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Irish coalition hits the ground running with first carbon laws

Words: Roger Milne
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The first legislation in the new Irish Government’s drive to decarbonise the economy has been passed by the Dáil and Seanad.

The legislation establishes a €500 million fund for innovative climate action projects over the next decade.

The money has been redirected from the National Oil Reserve, a levy of 2 cent a litre imposed for some years on fossil fuels.

Every year €50 million will be invested in initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase the production of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, and support projects and initiatives in regions and sectors affected by the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The legislation means that money can be allocated to projects including the Bord na Móna peatlands rehabilitation scheme.

Minister for climate action Eamon Ryan steered the national oil reserves agency (amendment) and provision of central treasury services bill through the Dáil and Seanad.

He insisted: “This is the government setting out a statement of intent for the next five to 10 years.”

The fund was “an opportunity for innovation and for every region of the state to come forward with ambitious climate action projects”.

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