Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action

Third Report of the Citizens' Assembly: Engagement with Ms Marie Donnelly

2:00 pm

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank Ms Donnelly for her very comprehensive presentation and the documentation she provided both to this committee and previously to the Citizens' Assembly.

In terms of European norms, does the quality of Irish retrofitting match that of other European countries? There are different shades of retrofitting. Will Ms Donnelly comment on the quality of retrofitting in Ireland and what we are doing here? I echo a question asked by Deputy Butler. How can we aggressively enhance the current level of retrofitting, on which we are far behind as Ms Donnelly noted in her submission?

What have other countries done to enhance the energy efficiency of public buildings? Ms Donnelly referred to the Department of Education and Skills and its technical guidance. It is shocking that even now our new schools and buildings are not being built for the future in the context of climate change.

That brings me to new homes. There is an issue with supply. How do we balance that with this committee's concerns about climate change? What have other countries done to address issues around housing while also providing future-proofing for new homes? How can we advise on achieving that balance? We should not build new homes that we will need to retrofit in ten years' time. That is not a good economic model.

Germany, under Angela Merkel, has aggressively embraced renewable energy. Can Ms Donnelly outline any lessons from there?


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