I propose to take Questions Nos. 14 and 17 together.
I suggest that the Deputy should do the lotto this evening. Questions Nos. 14 and 17 are being taken together, so she is doing quite well today.
The Paris Agreement aims to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2° C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels. It also aims to increase the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience.
The agreement puts in place the necessary framework for all countries to take ambitious action, as well as providing for transparency to ensure that all countries can have confidence in each other’s efforts. The agreement aims to tackle 95% of global emissions through 188 intended nationally-determined contributions, INDCs, which will set out how parties intend to meet their own emission reduction targets. The Paris Agreement itself does not set specific targets for CO2 emissions. Ireland will contribute to the agreement via the INDC tabled by the EU on behalf of its member states, which commits the EU to a 40% reduction in EU-wide emissions by 2030 compared with 1990. The specific details of the contribution to be made by each member state to this overall ambition remains to be finalised and Ireland is currently examining proposals made by the European Commission in this regard.
The extent of the challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the Paris Agreement and other international commitments, is well understood by the Government, as reflected in the national policy position on climate action and low carbon development, published in April 2014, and now underpinned by the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015, which was enacted in December of last year. The national policy position provides a high-level policy direction for the adoption and implementation by Government of plans to enable the State to move to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy by 2050. Statutory authority for the plans is set out in the Act.
In accordance with section 4 of the Act, and in line with responsibilities assigned to me as Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, I intend to make a draft national mitigation plan available for public consultation by the end of the year followed by submission of a final plan to Government for approval at the latest by June 2017. The preparation of the national mitigation plan is statutorily designed to be a whole-of-Government approach to tackling greenhouse gas emissions. In particular, Ministers with responsibility for the largest-emitting sectors, namely, agriculture, transport, electricity and the built environment, are required by Government to develop sectoral mitigation measures for inclusion in the plan.
A key element of the development process of the national mitigation plan is the identification of the most cost-effective measures with the optimal mitigation potential, which safeguard Ireland’s competitiveness and ideally support sustainable economic growth. Work is ongoing on this complex task by all relevant Departments and will culminate in a master list of potential measures being produced, from which the most appropriate measures will be selected for inclusion in the national mitigation plan. As this process is yet to be finalised, detailed costings are currently unavailable. In recognising the whole-of-Government approach under way, it is noted that the cyclical process of preparing appropriate policies and measures for both 2020 and 2030 will require a range of budgetary measures across a range of relevant Government Departments over the period concerned.
My Department has received an allocation of €100 million for energy projects in the Estimates for 2017, the bulk of which will be allocated to energy efficiency and renewable energy, which represents an increase of 35% on last year's allocation. My Department will target the upgrading of up to 30,000 homes in 2017 that will, together with the €22 million retrofitting fund announced by my colleague, the Minister, Deputy Coveney, for local authority dwellings, have a significant impact on reducing carbon emissions as well as supporting the creation of jobs in the sector. About 4% of the total housing stock will be upgraded in 2017.