All additional money collected from carbon taxes is to be ring-fenced for climate action and a just transition, the Taoiseach is due to tell the UN Climate Summit. The Government has already indicted that carbon taxes will be increased by as much as €10 in next month’s budget.
However, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe had been mulling over a rebate system or the option of pumping the funds back into environmental measures. The second option had been favoured by Fianna Fáil, which has called for specific legislation to ring-fence revenue collected through carbon taxes.
Leo Varadkar is in the US this week where he is expected to have bilateral Brexit talks with the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and British prime minister Boris Johnson on the fringes of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.
He will also make a national statement at the summit of world leaders outlining Ireland’s approach to climate action. He will tell the summit that from next year the Government will ring-fence additional revenues raised from carbon tax to fund climate action and a just transition.
Mr Varadkar is expected to tell the UN General Assembly later today that leadership is also required to convince people that it is not too late to act.
Referencing the climate strikes which took place in Ireland and across the world last Friday, Mr Varadkar will say:
We are inspired by children and young people who have embraced this cause and keep it at the top of the agenda. We have a carbon tax and have a cross-party agreement to increase it to €80 per tonne by 2030. From next year, all new revenues raised from carbon tax will be ring-fenced to fund climate action and just transition.
“Just transition to protect those most exposed to higher fuel and energy costs and for whom new jobs must be found. Climate action to fund the transformation of our transport, electricity, buildings and food production systems.
“This new climate fund will provide billions to make change possible.”
Later today, the Taoiseach will join leaders including prime minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, president Emmanuel Macron of France, and King Abdullah II of Jordan to discuss progress with the Christchurch Call to Action on tackling online terrorist content. This follows the summit held in Paris earlier this year.
On Wednesday, Mr Varadkar will travel on to Los Angeles for a two-day programme focused on growing tourism, trade, and inward investment between Ireland and the US West Coast, with a particular focus on the creative industries.