My Department published its Statement of Strategy this year which sets out our five strategic goals in line with the Programme for Government and our long-term vision of a climate neutral, sustainable and digitally connected Ireland. The five strategic goals are complemented by a broader list of deliverables for the Department to achieve in 2021. All of the deliverables identified for the first half of the year are being progressed. However, COVID-19 has had and will continue to have an impact on delivery in 2021 and engagement is ongoing across the Department and with our strategic partners to recover and to accelerate activity where possible.
The publication of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021 underpins our goal to be a leader in climate action. Its enactment will set Ireland on the pathway to a net-zero emissions future no later than 2050, and to a 51% reduction in emissions by 2030.
We continue to make progress to meet the Government’s commitment to deliver 70% of Ireland’s electricity by 2030 from renewable sources – public consultations on programmes such as the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme, the Microgeneration Support Scheme and the Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme have recently closed and the responses are now being analysed.
The protection and restoration of our environment through sustainable resource use is delivered through policy initiatives such as the draft National Strategy for Ireland to transition to a Circular Economy which was published in April and the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy published last year.
My Department is delivering world-class connectivity and communications through the National Broadband Plan – design work is complete or ongoing in target townlands across every county with 220,000 premises surveyed and 317 Broadband Connection Point installed as of 27 May.