Big on targets, but offering little in the way of achieving them is the verdict on Ireland’s climate plan. After considerable delays, the government has published its National Mitigation Plan, designed to bring down the country’s emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases and meet its obligations under the terms of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The plan – described by government as “a hugely important first step in enabling transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally-sustainable economy by 2050” – does lay out some specific goals. It says the aim is to electrify the transport sector by 2030, meaning the two million cars and trucks on Ireland’s roads will have to switch from diesel and petrol to being electrically driven. At present only approximately 2,000 electric-powered vehicles are being used in Ireland. New technology, says Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Taoiseach, or prime minister, will help achieve what will be a “fundamental societal transformation.” The plan – the first comprehensive climate change strategy in ten years – also envisages increasing the country’s forest cover from the present 11% of the total land area to 18%. Forests act as carbon sinks, storing and processing greenhouse gases.
Climate News Network 25th July 2017 read more »
Ireland is exploring a range of options for increasing its energy security after the UK leaves the EU, including a 1bn euro electricity link with France and a 500m euro import terminal for liquefied natural gas. Dublin is counting on financial support from Brussels for the projects, which would allow Ireland to bypass UK energy infrastructure. Brexit threatens to isolate Ireland physically from the rest of the European energy market because all its imports of gas and electricity flow via the UK. The European Commission last month awarded 4m euros to pay for preparatory work on the proposed “Celtic interconnector” that would carry 700 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 450,000 homes – between the north-west tip of France and the south coast of Ireland.
FT 26th July 2017 read more »