Ministers pledge further action to deliver energy efficient homes, offshore renewable energy and nature-based solutions for the climate

Energy of the European Union

Source: eolasmagazine.ie | Credit-Fianna-Fáil

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, and his departmental colleagues Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke TD, and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD, have welcomed the recent publication of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021 and pledged to deliver the Interim Climate Actions 2021 relating to their department.

The Minister’s also welcomed the approval given at Cabinet for the National Marine Planning Framework, a step identified in the Interim Climate Actions 2021 for facilitating the development of offshore wind energy. The framework will be the key decision-making tool for Government departments, State agencies, regulatory authorities and policy makers for decisions on marine activities.

Minister O’Brien said:

“The Government’s publications represent a new departure in Government ambition for climate action. My Department will be to the fore in meeting the challenge of getting to net zero emissions by 2050 across a range of actions on housing, planning, marine and natural heritage protection and analysis of Ireland’s climate.

“Cabinet have now approved the National Marine Planning Framework, which will go to the Oireachtas for approval by way of resolution. The National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF) is a plan which will set out, over a 20 year horizon, how we want to use, protect and enjoy our seas. The NMPF will sit at the top of the hierarchy of plans and sectoral policies for the marine area and will be critical to the deployment of offshore wind energy. This document sets out the proposed forward planning framework within which our renewable energy targets can be met.

“Delivery of energy efficient housing stock is another tool in our armoury when it comes to climate action. This year, I have allocated €65 million for retrofitting about 2,400 social homes to a B2 or equivalent Building Energy Rating. That work will make homes warmer, more comfortable and more efficient to heat, and will help protect householders’ health through better air quality. Recent Nearly Zero Energy Building Regulations for new builds are making all new residential dwellings 70% more energy efficient than performance requirements in 2005. The requirements for buildings undergoing major renovation – where more than 25% of the surface area is renovated – to achieve a B2 BER or equivalent, will also significantly improve the energy performance of existing dwellings.”

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