What is Ireland doing for climate action? The answer is not enough.
Reaching the 2020 goal was a lost cause and the State is not on course to meet more demanding 2030 targets, or even the “net zero” target in 2050.
Climate change is not something that is down the road, it is here and very much apparent.
Each one of us have the responsibility to do our part on fixing the damage that is already done and making way for a more sustainable future.
The Irish Times have an interesting article on why Ireland have failed to reach their climate change targets.
Below we have summarised why Irelands climate change targets have not been met:
- We have failed to switch to more energy efficient vehicles. A lot of this is to do with the absence of an efficient public transport infrastructure.
- The Agricultural sector is responsible for a third of overall emissions, notwithstanding carbon efficiency compared to its competitors abroad.
- Fossil fuels are the dominant heat source in homes and poorly designed houses are not very energy efficient. In planning terms, the introduction of higher building standards was far too slow.
- Due to low carbon taxes and fossil fuel usage, our poor performance to date means we will have to go beyond €80 per tonne of CO2 by 2030.
The good news is – there is a national climate change strategy for Ireland in place for 2030.
Irelands Climate Action Plan 2030
The full report is quite extensive and is available on the Government website. The key things we have taken away from this are:
- 70% of our electricity will be generated by renewable sources, we will phase our coal and peat.
- Homeowners will generate their own electricity and sell back to the grid under a new micro generation scheme.
- By 2030 Ireland aim to have 500,000 existing homes upgraded to a BER rating of B2 or higher.
- 600,000 heat pumps are to be installed nationwide (of which 400,000 will be in existing buildings).
- Just short of 1,000,000 vehicles will be powered solely by electricity. There will be construction of an EV charging network to stay ahead of demand.
- 8,000 hectares of newly planted forests per year.
- There will be a ban on single use plastic including polystyrene food, cup and drink containers.
- 1,200 low emission buses in the cities for public transport.
EY have a cool video on Ireland’s climate action plan that sum up the report in under two minutes.
In the words of Times ‘Person Of the Year’ Greta Thunberg “We can’t just continue living as if there was no tomorrow, because there is a tomorrow,”.
Unless we agree on transformative action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the world’s temperature rise will hit the 1.5°C mark— an eventuality that scientists warn will expose some 350 million additional people to drought and push roughly 120 million people into extreme poverty by 2030. For every fraction of a degree that temperatures increase, these problems will worsen.