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Dublin, Ireland – The Irish government has announced a new plan to tackle the issue of climate change. The Climate Action Plan 2019 aims to make Ireland carbon neutral by 2050. The plan includes over 180 actions across all sectors of the economy, including transport, agriculture, energy, and buildings.

The plan was launched by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton. Varadkar called the plan “one of the most ambitious plans of its kind in the world.” He added that “climate change is the defining challenge of our generation, and Ireland is stepping up to the plate.”

The plan includes a number of key targets. By 2030, Ireland aims to have 70% of its electricity generated from renewable sources. The government also aims to retrofit 500,000 homes to improve energy efficiency, and to increase the number of electric vehicles on Irish roads to 950,000.

The agriculture sector, which is responsible for around one third of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions, will also be targeted. The government aims to reduce emissions from agriculture by 10% by 2030, through measures such as improving land management and increasing the use of low-emission fertilisers.

The plan has been welcomed by environmental groups, but some have criticised it for not going far enough. Friends of the Earth Ireland called the plan “a step in the right direction, but it falls short of the transformative action we need.”

The plan has also been criticised by the opposition party Sinn Féin. The party’s spokesperson on climate action, Brian Stanley, said that the plan “lacks ambition and urgency.” He added that “2050 is too far away – we need to be taking action now.”

The government has said that the plan will be funded through a combination of public and private investment. The plan includes a commitment to increase public spending on climate action to €500 million per year by 2021.

The plan has been welcomed by businesses in the renewable energy sector. The Irish Wind Energy Association said that the plan “provides a clear roadmap for the development of renewable energy in Ireland.” The association added that “it will help to attract investment and create jobs in the sector.”

The Climate Action Plan 2019 is part of Ireland’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change. Under the agreement, Ireland has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.

The plan has been described as a “whole-of-government” approach to tackling climate change. It includes actions across all sectors of the economy, and involves a number of government departments and agencies.

The plan has also been praised for its focus on public engagement. The government has said that it will work with communities and stakeholders to ensure that the plan is implemented effectively.

Overall, the Climate Action Plan 2019 represents a significant step forward in Ireland’s efforts to tackle climate change. While there are criticisms that the plan does not go far enough, it is a clear indication of the government’s commitment to the issue. The plan will require significant investment and effort, but if successful, it could help to ensure a more sustainable future for Ireland and the planet as a whole.

Martin Reid

Martin Reid

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