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Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Does Dr. Lindblom wish to contribute?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I thank Dr. Lindblom. I might add to Deputy Bruton’s question on the timeline of the directive. Perhaps Dr. Lindblom can point to countries that are getting ahead of the directive and we should be looking to emulate.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I thank Ms Lindblom for that and Deputy Bruton for his questions. I move now to Deputy Whitmore, who is also joining us from her office. Is that correct?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: On the second question, none of our speakers is speaking for the SEAI, but it is a very good question that we should put to it-----

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Okay.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I would like to interject on that and the model. It is the full built environment sector, so it includes buildings, roadway construction and everything else as well.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: There was a question on the performance gap that Dr. Kinnane identified, which was an interesting and worrying point in his statement that Deputy Whitmore referenced.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I will pick up on the point raised by Mr. Barry regarding boilers. A condensing boiler may be installed to bring a house up to a particular BER level, but that might not be the correct decision for someone who may want to go the whole way eventually. Where are we at in respect of regulation to phase out fossil fuel boilers? There is something in the climate action plan about it, if I am...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: There are two sides to it: the phasing out of the sale of fossil fuel boilers and the installation of fossil fuel boilers in new homes. Are we still building new homes that have fossil fuel boilers in them?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Certainly, some important points have been made. When we do our report, we will try to capture those critical points as best we can. I call on Deputy Christopher O'Sullivan.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Sadly, the Deputy only mentioned Cork once. We are getting somewhere.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Does part B relate to fire safety?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I will move to Deputy Cronin and we will take Senator Higgins's questions when she arrives in a few minutes.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I can hear Deputy Cronin.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: It is a very interesting question that may fall between different Departments in that one part relates to housing, planning and local government, while energy and emissions relate to environment and climate. Is it the case that it is falling between stools?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: That is a very interesting point. It is a broader debate about how we reduce emissions, both operational and embodied, and achieving net zero. It has previously been suggested at the committee that the Department of the Taoiseach should be the lead body overseeing much of this. Otherwise Departments of equal status and Ministers will vie with each other and then there will not be joined-up...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I thank Dr. Kinnane. Did the Deputy have a question for Dr. Lindblom as well?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I thank Dr. Lindblom and Deputy Cronin. I am going to move to Deputy Bríd Smith as she must leave shortly. I will return then to Senator Higgins.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I think the first question is for Mr. Barry.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: New Retrofitting Plan and the Built Environment: Discussion (26 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Does Dr. Kinnane have any comment to make on Town Centre First as a policy? I know it has only kicked off but it is an effort to address the point Dr. Kinnane has just made.

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