Sustainable Nation Ireland warmly welcomed the unveiling of the Government’s Climate Action Plan 2019 on 17 June, with CEO Stephen Nolan noting that it underpins the critical role capital markets will play in transforming Ireland into a low-carbon nation.
“This ambitious programme is a unified approach that embraces the State as well as business and industry, and which recognises the pivotal role that capital markets will play in helping to tackle a climate crisis that impacts everybody,” he said.
The All of Government plan contains 183 comprehensive actions which would place Ireland at the forefront of green nations in Europe. It requires action across energy, transport, housing, education, agriculture, enterprise, waste and the public sector. Measures include huge increases in the number of electric vehicles, phasing out oil-fired boilers and diesel cars, an end to single-use plastic, retrofitting of homes to improve energy efficiency and smarter and more sustainable public and commercial buildings.
In addition, government agencies will prioritise low-carbon investments while people will be given a greater say in ensuring their pensions will not be invested in fossil fuels.
Stephen Nolan particularly welcomed the implementation of a new strategy for Ireland’s international financial services sector to promote the development of sustainable finance in Ireland, listed as Action 11 of the plan, as something that will build on work which has been carried out by Sustainable Nation Ireland, and stakeholders including the Department of Finance, since 2015.
“The capital markets possess the funds required to pay for the projects that will ultimately preserve our planet,” he said. “The government has recognised this by prioritising the rapid expansion of our international financial services and Ireland’s growing stature as a global hub for sustainable finance and expertise.”