Thursday, 24 January 2019

Ceisteanna (22)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

22. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which Ireland's climate goals and ambition to be a world leader on climate change can be helped by potential approval for drilling off the coast for oil or gas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3307/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is well understood by Government and is reflected in national climate action and energy policy which seeks to balance the competing aspects of sustainability, competitiveness and security of supply. Ireland will, within the EU and UN climate frameworks, pursue and achieve a transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy, underpinned by a secure and competitive energy supply in the period to 2050.In recognition of this challenge, Minister Bruton is currently preparing an All of Government Plan which will set out the actions that must be taken to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. It will have a strong focus on implementation, including clear timelines and steps needed to achieve each action, assigning clear lines of responsibility for delivery. This Plan will develop new initiatives across electricity, transport, heat, agriculture and other relevant sectors, building on the previous actions taken by Government, including in the National Mitigation Plan and the National Development Plan, and is to be completed early this year. The Government has made a clear commitment and plan to decarbonise as outlined in both the National Mitigation Plan and the Energy White Paper “Ireland's Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future 2015-2030”. Prohibition of exploration for petroleum will do nothing to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and will make Ireland 100% dependent on imports for our fossil fuel needs in the future, when we know that Ireland’s indigenous production at Corrib will decline and Kinsale is approaching its end of life. In a European context, the UK, Norway, and Denmark, as well as Ireland, continue to explore and produce natural gas and oil to help meet a part of Europe’s future energy needs, and reduce Europe's energy imports from Russia and the Middle East, while Europe plays a leading role globally in the transition to a low carbon future.