Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
1016. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the package of measures available to SMEs and other commercial businesses to mitigate against greenhouse gas emissions. [3494/20]
The Government's Climate Action Plan published in June 2019 sets out, for the first time, how Ireland can reach its 2030 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also put Ireland on the right trajectory towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The enterprise sector will play a pivotal role in our ability to meet these targets. The Climate Action Plan establishes ambitious targets for the enterprise sector and commits to a range of actions which will reduce the sector’s emissions.
A strong carbon price will drive decarbonisation, with the EU Emissions Trading System providing this for the majority of the enterprise sector’s emissions (c. 68%), with carbon tax providing a price signal for the sector's non-ETS emissions.
Actions and measures in the Climate Action Plan which develop our energy system will directly impact the decarbonisation of our enterprise sector, including the target for 70% renewable electricity by 2030. These actions will also present new areas of opportunity for industry, such as the development of offshore renewables and introduction of new technologies. The plan includes a set of actions to ensure our enterprise agencies prioritise decarbonisation as part of their strategies. It includes actions to ensure the agencies play a key role in the development of sectoral networks in key industry sectors needed to drive the decarbonisation of our society and economy.
A key role is identified in the Climate Action Plan for my Department, with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s support to drive decarbonisation through measures to enable businesses reduce their energy use and emissions. Measures currently in place include:
- The Excellence in Energy Efficient Design programme;
- The SME Programme;
- The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat;
- A range of supports to companies in the Large Industry Energy Network;
- The Community Grant Scheme.
The Climate Action Fund will support initiatives that contribute to the achievement of Ireland's climate and energy targets and a call for expressions of interest from the fund was made on 31 December 2019.