Government reveals legislation to establish €500m Climate Action Fund

22 Jun 2020316 Views

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The Government’s €500m Climate Action Fund will help kick-start projects to reduce Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Projects that could decarbonise Ireland’s economy and accelerate the development of renewable energy sites are set to be backed under a legally binding Climate Action Fund. This morning (22 June), the Government published legislation, due to be put before the Dáil later this year, that will establish the €500m fund.

It will repurpose funds from the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) levy to help fund climate action projects. Under the new law, the Climate Action Fund will be used to support projects that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop renewable energy or improve energy efficiency.

It will also be used to fund just transition projects in regions of Ireland that are set to be impacted the most by a transition to a low carbon economy.

An ‘enormous transition’

“The aim of the Climate Action Fund is to kick-start innovative or pioneering projects in the enormous transition which we have to make,” said Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton, TD.

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“That transition presents opportunities to be seized as well as patterns to be changed. This demands that we be both agile and fair as we manage the challenges.

“This legislation will ensure we can repurpose the surplus from the NORA levy, which is a levy on the fossil fuel industry, and use it to fund climate action and measures to support those who are most affected by the transition.”

The first round of projects to receive support under the Climate Action Fund were announced back in 2018, when €77m was set aside for seven climate action projects in the first tranche of funding.

This included additional infrastructure for electric vehicle charging and Irish Rail receiving up to €15m to design new hybrid power packs for intercity railcars to reduce diesel use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com