Last Thursday, 4th November, the Government published the Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2021. The Cabinet sub-committee on environment and climate change, led by Minister Eamon Ryan, signed off on the new CAP last Wednesday evening. The CAP outlines different targets, and key actions to achieve those targets, to enable Ireland to achieve its overall goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2030.

Emission reduction targets for various sectors include:

  • 22-30% from agriculture
  • 62-81% from electricity use
  • 29-41% from enterprise
  • 44-56% from construction
  • 42-50% from transport

They key measures in the new CAP include:

  • An increase of renewable electricity by up to 80 per cent, with a mix from offshore and onshore wind and solar power.
  • Further measures include increased electricity storage, the deployment of zero-emissions gas and the production of hydrogen for use in other industries.
  • Cut electricity use of between 62 and 81 per cent, relative to 2018 levels.
  • Transport will see an acceleration of the electrification of road transport, the use of biofuels and a shift to transport modes with lower energy consumption, including walking, cycling, active and public transport.
  • Further measures will include a “modal shift” to reduce the overall fossil fuelled distance undertaken by car by 10 per cent.
  • Reaching 845,000 electric cars by 2030.
  • Reaching 95,000 zero-emissions vans and 3,500 zero-emissions HGVs by 2030
  • Replacements for bus and rail to be services “green” including 1,500 electric vehicle buses and expanded electrified rail services by 2030.
  • Scale up retrofitting and the rollout of district heating in cities and the ramping up of zero-emissions heating in commercial buildings.
  • Retrofitting 500,000 homes by 2030.
  • Reducing emissions from public sector buildings by 50 per cent
  • Reducing agriculture emissions by up to 30 per cent by 2030
  • Reducing fertiliser use and increasing the use of clover and multi-species swards
  • Improving animal breeding and feeding
  • Increase organically farmed land almost five-fold to 350,000 hectares.
  • Manage emissions from the dairy herd
  • Increase afforestation with a new forestry programme to launch in 2023.

The CAP 2021 is available to view, in full, here:

A useful summary/infographic of the CAP is available here: