Committee on Climate Action launches its ‘cross-party consensus for action’

The Joint Committee on Climate Action has officially launched its final, cross-party report today, Tuesday, April 16. The report is titled: ‘Climate Change: A Cross-Party Consensus for Action.’

The report comes as the result of six months’ work, and makes over 40 recommendations on “steering Ireland’s approach” towards climate action.

Speaking at the launch of the report, chairperson of the committee, Hildegarde Naughton, said: “Climate change is a real and present threat. It is not tomorrow’s problem and can no longer be treated as such.”

Recommendations for farming

In its recommendations, the committee has suggested the establishment of “a multi-stakeholder forum” for developing programmes and schemes to support diversification in agriculture.

To improve “the environmental performance of farms and increase visibility of these schemes”, the committee also recommended the expansion of:
  • The Smart Farming Programme;
  • Dairy Sustainability Ireland;
  • The Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advice Programme;
  • The Origin Green Programme.

It was recommended that the Government adopts the 28 measures contained in ‘a mitigation pathway‘ produced by Teagasc.

Tree planting

A target for farm-based tree planting with copses of native trees should be set, according to the report.

A target of 5% would increase our low tree cover by 4% and provide environmental benefits and employment opportunities, it was outlined.

Carbon pricing

The committee recommended increasing the existing carbon tax from €20 to €80/t by 2030.

According to the report, this would be done when supports and protection mechanisms are in place, with the increased revenue being ring-fenced separately from general exchequer funds by legislation.

Energy

Sustainable Energy Communities (SECs) should be provided with appropriate levels of support from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, the Climate Action Regional Offices, and local authorities.

There should be an ambitious national target set by the Climate Action Council for installed SEC capacity by 2025 which may be at least 500MW, the report recommended.

A link to the report is available here.

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