Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Ceisteanna (235, 236, 242, 243)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

235. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which he has identified the primary issues and actions required to address the issue of climate change with particular reference to the need to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, encourage the use of motor vehicles not dependent on fossil fuels and-or other measures likely to address the issues in the short to medium term and in line with EU targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14513/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

236. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which he, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has identified the most likely and realistic actions to be taken to reduce carbon emissions in line with EU targets and without negatively affecting the agrifood sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14514/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

242. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the most obvious and important steps he is most likely to undertake to achieve maximum beneficial effect in the context of carbon reduction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14520/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

243. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the measures he has taken or plans to take to address the issues identified by climatologists as being the most relevant and necessary to address in the short to medium term; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14521/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 235, 236, 242 and 243 together.

As the Deputy will be aware, I am currently preparing an All of Government Climate Plan which will set out the actions which must be taken to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. I am working with colleagues across Government to develop new initiatives in electricity, transport, heat, and agriculture, as well as a range of other sectors.

The new plan will have a strong focus on implementation, including actions with specific timelines and steps needed to achieve each action, assigning clear lines of responsibility for delivery. The new plan will also be informed by successful approaches in other countries.

The Plan will build on the policy framework, measures and actions set out in both the National Mitigation Plan and the National Development Plan and is to be completed in April.

My Department is working closely with the Departments of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Transport, Tourism and Sport in preparing the Plan.

The Plan will emphasise the significant and positive contribution that agriculture can make to climate mitigation, including through measures to reduce emissions on-farm, the promotion of sequestration through increase rates of afforestation, and the substitution of fossil fuels through the production of renewable energy feedstock.

A number of steps have already been taken to promote the development of low carbon transport alternatives, including a comprehensive support package to promote the uptake of electric vehicles, increasing the rate of the biofuels obligation, and support from the Climate Action Fund of up to €10 million to continue the rollout of the electric vehicle charging network and a further €8.5 million to support the development of renewable gas infrastructure and vehicles. Identification of additional measures to further decarbonise the transport sector is being considered as part of the All of Government Plan. The Plan will prioritise further ambition in these areas as well as placing emphasis on the role of modal shift measures in reducing transport emissions.