The All Ireland Sustainable Energy Forum – a constituent part of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) – publishes today its analysis of the need for radical change to allow Ireland to deliver the deep cuts in carbon emissions that are sorely needed. The Irish Government’s Climate Change Plan admits the Republic is “way off course” in its attempts to achieve its emissions targets. The Republic is “currently 85% dependent on fossil fuels”. When the state’s carbon footprint should be reducing greenhouse gas emissions they “have been rising rapidly” and that trend has to be reversed. This NFLA / AISEF report calls for Councils to be a core part of the solution in delivering a step-change for Irish climate policy. The recent local and European elections witnessed the climate change issue being one of the most prevalent concerns of the Irish electorate, and significant support given to councillors and political parties that wish to see much more radical change in dealing with the ‘climate emergency’. In June 2019 the Irish Government launched a new Plan setting out a number of targets, including a pathway to zero emissions by 2050. Under the plan, the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned by 2030. Oil boilers will not be allowed in new homes by 2022 or gas boilers by 2025, and 400,000 heat pumps will be installed by 2030. The plan aims to have 950,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030, a near doubling of the previous commitment of 500,000 by 2030. The Government will invest in a “nationwide” charging network and by 2025 at least one recharging point will be required at new non-residential buildings with more than 10 parking spaces. The Forum report notes that the Plan would be most effective if local Councils are given clear priority and leadership to develop such policies in a wide number of areas. Councils could also play a focal role in meaningful engagement with citizens and communities through more coherent mobilisation of existing structures and initiatives to inform, engage, motivate, and empower people to take climate action.
NFLA 6th Aug 2019 read more »