Following domestic and international criticism of Ireland’s climate change record, the Irish Government has published its draft climate change action plan in a bid to tackle this global issue. Announced by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton, the report centres on many different initiatives that the Government will focus on including renewable energy, agriculture, transport and construction.
The plan sets a target to hit at least 55% renewable electricity by 2030 with an aim to back a diversified energy system that is likely to include off shore wind , solar and biomass in addition to onshore wind. This includes the removal of peat and coal for electricity generation. The plan envisages a reduction of 22 million tonnes of CO2, which accounts for one third of the emissions reduction the country needs to achieve climate change.
On transport, the Government expects that electric vehicles will make up 20pc of Ireland’s transport fleet in the coming decade, with between 40pc and 50pc of homes having high energy ratings through new builds and retrofitting.
Under EU law, Ireland was required to produce a draft National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) to chart how the country would grow sustainably in the decades to come. Following approval by the cabinet, the draft plan will be submitted to the European Commission for consideration. A final plan needs to be submitted by end of 2019.
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