It will cost €50bn for Ireland to address climate change

€50bn in public and private investment will be required over the next 10 years for Ireland to address climate change and meet 2030 targets.

That’s the estimate according to the Irish Academy of Engineering which says that when established, Ireland’s next Government must support this significant expenditure programme to fund ambitious policy initiatives, thereby ensuring that Ireland achieves its 2030 carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction targets. 

Academy members include many of the most experienced engineers and technologists in Ireland.

“With the exception of the electricity and heavy industry sectors, at this stage it is difficult to envisage Ireland meeting its 2030 targets”

“Ireland has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 25pc, between 2020 and 2030,” explained Dr Gabriel J. Dennison, chief executive of the Academy.

“However, to reach this target, the Academy has calculated that in excess of €50bn, equivalent to 2.5pc of Gross National Income, will have to be spent on plans and actions by all sectors if the State’s targets are to me met over the next 10 years.”

Ideas for change

A report produced by the Academy – ‘Ideas for the Programme for Government’ – includes policy proposals its members believe could hold the best prospect of Ireland achieving climate change targets.

These include the State funding the provision of fast-charging infrastructure to accommodate 1m electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030, transforming cutaway commercial bogs in to carbon sinks through modest investments, and a significant switch to public transport and low emission vehicles.

It also recommended that all new builds be of a passive standard and the provision of a “just transition” mechanism for the agriculture sector.

“With the exception of the electricity and heavy industry sectors, at this stage it is difficult to envisage Ireland meeting its 2030 targets. That is why our members have produced this document, which includes ideas that we hope will be adopted by those TDs involved in government formation discussions,” added Dr Dennison.  

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 3 April, 2020