Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Ceisteanna (475)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

475. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of licences for oil and gas exploration issued in each of the past five years; if oil and gas exploration will be phased out in the Irish and Celtic Sea; if so, the date from which; and if no further oil exploration licenses will be available in the Atlantic sea. [39792/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The number of Licensing Options and Exploration Licences for oil and gas exploration granted over the last five years is outlined in the following table:

Year

Licensing Options and Exploration Licences Issued

2015

1

2016

34

2017

3

2018

12

2019

3

The Taoiseach and the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment requested advice from the Climate Change Advisory Council on what the future of oil and natural gas offshore exploration and recovery should be in the context of the newly published Climate Action Plan. In responding, the Council noted that the Government’s Climate Action Plan envisages a major shift away from oil combustion within heat and transport sectors towards renewables in the coming decade. Therefore, the Council advises that the exploration for, and recovery of new offshore oil reserves is not compatible with a low carbon transition. The Council have further advised that the continued exploration for, and extraction of new offshore natural gas reserves can be consistent with a low carbon transition. On 23 September the Taoiseach and the Minister stated that this advice is accepted and will be acted upon. The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment will bring proposals to Government shortly setting out the next steps in terms of how this advice will be implemented.

Question No. 476 answered with Question No. 466.