€500m secured for Climate Action Fund after passing of key bill

23 Jul 2020

Image: © Gabriel Cassan/Stock.adobe.com

The Government described the passing of a new bill in the Dáil as a ‘statement of intent’ to fund climate action over the next seven years.

Legislation that would see levies from the fossil fuel industry repurposed to fund climate action has been given the green light in the Dáil and is set to come into effect on 1 August. The National Oil Reserves Agency (Amendment) and Provision of Central Treasury Services Bill was first put forward last month and will see a total fund worth €500m be put toward climate action projects in the country.

Under the law, previous levies worth €0.02 on every litre of oil products will be used to financially guarantee the Climate Action Fund over the next seven years. It will be used to support projects working to reduce carbon emissions, increase production of renewable energy and support sectors of the economy that will be hit hard by a transition to a low-carbon economy.

Speaking after its passing in the Dáil, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Eamon Ryan, TD, said this was the Government “setting out a statement of intent” for the next five to 10 years.

Second call for applications

“The fund provides the opportunity for innovation and for every region of the State to come forward with ambitious climate action projects, harnessing our people’s desire for real and practical climate solutions,” he said.

“In setting out ambition in our policy and in our funding, we force ourselves to be ambitious and so the Climate Action Fund will capitalise on Ireland’s attributes as a country of innovators and doers to support real change.”

The Government intends to issue a second call for applications to the Climate Action Fund before the end of the year, with more than €150m being made available to projects over the next 12 months. A total of €500m will be allocated to projects up until 2027.

So far, the first call for the Climate Action Fund has committed €77m for seven projects including the expansion of Ireland’s electric vehicle charging network.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic