Climate Action Plan will prove "difficult" for some, says Taoiseach 2 months ago

Climate Action Plan will prove "difficult" for some, says Taoiseach

"It will be challenging but for the sake of our children and for the generations to come, we must confront the reality we now face."

The Government has published its 2021 Climate Action Plan, which sets out Ireland's aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create a cleaner, greener society and protect the public from the "devastating consequences" of climate change.

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The plan follows the Climate Act 2021, which commits Ireland to a legally binding target of reducing emissions by 2030 to 51% below 2018 levels and climate neutrality by 2050.

Speaking alongside the publication of the plan, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that while various elements of it will be debated, there is "no debate" on the requirement for urgent action, adding: "Failure to act now is not an option."

"In terms of our public health and our overall quality of life, the plan we are publishing today has the potential to be truly transformative," he said.

"For some, it will be difficult, but the simple truth is that if we delay any further we will face greater costs and be able to seize fewer opportunities.

"Yes, it will be challenging but for the sake of our children and for the generations to come, we must confront the reality we now face.

"We will live up to the responsibility that we have to our children and to those yet to be born... We will do the right thing."

The 208-page document sets out indicative ranges of emissions reductions for each sector of the economy, as well as the actions needed to deliver on Ireland's climate targets.

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As part of this, the electricity sector must reduce emissions by 62 to 81% by 2030, while agriculture must record a 22 to 30% drop in the emissions it produces.

On top of this, the plan aims to increase the proportion of renewable electricity to up to 80% by 2030, a raise from 2019's goal of 70%, including an increased target of up to five Gigawatts of offshore wind.

The Government also states it will accelerate the pace of Electric Vehicle (EV) take-up, to reach almost one million EVs in the private transport fleet by 2030.

"We will also increase public transport and rail and bus electrification, including 1,500 electric buses and better rural links," a statement on the Government's website reads.

As for farming, Government says there will be a reduction in chemical nitrogen and more targeted use of fertiliser, as well as measures to improve the genetics of the country's herds in order to reduce emissions and improve productivity.

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Farmers will be incentivised to make these changes and there will be new income streams in areas, such as the generation of renewable energy.

The publication of the plan comes days after the Taoiseach made his address to the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, where he said he will do everything in his power to make sure there will be a "worthwhile future" for young people to inherit.

You can view the full outline of the Climate Action Plan here.

Main image via Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

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