Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 11 June 2019
Committee on Budgetary Oversight
Fiscal Assessment Report: Irish Fiscal Advisory Council
An advantage of the "Green New Deal" is that it may involve substantial private financing and help from the European Investment Bank and others that may give us the necessary vehicles if we are fiscally constrained.
I accept Mr. Coffey's agnosticism on spending priorities. I was impressed that, in one of his previous meetings with us, he said that one of the risks facing the economy is the cost of meeting our climate emissions reductions if we did not make real emissions change. He said that the scale of the risk of that was large and that the impact was also large. The national development plan which was agreed last June had no climate assessment done whatsoever, as we have since discovered. The modelling that the Oireachtas joint committee did of the system to see what it would deliver showed that it would only deliver one third of the emissions reductions that we need. In those circumstances, we are facing a fiscal cost of €200 million for next year already. In the medium term, we could be looking at a cost of €600 million to more than €1 billion each year. Have the witnesses further assessed the risk of that? Have they included it in their mid-term projections, given that our national development plan is completely unfit for purpose and has to change? The financial risks if we do not do that are increasingly clear.