Title: Irish Government Announces New Measures to Tackle Climate Change
Dublin, Ireland – In a bid to address the urgent issue of climate change, the Irish government has unveiled a comprehensive plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a low-carbon economy. The ambitious measures, announced by Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Micheál Martin, demonstrate Ireland’s commitment to combatting climate change and meeting its obligations under the Paris Agreement.
One of the key aspects of the plan is the target to achieve a 51% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 2018 levels. This target goes beyond the European Union’s goal of a 40% reduction and aligns with the more ambitious objectives set out in the Paris Agreement. The plan also includes a commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, in line with global efforts to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
To achieve these targets, the government will implement a range of measures across various sectors. In the energy sector, Ireland aims to increase the share of renewable energy in electricity generation to 70% by 2030. This will involve significant investment in wind, solar, and offshore wind projects, as well as the development of a new offshore renewable energy strategy.
The transport sector, which accounts for a significant portion of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions, will also undergo significant changes. The government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, incentivize the uptake of electric vehicles, and invest in public transport infrastructure. Additionally, funding will be provided for cycling and walking infrastructure to encourage active modes of transportation.
The agricultural sector, another major contributor to Ireland’s emissions, will be supported in transitioning to more sustainable practices. The plan includes measures to promote carbon-efficient farming, increase afforestation, and improve soil health. The government will also establish a new Agri-Food and Forestry Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan to help the sector adapt to the challenges posed by climate change.
In order to ensure a just transition, the government will establish a Climate Action Delivery Board to oversee the implementation of the plan and monitor progress. This board will engage with stakeholders from various sectors, including industry, agriculture, and civil society, to ensure a collaborative approach and address any potential challenges.
The plan also recognizes the need for significant investment in climate action. The government has committed to providing at least €108 billion in public and private investment over the next decade to support the transition to a low-carbon economy. This funding will be used to finance renewable energy projects, retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency, and supporting research and innovation in clean technologies.
The announcement of these measures has been met with a mixed response. Environmental groups have praised the government’s commitment to ambitious targets and the inclusion of specific actions across sectors. However, some have expressed concerns about the timeline for implementation and the level of investment, calling for more immediate and substantial action.
The government, on the other hand, believes that the plan strikes the right balance between ambition and feasibility. Taoiseach Micheál Martin has emphasized the importance of a just transition, ensuring that no one is left behind in the shift to a low-carbon economy. He has also highlighted the economic opportunities that arise from investing in clean technologies and the potential for job creation in green industries.
As Ireland takes these significant steps towards addressing climate change, it joins a global movement of countries committed to reducing emissions and building a sustainable future. The success of the plan will depend on effective implementation, ongoing monitoring, and continued collaboration between government, industry, and civil society. Only by working together can Ireland and the world overcome the challenges of climate change and create a better future for all.
– Irish Government – Climate Action Plan 2021
– European Commission – European Green Deal