Public Consultation on Ireland’s Long-term Strategy
on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction
Read the consultation here : Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Closed for submissions 16 December 2019, 17:00
Ireland has established a detailed decarbonisation pathway to 2030 in its Climate Action Plan 2019. This will be reflected in Ireland’s final national energy and climate plan (NECP). As part of the NECP consultation process, the Department sought views on decarbonising beyond 2030. The Department is now seeking further views in relation to decarbonisation pathways beyond 2030, including transition options across all key sectors of the economy (energy, buildings, transport, enterprise, waste, agriculture and land-use), on the role of innovative technologies and on socio-economic factors.
Click here to read the report: Long Term Strategy for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction https://bit.ly/2QWAQV0
To make a submission as part of this consultation:
Read On to see the 26 Questions from Online Consultation – https://secure.dccae.gov.ie/forms/Irelands-Long-Term-Strategy.aspx
Fill in online or use to guide your submission.
Ireland’s Long-term Strategy on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction
- What are the appropriate 2050 targets for Ireland to set in the context of supporting a net Zero target at EU level?
- What advanced technologies, across all sectors, could support a move to net-zero or negative emissions by 2050?
- What financial instruments could complement a decarbonised economy by 2050?
Greenhouse gas emissions within this sector have progressively decreased over recent years due to the transition away from fossil fuels. However, this transition must continue in order to reduce Ireland’s total emissions and the electricity system may need to be fully decarbonised by 2050. Ireland’s transition to a decarbonised electricity system requires large-scale infrastructural, technological and societal changes as we progressively remove fossil fuel-based electricity generation from the system and towards renewable energy, biomass and alternative sources of energy, all at time when demand is increasing. In making these significant changes, we need to make sure that our energy supply is sustainable and secure. While the 2019 Climate Action Plan establises our pathway to 2030, our long-term strategy will present a perspective beyond 2030. Thus, the questions that follow should be considered in the context of decarbonisation by 2050.
- What is the generation capacity required to move to zero or negative emissions?
- What resources will help managing intermittency on the grid (e.g. long duration storage, zero-emissions fuel)?
- What should our fuel mix look like by 2050?
- How can emissions from large industry, e.g. cement and alumina, be reduced, including options beyond fuel substitution?
- Should enterprise lead the way in the transformation in the GHG impact of power, transport, buildings, waste and the circular economy? If so, how?
The built environment accounted for 13.7% of Ireland’s greenhouse gases in 2018. The big challenge for Ireland in this sector is retrofitting our building stock and moving away from carbon intensive heating sources. While the Climate Action Plan leads us down a path of substantial activity in this sector, by 2050, Ireland’s building stock will need to be almost completely decarbonised.
- How can Ireland retrofit almost all buildings by 2050, including options for heating fuels and what buildings will be most challenging to decarbonise?
- What is the future of the national gas grid in a net-zero emissions pathway?
- How do we ensure that building and infrastructure development supports compact urban development, which is regionally balanced and sustainably designed to reduce GHG and enhance sustainable quality of life?
Transport was responsible for 20.2% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2018. The emissions from this sector are continuing to increase year on year, due to a growing population and increased demand. This intensifies the decarbonisation challenge for the sector. Decarbonisation Pathways to 2050 will need to consider innovative technologies and fuels, increased use of market-based instruments, smart planning and modal shift to accelerate our decarbonisation efforts. While the 2019 Climate Action Plan establises our pathway to 2030, our long-term strategy will present a perspective beyond 2030. Thus, the questions that follow should be considered in the context of decarbonisation by 2050.
- Do you think modal shift will play a key role in decarbonisation by 2050? If so, what is needed to drive substantial modal shift?
- What should transport in our cities and rural areas look like by 2050?
- What are the most cost-effective solutions for heavy duty and long-distance vehicles?
- How can Ireland, as a small island economy, reduce emissions from aviation and navigation, including demand reduction and stimulating supply of sustainable fuels?
Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use
Agriculture generates 34% of Ireland’s total greenhouse gas emissions. A key challenge for this sector will be restructuring and adapting to remain competitive and prosperous in a world where carbon-intensive production is coming under increasing pressure from the imperatives of climate action and consumer expectations. In the context of a long term strategy out to 2050, decarbonisation pathways for Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use will need to show how this sector could contribute, not only to reducing carbon emissions, but to increasing carbon-removals and deepening reductions in other non-CO2 GHGs. While the 2019 Climate Action Plan establises our pathway to 2030, our long-term strategy will present a perspective beyond 2030. Thus, the questions that follow should be considered in the context of decarbonisation by 2050.
- How do we secure viable family farms across our regions in an environment profoundly changed by the focus of climate change?
- How can the methods of evaluating agriculture and land use give more credit for the relative carbon efficiency of food production in different countries, and the potential large contribution from land use management and afforestation?
- What type of nature-based solutions, including land use, land use change and management, could support emissions reduction and what is the associated emissions reduction potential of such solutions?
- What is the emissions reduction potential from GHG-efficient food production, including future production scenarios?
- Where can Ireland show global leadership in GHG-efficiency, e.g. developing ‘next horizon’ technologies?
Waste and the Circular Economy
In 2018 waste was responsible for 1.5% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions. While the GHG inventory in 2018 suggests 1.5%, the way we use materials is associated with 60% of GHG emissions, thus reducing material use, re-using or recycling must have a much greater role in climate change than suggested by the 1.5% figure. The biggest challenge within this area is reducing waste to landfill and targeting food waste. Developing opportunities to move away from our current linear production and consumption model will help to address these challenges. The Climate Action Plan addresses the need to incorporate a circular economy and bio-economy into Irish society. This will provide an essential contribution to our transition to 2050 in terms of developing a sustainable, low carbon, resource efficient and competitive economy. While the 2019 Climate Action Plan establises our pathway to 2030, our long-term strategy will present a perspective beyond 2030. Thus, the questions that follow should be considered in the context of decarbonisation by 2050.
- What circular and bio-economy initiatives could support emissions reduction out to 2050?
- How should Ireland target reduction in food waste?
- How important will the development of the bioeconomy, biomass, biofuels, biomethane become in displacing fossil fuels and transforming farm opportunities and land use?
It is essential that any burden that may arise from the impacts of climate change and policies to mitigate these impacts do not disproportionately affect the most vulnerable in our society. The Climate Action Plan proposes a number of policies in order to address this challenge but this must also be considered in the context of the deep decarbonisation required by 2050.
- What are the most important issues for the Government to consider in developing a long term strategy to 2050 in order to ensure a just transition?
- What should the primary focus of adaptation policy be for 2050?
- Are there any other comments or observations that you wish to make?