My Department has been assigned direct responsibility for the implementation of 18 steps across 12 separate actions under the Government’s climate action plan. These actions are due for completion in 2019 and 2020.
To give the Deputy a flavour of the actions already completed, my Department is looking at reforms to the public spending code that will require a more realistic cost of carbon to be used in all Government investment appraisals. A circular has been issued requiring all public bodies to consider the use of green criteria in how they purchase goods and services. I had a meeting about this yesterday afternoon. Additional carbon tax revenues have been ring-fenced for climate expenditure in 2020.
Before the end of the year, my Department will introduce a carbon offsetting regime for all Government air travel, issue guidance for Departments on the correct application of the public spending code and undertake an examination of the scope for funding climate initiatives through EU Structural Funds. My Department is also listed as a key stakeholder in the delivery of a further 20 steps across 11 actions in the climate action plan.
Regarding the net cost of the plan, the Government has agreed that the cumulative Exchequer costs of the commitments included in the climate action plan will be delivered though multi-annual ceilings and the funding commitments made in the national development plan. It includes more than €30 billion in investment to fund the transition to a low carbon and climate resilient society and initiatives in sustainable mobility. To complement this funding, the revenue raised from the €6 increase in the carbon tax in 2020 will be ring-fenced to fund climate measures next year. It will deliver an additional €90 million.