Written answers

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Energy Conservation

Photo of Darren O'RourkeDarren O'Rourke (Meath East, Sinn Fein)
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33. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the progress to develop an approach to the retrofit of the commercial stock as outlined in the climate action plan; the progress on the commercial built action roadmap; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5667/24]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The Climate Action Plan sets out our level of ambition for decarbonising the commercial built environment.

A detailed roadmap is currently being finalised, led by my Department and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, which is also supported by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research and Science, the SEAI and other agencies. The objectives for the commercial built environment, including the public sector, are a Sectoral Emissions Ceiling of 7 MtCO2eq. for 2021-2025 and 5 MtCO2eq. for 2026-2030.

The Commercial Built Environment Roadmap Working Group have met on three occasions since March 2023 and has discussed a number of issues including the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive (EPBD), the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), relevant data availability, the elements to be included in the roadmap, and their approach to engagement with stakeholders.

As part of the Roadmap work, last summer, I invited relevant business representative organisations and professional bodies, representing the high abatement sectors including hotels, hospitality and tourism; retail; office users and commercial landlords, to meet with my officials in relation to the decarbonisation of the commercial built environment.

The Roadmap will set out the key existing and new policy interventions to achieve the objectives set out to reach the targeted level of abatement from our commercial buildings. The decarbonisation of the commercial built environment will rely heavily on the timely delivery of other policy and regulatory measures including the publication of a National Heat Policy Statement; the supply of district heating infrastructure to decarbonise heating in our commercial buildings and the publication of a Roadmap for the phase out of fossil fuel boilers. The delivery of these measures will be crucial if we are to meet our decarbonisation targets in the commercial built environment.

Some of the recommended implementation actions in the Commercial Built Environment Roadmap include:

  • Developing a voluntary code of conduct for commercial tenancy or lease agreements that promotes reduced carbon emissions from commercial businesses, and identifies opportunities to align incentives for both theproperty owner and tenant that will better unlock environmental performance;
  • Developing a communications plan and identifying resources to raise awareness on climate and business issues to inform businesses and their commercial landlords of the decarbonisation opportunities, and regulatoryrequirements up until 2030 and beyond;
  • Identification of any skills gaps in the skills needs of the commercial built environment and confirming additional priorities or actions with training providers;
  • Reviewing business supports available to business seeking to decarbonise their buildings and the identification of any gaps, including comparison with supports available in other countries.
  • The Roadmap is scheduled to be considered and approved by the Working Group later this month and will be published shortly afterwards. As the Working Group becomes an Implementation Group, a 2024 workplan will also be considered and agreed.


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