Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Committee on Budgetary Oversight

Budgetary and Fiscal Implications of Climate Change: Discussion

Professor John FitzGerald:

The Deputy is right that it would be nice to have costings. Regarding implementation, what needs to be done needs to be spelled out. Considering the macroeconomic impacts and investment by people in electric cars, as is assumed will occur, there may not be a net increase in expenditure. The argument is that it will save people money if they buy electric cars over the next decade because they will be the cheaper option. At the moment, they are not.

With regard to the investment in retrofitting houses, there is a need to spell out how the programme is going to be ramped up. It is going to be a gradual process. It is not spelled out. An essential ingredient in the plan is that it recognises that the carbon price needs to be between €30 and €80 per tonne to make it worthwhile to undertake the investment. The size of the investment could be large. I refer to how it is scheduled. Regarding the public sector's role in this, we have suggested that whatever resources the State has, it should concentrate first on local authority housing as a method of ramping up the capacity in the building and construction sector. It would have significant side benefits. It is the landlord's job, not the tenant's, to upgrade dwellings. The work has not been done on determining how much is available for this and on how one would ramp it up. The Deputy is identifying an issue that needs further work.