Speaking after the release of the Climate Action Plan 2023, Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland’s Chief Executive said: “Putting our Climate Action Plan on a statutory footing is an important move by government, and the fixing of legally binding targets for individual departments is another essential move.
“Chambers Ireland are strong supporters of the Sustainable Development Goals, and Climate Action is one that underpins everything else. We don’t have to talk about hypothetical climate change anymore, we are experiencing climate change in our daily lives.
“Ireland doesn’t simply have a responsibility to act on climate action, we have an enormous opportunity, and one which will be felt most strongly in regional areas. The acceleration of our green energy transition will secure the supply of energy for our cities and will enliven our regional economies.
“From my personal experience with Eurochambres, and other Chambers of Commerce across Europe, I know that other countries are envious of our renewable resources and opportunities. The energy transition for them will be far more challenging than it is for us.
“Our offshore energy opportunity is enormous, the sooner we can see our offshore energy resources delivering for Irish people the sooner our coastal communities can become the engines of growth, the creators of prosperity.”
Shane Conneely, Chambers Ireland’s Head of Policy continued, “Energy is one of the principal concerns for the business community, security of supply for this winter looks good, but the lesson of the last year is that we have to ensure that we do not entrust our prosperity to countries that are politically unstable.
“The Climate Action Plan is key to building the robust and resilient supply that avoids transforming geopolitical risks into energy risks and economic risks in the way our fossil fuels system does today
“Ireland has an immense opportunity when it comes to renewables. Our marine and land resources will allow us, if we take our opportunity, to become an energy powerhouse on the scale of Kuwait.
“Today, we have to buy in more than €4 Billion of energy products every year. If we only become energy self-sufficient with renewables, we will create a new industry that will be as large as agriculture, economically.
“In practice, and with appropriate infrastructure, we can, in the next 15-20 years, create an energy industry that can be ten times that in scale. Nowhere else in the EU has the opportunity that Ireland has, and we need to seize this opportunity.
“Chambers Ireland strongly welcomes the 5.7TWh target for our indigenous anaerobic digestion biomethane creation hard, specific, these targets are a strong improvement upon the earlier Climate Action Plans.
“The Dynamic Green Electricity Tariff that incentivises people to use low-cost renewable electricity at times of high supply is a smart move and will allow us to benefit from the state’s smart metering investments.
“Finally, delivering on the increased ambition for our onshore wind, solar, and offshore wind targets will be a significant challenge, but is of critically important for our country and our society. Delivering on the Climate Action Plan will not just be the achievement of a generation, it will be the foundation of the prosperity of our future generations.”