The Climate Action Plan sets out, for the first time, how Ireland can reach its 2030 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and also puts Ireland on the right trajectory towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Plan has been informed by the work of the Citizens’ Assembly and the All Party Committee on Climate Action.
The Plan sets out over 180 actions, together with over 600 sub-actions, and embraces every relevant sector: electricity, enterprise, housing, heating, transport, agriculture, waste and the public sector.
The plan has a strong focus on implementation, with clear timelines and steps needed to achieve each action, assigning clear lines of responsibility for delivery. A Climate Action Delivery Board has been established and will hold each department and public body accountable for the delivery of actions set out in the plan.
Amongst the ambitious actions which are being pursued under this plan are:
- Move to 70% renewable electricity by 2030;
- Deliver a new Retrofit Plan to retrofit 500,000 homes, with large groups of houses being retrofitted by the same contractor to reduce costs, underpinned by smart finance options, and easy pay back methods;
- Deliver an intensive programme of retrofitting to install 400,000 heat pumps in homes and businesses;
- Bring 950,000 electric vehicles onto our roads and deliver a nationwide charging network;
- Eliminate non-recyclable plastic and impose higher fees on the production of materials which are difficult to recycle, and implement measures to ban single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks and cotton buds;
- Establish a new micro-generation scheme, allowing homeowners to generate their own electricity and sell what they don’t use back to the national grid; and
- Every public body to be given a climate action mandate.
The publication of the first progress report on 31 October 2019 demonstrates robust delivery of the actions set out in the Plan. A completion rate of 85% has been achieved, incorporating 149 measures across sectors. The Climate Action Delivery Board will continue to monitor progress and identify challenges to delivering the remaining actions not yet achieved.
I am confident that the Climate Action Plan will ensure Ireland meets the multi-faceted challenges that climate change presents both at home and abroad, and will contribute to the global effort to lower emissions and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.