Reducing carbon emissions in the cement, food and beverage industries

Under the new Climate Action Plan the enterprise sector is being tasked with reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 10-15% by 2030. The plan has also identified that the largest reductions in GHG emissions can be realised in the cement and food and beverage industries.

These were the sentiments expressed by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys during Dáil proceedings – earlier this week – after she was asked by deputy Billy Kelleher what actions her department has lead responsibility for in the Climate Action Plan 2019.

Deputy Kelleher also asked the minister what were the annual emission reductions envisaged; what the total reduction over the period of the plan would be and the annual net cost for each action covered by the plan.

Responding to the questions posed, Minister Humphreys said the enterprise sector will also contribute to the targets for the ‘Built Environment’ sector (20-25% reduction by 2030) and the ‘Transport’ sector (45-50% reduction by 2030), with actions that include improvements to building energy performance and the replacement of commercial fleets with electric vehicles.

My department and its agencies have been given lead or key stakeholder responsibility for a number of actions in the plan.

She continued: “These range from engagement with the food and cement industry sectors to supporting increased abatement, to undertaking a review of the current offerings by the enterprise agencies, with a view to promoting environmental supports to a larger cohort of client companies.

“The annex to the Climate Action Plan 2019 sets out all the actions for delivery under the plan along with details of the departments/offices/agencies responsible for their delivery.”

The minister went on to say that her officials have begun to plan the implementation and delivery of the actions for which her department has lead responsibility for under the plan.

As many of the measures are new initiatives which will require initial consultations and exploratory actions, the net cost of the delivery of these actions has not yet been established.

She added: “While some of the actions will involve upfront costs for enterprises, it is important to view these costs in the context of: the supports available to companies in their transition to low carbon practices; the opportunities presented by this transition; the need for society as a whole to take urgent action; and the increasing demand from consumers and society for companies to move to low carbon practices.”