Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Climate Action and Low Carbon Development: Statements
The terms of reference of the security and sustainability review have not been finalised. We have sought input from our agencies, such as EirGrid, in order that we can understand the concerns before setting the terms. Contrary to what was stated earlier, it is in recognition of the concerns raised, such as in respect of LNG, that we want to ensure it will be assessed. I have committed that we will not support an LNG project until we are content that the sustainability and security review has been dealt with.
The petroleum review was published on foot of our decision to stop exploring for oil. The Cabinet requested that the policy paper be put together in that context to make clear what sorts of licences could be issued. It was endorsed by Cabinet and seeks to give clarity because we want gas to continue to be explored in our waters, just as we want offshore wind facilities to be developed in our waters, and the policy references both measures.
I will have to revert to the Deputy with a date on the NECP, which is a work in progress.
Emission reduction pathways for each sector are already set out in the climate plan. The issue is that if there is enhanced ambition, such as to 2050, there will be more work to do. We have committed that three five-year carbon budgets will be presented next year, which will then have to be disaggregated for each of the sectors. There will be a hard and fast climate budget within a range, although it will not be dramatically different from what is in the plan. It will be a similar type of model and the only difference will be that it will be enshrined in law. I refer not to the individual ranges but to the five-year budget as a whole.