Protecting Our Environment and Moving Towards a Carbon Neutral Future

Tackling climate change, the major challenge of our generation.

Climate change is the existential challenge of our generation. We must protect our planet. Fine Gael’s guiding principle is that we intend to hand over guardianship and stewardship of our planet to future generations in a much better state than we inherited it. We are a small country but we have a big role to play in meeting this challenge at home and on the world stage.

We acknowledge that progress to date in terms of reducing our carbon emissions has not been sufficient s. We will therefore review all aspects of our climate action policy approach and, informed by that review, and the findings of the special Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, set out a new all-of-government plan to achieving our targets for 2030 and 2050 in early 2019. In developing new approaches, we will be looking at other countries to see what has worked well, and how it could be adapted and implemented here. This will require significant new interventions that need buy-in from all political parties so that they are not reversed by future governments. It also requires broad societal backing for those interventions to be delivered upon, and public engagement will be a major part of this initiative.

We will continue the progress made to date, for example:

  • Project Ireland 2040: An unprecedented investment of €22bn in climate action over the next decade. €1 in every €5 to be spent in the National Development Plan over the next decade will be on climate action.
  • Climate Action Fund: €500m fund under Project Ireland 2040. The first round successful projects were announced in November 2018, including €10m for a nationwide, state-of-the-art electric vehicle charging network.
  • Tackling Plastic Pollution: We are legislating to prohibit certain products containing plastic microbeads, we support European moves on introducing tough restrictions on single-use plastics, have banned single use plastics in government departments and brought forward new indicatives to reduce ocean plastic waste.
  • Energy Efficiency: Increased retrofitting of homes, schools and buildings. The National Development Plan will provide €3bn is for funding residential energy efficiency schemes over the next ten years.
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