Written answers

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Climate Change Policy

Photo of Alan FarrellAlan Farrell (Dublin Fingal, Fine Gael)
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64. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the efforts being made by his Department to sustain and grow the green economy in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51592/21]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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My department is leading the transition to a low carbon green economy across the Irish enterprise base. We are integrating climate action into all aspects of the Department and its agencies’ activities.

New jobs will emerge in the green economy in sectors such as renewable energies, environmental consultancy services, residential and commercial retrofitting and low carbon technology installation and electric vehicle infrastructure. In order to maximise these opportunities, continuous pre-emptive workforce development is required.

The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) has undertaken an analysis of the “Skills to Enable the Low Carbon Economy to 2030”. This forthcoming report provides vital input on the demand for, and nature of, the skills required to facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy. We are now working to disseminate its findings and advance these recommendations with stakeholders, to ensure the delivery of identified skills needs.

My department is also facilitating a drive toward the green economy through its agencies. Earlier this year, Enterprise Ireland launched a pilot Climate Enterprise Action Fund to assist Irish companies to build the capabilities required to deliver sustainable products, services and business models. Under the National Recovery and Resilience Fund, this programme will be expanded until 2025.

IDA Ireland has developed and published a new strategy Driving Recovery and Sustainable Growth 2021-2024 which includes a sustainability pillar and offers clients incentives for sustainability projects, including R&D grants for large scale multi-year projects where companies look to develop next-generation technologies within the sphere of the Green Economy. This places a focus on sustainability in IDA Ireland’s corporate strategy including winning FDI from the world’s leading companies across all areas of the Green Economy. EI will also set out actions to embed sustainability and climate action as a fundamental part of its approach to company development and engagement with client companies in the context of their forthcoming Strategy.

The National Standards Authority of Ireland is involved in the drive towards a green economy which includes, for example, establishing and enhancing standards for retrofitting, publishing recommendations for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of solar PV panels and details on heat pump requirements.

This work will present opportunities for developing and growing the green economy while also assisting in our transition to a low carbon sustainable economy.


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