A revised Climate Action Bill will go before the Cabinet today which will introduce into legislation a national ban on all oil and gas exploration and extraction.
Minister for the Environment and Climate Communications, Eamon Ryan, has drawn up the proposed changes which expands on the previous government’s ban on oil exploration to also include gas.
The proposal is a step towards putting these restrictions on a legislative footing and ends fossil fuel prospecting and future development of oil and gas fields, which was allowed under the 1960 Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act.
The ban would make Ireland the fourth country in the world to introduce a definitive national ban through legislation on all fossil fuel exploration and second in Europe.
In 2017, Ireland took the first steps to legally prohibiting gas extraction with a legal ban on fracking onshore. This next step will extend that ban to any new oil or gas exploration in offshore waters.
This plan comes as it was revealed Ireland’s residential sector emissions — mainly arising from heating — rose by 9% due to so many working from home.
Mr Ryan admitted these figures “demonstrate the scale of the challenge in meeting our programme for government commitments of an average 7% per annum reduction in overall emissions from 2021 to 2030 (a 51% reduction over the decade) and to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.”