National Broadband Ireland of the amount in loans made available to same by a company (details supplied) that holds a five per cent interest in National Broadband Ireland. [61371/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I have been advised that National Broadband Ireland has only received shareholder loans from Metallah Limited, its holding company.

While there are other holding companies in the structure, which is commonplace to facilitate investment in large scale critical infrastructure projects, I am advised that the substantive entities providing the investment to Metallah Limited are Granahan McCourt Fund Limited (a David McCourt controlled company) and Tel-IE Broadband Sari, an entity managed and controlled by Oak Hill Advisors.

Question No. 125 answered with Question No. 81.

Departmental Schemes

Questions (126)

Neale Richmond

Question:

126. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the steps he is taking to limit waste from fast fashion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61458/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

There are a wide range of capital supports funded by my Department and administered by the SEAI that enable all businesses to reduce their carbon emissions and improve their energy efficiency:

- The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) provides financial support in the adoption of renewable heating systems by commercial, industrial, agricultural, district heating and other non-domestic heat users. This includes biomass or biogas High Efficiency CHP heating systems

- EXEED Certified grant scheme supports organisations with the costs of embedding energy efficient design in their assets, to reduce lifecycle impact with lower energy use and carbon emissions.

- Support Scheme for Energy Audits supports SMEs with a €2,000 voucher towards the costs of a professional energy audit.

- Communities Energy Grant (CEG) Scheme makes grant funding available for community-based partnerships to improve the energy efficiency of the building stock in their area.

Other supports for businesses include:

- Project Assistance Grants helping fund feasibility studies and business cases for energy performance improvements.

- Training (SEAI Energy Academy), information and advisory service, access to energy auditing services and case studies of best practice.

- Large Industry Energy Network where members work together to improve energy performance and share experiences.

- Accelerated Capital Allowances is a tax incentive scheme which allows businesses to reduce their taxable profits by the full level of expenditure on energy efficient equipment in the year the investment is made.

Full details on these supports are available at: www.seai.ie/business-and-public-sector/

Illegal Dumping

Questions (127)

Charles Flanagan

Question:

127. Deputy Charles Flanagan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the work by his Department in conjunction with other relevant State bodies in enabling the use of CCTV to combat dumping, particularly in environmentally sensitive areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61515/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

My Department published the General Scheme of the Circular Economy Bill 2021 on 15 June 2021. It is my intention under the Bill to facilitate not only the use of CCTV, but also the use of a broad range of Audio Visual Recording (AVR) equipment in order to assist local authorities in their efforts to combat litter and illegal dumping. Drafting of the Bill is well advanced, following consultation with the Data Protection Commissioners, the Department of Justice and the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities (WERLAs), as is, I understand, the pre-legislative scrutiny process before the Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action. The Bill will be published and enacted as soon as possible after pre-legislative scrutiny has been completed and I have considered the Report of the Committee. I look forward to receiving the Committee's recommendations.

A combination of legislation and guidance will help to ensure that the processing of personal data, obtained through the use of CCTV and AVR equipment, may be carried out by local authorities tasked with enforcing both litter and waste legislation, thus providing an important deterrent in order to protect our environment from the scourge of illegal dumping, while at the same time respecting the privacy rights of citizens.

Electricity Generation

Questions (128)

Charles Flanagan

Question:

128. Deputy Charles Flanagan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the steps taken to ensure security of electricity supply for the forthcoming winter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61516/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (the CRU) has statutory responsibility to ensure security of electricity supply. This includes the duty to monitor security of electricity supply and to take such measures as it considers necessary to protect security of supply. The Commission for Regulation of Utilities is assisted in its statutory role by EirGrid.

The challenges to security of electricity supply are set out in EirGrid's Generation Capacity Statement 2021-2030 and Winter Outlook 2021/2022, which were published in September and October respectively.

In September, the CRU published an information note, setting out the programme of actions they are leading in order to address these challenges. These actions include:

- increasing the availability of existing generators;

- developing new generation capacity;

- extending the operational life of some existing generators; and

- actions to enhance demand-side response, including large consumers reducing demand when the system margin is low.

Last month, the Government approved and published a new Policy Statement on Electricity Security of Supply, which supports the CRU's programme of actions.

My Department continues to work closely with the CRU and EirGrid to implement the programme of actions and ensure security of electricity supply.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Questions (129)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

129. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the modelling that was used by the Government to calculate the emission reduction targets under the 2021 Climate Action Plan; if it was the same as those used in the Climate Change Advisory Council’s Carbon Budget technical report. [61522/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The approach and scope of the modelling used for determining the indicative emissions reduction targets for the 2021 Climate Action Plan (CAP) and for the modelling used in developing the Climate Change Advisory Council’s (CCAC) proposed carbon budget programme were, in both cases, closely determined by the requirements established under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021– specifically the requirement that Ireland must cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 51% by the end of this decade.

Ireland’s 2021 CAP is underpinned by modelling inputs from the broad spectrum of expertise available to the Government, as well as contracted technical input from a range of bodies and organisations. It was also informed by a public consultation and call for expert evidence. Outputs from the modelling have assisted in developing indicative ranges of emissions reductions for each sector of the economy by 2030 to achieve the 51% reduction, and set us on a pathway to achieving net zero emission by 2050. This included indicating the types of actions needed to deliver on our climate targets. The indicative sectoral ranges will be replaced by legally binding specific sectoral ceilings in the 2022 Climate Action Plan, following their adoption by Government once the economy-wide carbon budgets are approved by the Oireachtas.

Some of the experts that fed into the preparation of the Climate Action Plan may separately have provided analytical input to the CCAC as part of its work on the carbon budgets. However, it is important to note that the CCAC acts as an independent advisory body, and any research or modelling undertaken by the CCAC is carried out under that mandate. This includes the development of the CCAC’s recently proposed carbon budget programme. Details of the specific analysis used by the CCAC is outlined in its carbon budget technical report, which can be found at www.climatecouncil.ie.

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