Radical measures outlined in Government Climate Change document

Jun 11, 2019

Facing a hefty bill as a result of failure to meet EU climate change targets, and the recent Green wave evidenced in the Local and European elections the Irish Government is coming under increasing pressure to take action on climate change. A draft version of the Whole of Government Plan to Tackle Climate Disruption outlines significant measures to be taken to tackle climate change. The Minister for Climate Action, Richard Bruton has stated the plan would be a platform for transformation of the Irish economy and society with an aim to rapidly decarbonise how we live and work.

The plan outlines a new commitment that 70% of Irish electricity will come from renewable sources by 2030. However, the core of the plan is a promise to increase carbon tax from €20 to €80 per tonne by 2030. It is expected to be the most successful way in encouraging behavioural change and reducing carbon pollution caused by burning fossil fuels. Of course, this is all dependent on securing public buy-in.

A number of measures included in the plan will have an impact on the construction and engineering sectors. For example, included in the plan is a proposal to ban the installation of gas and oil boilers in new homes within three and six years respectively. The report also suggests potentially phasing out the use of fossil fuel heating systems in all homes within six years, while suggested changes to building regulations would compel all homes undergoing “major renovation” to bring the structure up to a minimum BER B2 rating. Furthermore, all non-residential buildings with 10 spaces or more will be obliged to install at least one charging point for electric cars by 2025.     

Other measures outlined in the plan include “climate proofing” all government policies, spending and projects and setting strict carbon budgets for all sectors.

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