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 Marcella Corcoran KennedyMarcella Corcoran Kennedy (Offaly, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank Ms Donnelly for her interesting presentation. If we were to emulate any country in Europe, which one should it be? Denmark, for example, aims to be carbon neutral by 2050. That is an ambitious target and it appears to be on course to achieve it. Does Ms Donnelly have any thoughts on that?

The Tipperary Energy Agency has been getting a great deal of attention with regard to the local authorities and linking communities. Does Ms Donnelly think that the model of the Tipperary Energy Agency linking with a local authority should be replicated across the country? It strikes me that there is a level of expertise there which might not exist in local authorities. That type of advice would be particularly useful in terms of the type of work local authorities will require in retrofitting their housing stock and looking at new planning applications if the regulations are ever introduced.

With regard to getting information to communities, does Ms Donnelly think that the best way to link into communities where, for example, there are many community groups such as community development groups, would be through the local community development committees, LCDCs, or the public participation networks, PPNs? They might be a good way of getting communities to think about the types of projects Ms Donnelly referred to earlier in terms of developing their own projects and so forth.

We often hear the argument that wind energy is only generated when the wind blows and we are asked what we will do after that. Does Ms Donnelly have any views on the battery storage flywheel technology? I am interested in that because we have one in County Offaly. It is a most interesting technology.

My other question is on methane. Should it be in the emissions trading scheme, ETS? Could we be doing more in agriculture with regard to the sequestration that might be possible there?


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