Government departments will be forced to pay out of their own pockets if they fail to hit specific multi-year environmental targets, potentially putting other services at risk if they continue to ignore the climate crisis.
The move will be revealed today as part of a new multi-billion euro climate change action plan, which will also commit to ramping up electric car usage, retro-fitting thousands of homes, and a personal carbon tax credit system as soon as next year.
Under high-profile plans to tackle the climate crisis and to address growing voter demands for green policies, the Government will today publish a two-decade-long climate action plan it claims will herald a new era in Ireland’s approach to the global crisis.
The 2021 to 2036 plan will be the subject of a special Cabinet meeting this morning, and will focus on specific areas crucial to protecting the environment.
Several Government sources have labelled the promises as a landmark moment in Ireland’s climate change awakening, saying the plan will give the issue the same legal priority as the finances of the country.
It is still likely to fall short of long-term climate campaigner demands, with Greens leader Eamon Ryan last night warning that the changes, while welcome, will mean little unless the separate Project Ireland 2040 national development plan is scrapped or curtailed.
The cross-departmental climate change action plan includes:
The plan is based on a recent Oireachtas cross-party climate change committee report published earlier this year.
However, speaking to the Irish Examiner, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan warned that the promises will mean little unless the Government also scraps or severely curtails its Project Ireland 2040 national development plan.
The plan follows weekend revelations Ireland is in danger of being hit with a €7bn bill by 2030 as the country will exceed its internationally-binding carbon emissions limits by at least 75% over the next decade unless action is taken now.