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Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021

Written Answers Nos. 60-77

Energy Policy

Question No. 61 answered with Question No. 51.

Questions (60, 87)

David Stanton

Question:

60. Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if natural gas will be considered as a transition fuel to help ensure energy security as part of the transition to a low carbon future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61274/21]

View answer

Catherine Connolly

Question:

87. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications further to Parliamentary Question No. 33 of 4 November 2021, the status of the review of the security of energy supply of Ireland’s electricity and gas systems; the timeline for the public consultation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61486/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 60 and 87 together.

The Government's Policy Statement on Security of Electricity Supply, published at the end of last month, sets out that the development of new conventional generation, including gas-fired generation, is a national priority and should be permitted and supported in order to ensure security of electricity supply and support the growth of renewable electricity generation.

The policy statement supports the need to deliver circa 2 GW of new gas-fired generation which is set out in the National Development Plan 2021-2030 and the Climate Action Plan 2021.

The need for this level of new gas-fired generation capacity was identified by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, which has statutory responsibility for security of electricity supply, and EirGrid.

It is important to note that the development of flexible gas-fired generation is to provide security of supply and support increased levels of renewable electricity generation. This new capacity will only run when needed, with renewable generation dispatched in the market first, and therefore the level of associated emissions will be minimised.

In addition, the Department is carrying out a review of security of energy supply of Ireland’s electricity and natural gas systems focussing on the period to 2030 in the context of ensuring a sustainable pathway to net zero emissions by 2050.

I expect the technical analysis will be published and the public consultation commenced early next year. It is planned to complete the overall review in mid-2022 following which it will be submitted to Government.

Question No. 61 answered with Question No. 51.

Climate Action Plan

Questions (62)

Jennifer Whitmore

Question:

62. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the Climate Action Fund and the inclusion of nature-based projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61340/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

At least €500 million is expected to be available from the Climate Action Fund over the period to 2027 to support projects, initiatives and research that contribute to the achievement of Ireland’s climate and energy targets and goals.

To date, just over €140 million has been committed from the Climate Action Fund for a range of projects, including in relation to district heating, EV infrastructure, creative climate action, co-financing for EU LIFE projects, and a Community Climate Action Programme. Through the Community Climate Action Programme, announced on 10 November 2021, €60 million will be invested in community climate action projects and initiatives, as well as capacity building, over the next three years.

Following on from the commencement of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 earlier this year, nature-based solutions that contribute to climate action are now eligible for support from the fund. In the context of the Community Climate Action Programme, there will be opportunities for relevant nature-based projects and initiatives to be supported under the local climate and environmental action theme of that programme.

As a next step, an open call will be developed for launch in 2022 aimed at providing funding for further projects aligned with the objectives of the Climate Action Plan 2021.

Environmental Policy

Question No. 64 answered with Question No. 51.

Questions (63)

Jennifer Whitmore

Question:

63. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if he will include a curb or ban on car idling in the new national clean air strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61344/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I recognise the correlation between transport-related air pollutant emissions and negative public health impacts, and that idling vehicles can contribute to these levels particularly in urban areas where it is more difficult for emissions to disperse. Among the best ways to reduce emissions from private vehicles across the road network as a whole, is to remove older more polluting vehicles from our streets, and to encourage a modal shift to sustainable travel options, including walking and cycling, and electric vehicles.

The interim report of the Urban Transport-Related Air Pollution Group, which was published earlier this year, made a number of recommendations on how to reduce vehicle emissions in our towns and cities and highlights some of the actions Local Authorities can take, including traffic flow management, and changes to speed limits. In addition, the Five Cities Traffic Demand Management Study published recently by the Department of Transport proposes a range of measures to combat overreliance on cars. The report also includes a toolkit that Local Authorities can use to help them to reduce emissions, tackle congestion, and improve air quality as well as the overall urban environment in our five major cities.

Further actions to reduce transport-related air pollutant emissions are being developed as part of the Clean Air Strategy, and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications continues to work in conjunction with the Department of Transport on these matters.

Question No. 64 answered with Question No. 51.

Climate Change Policy

Question No. 66 answered with Question No. 51.

Question No. 67 answered with Question No. 57.

Questions (65)

Mick Barry

Question:

65. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications when he will publish the annual transition statement for 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61470/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Annual Transition Statement (ATS), established under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015, served an important function in providing an overview of climate change mitigation and adaptation policy measures adopted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the effects of climate change in order to enable the achievement of the national transition objective.

The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021, significantly strengthens the statutory framework for governance of the climate challenge. The new framework ensures delivery of successive Climate Action Plans and Long-term Climate Strategies, supported by a system of carbon budgeting and sectoral targets with appropriate oversight by Government, the Oireachtas and a new Climate Change Advisory Council. Under the Act, Ministers will have to give account for their performance towards sectoral targets and actions before an Oireachtas Committee each year. This replaces the previous Annual Transition Statement process.

I will shortly publish the Annual Transition Statement for 2020, which is to set out information on developments in respect of 2019, as was required under the 2015 Act before it was amended.

Question No. 66 answered with Question No. 51.
Question No. 67 answered with Question No. 57.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Questions (68)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

68. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if the State is on track to meet the carbon reduction targets set out in the Programme for Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61413/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Climate ambition in the Programme for Government has been placed on a statutory footing through the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021, which was signed into law in July of this year. The Act commits Ireland to achieve a climate neutral economy by no later than 2050, and provides for a 51% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 2018 levels.

The significantly strengthened legally binding framework under the Act with clear targets and commitments set in law, including embedding a process of carbon budgeting and sectoral emissions ceilings, will help ensure that Ireland achieves its climate goals and obligations in the near and long-term. Establishing these requirements in legislation places a clear obligation on this and future governments for sustained climate action.

At EU level, the EU Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) sets binding emission reduction targets for Member States for the period 2021-2030. The current target for Ireland is a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. The Climate Action Plan 2019 set out the policies and measures that Ireland must take to meet this target and avoid any costs arising from not meeting the target. Our EU target is expected to increase through the European Commission's 'Fit for 55' package.

The recently published Climate Action Plan 2021 sets out the practical measures that we need to take to meet a higher-level ambition of reducing our emissions by 51% versus 2018 levels. The plan provides a detailed roadmap for meeting our climate ambition under the Act and sets out indicative ranges of emissions reductions for each sector of the economy. These ranges will become specific ceilings in the Climate Action Plan 2022, following the legal adoption of carbon budgets and sectoral emissions ceilings.

Monitoring of compliance with national and sectoral progress towards each carbon budget and sectoral emissions ceiling will be informed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual inventory and projection reports. To ensure greater scrutiny and accountability is provided, relevant Ministers will be required to give account to an Oireachtas Committee on progress in implementing the Climate Action Plan and adhering to the sector's emission ceiling for the associated carbon budget period.

North-South Interconnector

Questions (69, 117)

Matt Carthy

Question:

69. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if he will commission a full independent analysis of the feasibility and costs of developing the north-south interconnector via undergrounding technology. [61475/21]

View answer

Matt Carthy

Question:

117. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications when the announced review of the north-south interconnector will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61151/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 69 and 117 together.

The North-South Interconnector is critical to improving the efficient operation of the all-island Integrated Single Electricity Market and increasing security of electricity supply in Ireland and Northern Ireland. It will also facilitate the achievement of the goal to generate up to 80% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030. A resilient and well-connected energy infrastructure is vital for Ireland's economic well-being and the ability to respond to the future needs of energy consumers.

The option of undergrounding the North-South Interconnector has been comprehensively assessed on several occasions. Most recently, the key finding from the International Expert Commission's report of October 2018 was that an overhead line remains the most appropriate option for this critical electricity infrastructure.

Notwithstanding this, I decided to commission a further short review to assess if the overall finding from the 2018 report remains valid. The terms of reference for this study were published on my Department's website on 21 April. On 7 May, my Department initiated a procurement process to appoint an independent expert to undertake the review. International consultants were subsequently engaged and their work is well advanced at this stage. I expect the review will be completed shortly.

National Broadband Plan

Questions (70)

Thomas Gould

Question:

70. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the implementation of the National Broadband Plan in an area (details supplied). [61428/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

There are over 276,000 premises in County Cork of which over 80,000 are within the National Broadband Plan Intervention Area and will receive access to high speed broadband under the State led intervention to be delivered by National Broadband Ireland. Government investment in County Cork in the NBP will be in the order of €314 million.

I am advised by National Broadband Ireland that, some 30,728 premises in County Cork have been now surveyed. In total, over 282,000 premises in the Intervention Area across all counties have been surveyed or have surveys underway, with almost 150,000 premises under construction or complete. NBI has also advised that the first premises are connected in Cavan, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Monaghan and almost 35,000 premises are available to order and pre-order across 12 counties as of 3 December. This includes over 4,500 premises in County Cork.

Surveys are complete in County Cork in the Deployment Areas of Templemartin and Tallow. Surveying is underway in the Deployment Areas of Kanturk and Fermoy. Main build works are currently underway in the Deployment Areas of Midleton and Youghal and are complete in Carrigaline. I am advised that premises will be available for connection in the Midleton Deployment Area in the first half of 2022. This covers the areas of North Esk, Rougrane and Carbeytown.

Further details are available on specific areas within County Cork through the NBI website which provides a facility for people living within the intervention area to register their interest in being provided with deployment updates at www.nbi.ie. Individuals who register with this facility will receive regular updates on progress by NBI on delivering the network and specific updates related to their own premises as works commence. NBI has a dedicated email address, reps@nbi.ie, which can be used by Oireachtas members for specific queries. Given the scale and complexity of delivery of the new high speed broadband network under the NBP, I am advised that any dates provided by NBI on its website are based on the best available information at the time and may be subject to change.

Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) are a key element of the NBP providing high speed broadband in every county in advance of the roll out of the fibre to the home network. As of 3 December, 424 BCP sites have been installed by NBI and the high speed broadband service will be switched on in these locations through service provider contracts managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development for publicly accessible sites and the Department of Education for school BCPs. BCPs are installed in County Cork at Ballydaly Community Hall, Aubane Community Centre, Castletownkenneigh Community Centre, Mealagh Valley Community Centre, Lissavard Community Centre, Riverstick Community Centre, Bere Island Heritage Centre, Sherkin Island Community Hall, Coláiste Phobal Cléire, Whitechurch Community Centre, Clogagh Community Hall, Laharn Heritage Centre, Castlelyons Community Centre, Glash Community Centre, T.O. Park Labbamollaga, Ionadh Áise, The Old Schoolhouse, Inch Community Centre, Ballindangan Community Centre, Courtbrack Community Centre and Aghabullogue Community Centre. Further details can be found at nbi.ie/bcp-locations/.

Ballycroneen Naional School, Clogagh National School, Scoil Naisiunta Bhiorainn, Scoil Naisiunta Padraig Naofa, Templebrady National School, Shanbally National School, Ballygarvan National School, Scoil Naisiunta Fionan Na Reanna, Ringaskiddy Lower Harbour National School, Educate Together Carrigaline, Ballyheeda National School and Druimne National School have been installed by NBI for educational access. My Department continues to work with the Department of Education to prioritise schools with no high speed broadband, within the Intervention Area, for connection over the term of the NBP. In this regard, an acceleration of this aspect of the National Broadband Plan has been announced which will see some 679 primary schools connected to high speed broadband by 2022, well ahead of the original target delivery timeframe of 2026. Further details are available on the NBI website at nbi.ie/primary-schools-list/.

National Broadband Plan

Questions (71)

Alan Dillon

Question:

71. Deputy Alan Dillon asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the number of premises connected in County Mayo as part of the National Broadband Plan; the efforts being undertaken to ramp-up the speed of the roll-out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61492/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) State led Intervention will be delivered by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) under a contract to roll out a high speed and future proofed broadband network within the Intervention Area which covers 1.1 million people living and working in the over 554,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses and farms along some 679 schools.

Despite the unprecedented challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, National Broadband Ireland has made steady progress on delivery of the new high speed fibre broadband network under the National Broadband Plan with over 282,000 premises surveyed or with survey underway across all counties and almost 150,000 premises with build currently underway or complete. Almost 35,000 premises are available to order and pre-order across 12 counties as of 3 December. I am advised by NBI that, over 10,000 premises in County Mayo have been now surveyed. Surveys are complete in the Deployment Areas of Newport, Killadoon, and Carrowmorelacken. Surveys are ongoing in the Deployment area of Liscarney. I am further advised that pre build works are on going in the Deployment Areas of Castlebar and Athlone (in which over 2,100 premises are in County Mayo) with anticipated dates for connection in H1 and H2 of 2022 respectively.

Further details are available on specific areas within County Mayo through the NBI website which provides a facility for any premises within the intervention area to register their interest in being provided with deployment updates through its website www.nbi.ie. Individuals who register with this facility will receive regular updates on progress by NBI on delivering the network and specific updates related to their own premises as works commence. NBI has a dedicated email address, reps@nbi.ie, which can be used by Oireachtas members for specific queries. Given the scale and complexity of delivery of the new high speed broadband network under the NBP, I am advised that any dates provided by NBI on its website are based on the best available information at the time and may be subject to change.

In addition to the challenges to the delivery of the NBP due to the Covid-19 pandemic, NBI has faced a range of other challenges due to the sheer scale and complexity of rolling out fibre to the home in a rural environment. These include significant tree trimming to ensure cable can be placed on overhead poles, remediation of ducting that has been in place for many decades, the co-ordination of hundreds of contracting crews and addressing the many issues arising week on week which could not have been foreseen until the build crews commenced work on the ground. My Department has worked closely with NBI to put in place a remedial plan under the Contract. This plan addresses delays experienced by NBI, primarily arising as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and re-baselines milestones for 2021. Work is underway to re-baseline milestones for 2022 and beyond.

It remains the ambition of the Government to rollout the National Broadband Plan as quickly as possible. My Department continues to engage with NBI to explore the feasibility of accelerating aspects of the NBP rollout to establish the possibility of bringing forward premises which are currently scheduled in years 6 and 7 of the current plan to an earlier date. However, the primary focus must be on addressing the delays which have arisen and ensuring that the National Broadband Ireland build programme gets back on track and is building momentum month on month.

Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) are a key element of the NBP providing high speed broadband in every county in advance of the roll out of the fibre to the home network. As of 3 December 2021, 424 BCP sites have been installed by NBI and the high speed broadband service will be switched on in these locations through service provider contracts managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development for publicly accessible sites and the Department of Education for school BCPs. BCPs are installed in County Mayo at Clare Island Community Centre, Finny Community Centre, Islandeady Community Centre, Taugheen Community Centre, Bofeenaun Community Centre, Clogher Community Centre, Ardagh Community Centre, Cushlough Community Centre, Belderrig Community & Research Centre, Kilmovee Community Centre, Keel Community Centre, Killaser Community Centre, The Black Tom Freeman Sport and Community Amenities Centre and Clg Béal An Mhuirthead. Further details can be found at nbi.ie/bcp-locations/.

Scoil Néifinn, Midfield National School, Meelick More National School, Kinaffe National School, Gortskehy National School, Facefield National School, Errew National School, Cloghans National School, Shraigh National School, Rathbane National School, Rathnamagh National School, Dooagh National School, Valley National School, Dookinella National School, Roxboro National School, Cloonliffen National School, Tavraun Central National School and Saint Coleman's National School have been installed by NBI for educational access. My Department continues to work with the Department of Education to prioritise schools with no high speed broadband, within the Intervention Area, for connection over the term of the NBP. In this regard, an acceleration of this aspect of the National Broadband Plan was announced late last year which will see some 679 primary schools connected to high speed broadband by 2022, well ahead of the original target delivery timeframe of 2026. Further details are available on the NBI website at nbi.ie/primary-schools-list/.

Illegal Dumping

Question No. 73 answered with Question No. 50.

Questions (72, 84)

Thomas Gould

Question:

72. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the actions being undertaken by his Department to address the scourge of illegal dumping. [61429/21]

View answer

Niamh Smyth

Question:

84. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the initiatives that his Department has delivered in order to tackle rubbish, illegal dumping and fly-tipping; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61519/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 72 and 84 together.

The annual Anti-Dumping Initiative (ADI) was introduced in 2017 to encourage a collaborative approach between local authorities, communities, and other State Agencies to tackling the problem of illegal dumping. Delivery of the ADI is co-ordinated by the three Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities (WERLAs) and supported projects are selected based on their impact on four key criteria - prevention, abatement, enforcement, and awareness. Since its introduction, funding of over €9 million has been provided by my Department under the Initiative, which has supported the delivery of over 1,000 projects across all 31 local authorities. Full details of funding, broken down by local authority and individual project, for each of the years 2017-2020 are available on the gov.ie website at the following link:

www.gov.ie/en/publication/e27ac-anti-dumping-initiative/

A further €3m has been allocated to local authorities under the 2021 ADI. Payments are currently being processed and details will be made available on the gov.ie website when the process is complete. Allocations under the ADI for 2022 have yet to be finalised, but it is likely that a similar amount will be made available to local authorities in 2022 under the Initiative.

My Department also continues to invest significantly in the local authority waste enforcement network under the Local Authority Waste Enforcement Measures Grant Scheme, with the intention of maintaining a visible presence of waste enforcement personnel on the ground across the State. Over €7.7m was provided to local authorities under the scheme in 2021, in order to support the recruitment and retention of over 150 local authority waste enforcement staff across the country.

Question No. 73 answered with Question No. 50.

National Broadband Plan

Questions (74)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

74. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications when the National Broadband Plan will be rolled out across County Donegal by townland and yearly quarter; the number of premises connected under the plan to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61503/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) State led Intervention will be delivered by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) under a contract to roll out a high speed and future proofed broadband network within the Intervention Area which covers 1.1 million people living and working in the over 554,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses and farms along some 679 schools. The NBP roll out is currently a 7 year plan under the contract and deployment is due to be complete by the end of 2026.

There are over 32,000 premises in the Intervention Area in County Donegal that will receive access to high speed broadband under the NBP and Government investment in Donegal under the NBP will be in the order of €128 million. I am advised by NBI that, some 14,151 premises in County Donegal have now been surveyed. Surveys are complete in County Donegal in the Deployment Areas of Creeslough, Tamney, Bunbeg and St Johnston. Surveying is the first step towards delivering the new fibre network and informs design solutions for provision of the fibre network. I am further advised that pre-build works are underway in the Deployment Area of Letterkenny with anticipated dates for connection in H2 of 2022. Given the nature of the build and ongoing work to address the impact of Covid-19 related delays, it is not possible to give specific details on a per townland and quarter year basis out to 2026.

Further details are available on specific areas within County Donegal through the NBI website which provides a facility for any premises within the intervention area to register their interest in being provided with deployment updates through its website www.nbi.ie. Individuals who register with this facility will receive regular updates on progress by NBI on delivering the network and specific updates related to their own premises as works commence. NBI has a dedicated email address, reps@nbi.ie, which can be used by Oireachtas members for specific queries. Given the scale and complexity of delivery of the new high speed broadband network under the NBP, I am advised that any dates provided by NBI on its website are based on the best available information at the time and may be subject to change.

In addition to the challenges to the delivery of the NBP due to the Covid-19 pandemic, NBI has faced a range of other challenges due to the sheer scale and complexity of rolling out fibre to the home in a rural environment. These include significant tree trimming to ensure cable can be placed on overhead poles, remediation of ducting that has been in place for many decades, the co-ordination of hundreds of contracting crews and addressing the many issues arising week on week which could not have been foreseen until the build crews commenced work on the ground. My Department has worked closely with NBI to put in place a remedial plan under the Contract. This plan addresses delays experienced by NBI, primarily arising as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and re-baselines milestones for 2021. Work is underway to re-baseline milestones for 2022 and beyond.

Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) are a key element of the NBP providing high speed broadband in every county in advance of the roll out of the fibre to the home network. As of 3 December, 424 BCP sites have been installed by NBI and the high speed broadband service will be switched on in these locations through service provider contracts managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development for publicly accessible sites and the Department of Education for school BCPs. BCPs are connected at Dunree Military Museum, Ray Community Centre, Glenveagh National Park, Cranford Coole Community Centre, Rathlin Knitwear, The Gweedore Theatre, Leghowney Community Centre, Sliabh Liag Ranger Station, Tory Co-Op, Malin Head and Meenreagh Hostel. Further details can be found at nbi.ie/bcp-locations/.

Doaghbeg National School, Scoil Naoimh Colum, Drumfad National School, Scoil Naomh Cholmcille and Urbalreagh National School have been installed by NBI for educational access. My Department continues to work with the Department of Education to prioritise schools with no high speed broadband, within the Intervention Area, for connection over the term of the NBP. In this regard, an acceleration of this aspect of the National Broadband Plan was announced in December which will see some 679 primary schools connected to high speed broadband by 2022, well ahead of the original target delivery timeframe of 2026. Further details are available on the NBI website at nbi.ie/primary-schools-list.

Climate Action Plan

Questions (75)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

75. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the amount in the Climate Action Fund; if the recently announced reduction in the National Oil Reserves Agency levy will reduce projected revenues raised for the Fund; if so, the extent to which; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61421/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The recently published Climate Action Plan 2021 commits to incrementally raising the proportion of biofuels blended into petrol and diesel between now and 2030. I recently announced that the next increase in the rate of supply of biofuels blended in diesel and petrol will take effect from 1 January 2022.

Interim measures are to be put in place to help with any fuel price impact caused by this increase, and having regard to the impacts of the recent global increases in energy and fuel prices. These measures will involve a combination of a 1 cent per litre reduction in the National Oil Reserves Agency’s (NORA) levy and a 1 cent per litre reduction in excise.

The change to the NORA levy is expected to result in reduced revenues into the Climate Action Fund in the range of €30 to €35 million in 2022. The current balance in the Climate Action Fund is just over €49 million.

Departmental Strategies

Questions (76)

Denis Naughten

Question:

76. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the current status of Ireland's first clean air strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61144/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

My Department is working to finalise Ireland’s first National Clean Air Strategy for public consultation. While it was originally my intention to launch the Strategy alongside a public consultation on a new solid fuel regulation for Ireland, recognising the urgency of taking action to address the health impacts of domestic solid fuel burning, I chose to progress the development of enhanced solid fuel regulations in advance.

These regulations will be finalised in the coming months to be in place for the 2022/23 heating season and will be a central element of the Strategy which will also identify and promote the integrated actions across Government required to reduce air pollution. I intend to open the public consultation on the Strategy in the near future.

Waste Management

Questions (77)

Holly Cairns

Question:

77. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the way his Department will support persons with long-term incontinence with respect to the disposal of medical incontinence wear; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61536/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I refer to the reply to Question No 60 of 9 September 2021. The position is unchanged.

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