Published on 

Energy White Paper sets ambitious course for a carbon-free energy system


Minister Alex White at the Launch of the Energy White Paper this morning

Energy Minister Alex White today published an energy White Paper, which identifies actions that will reduce Ireland’s energy-related carbon emissions by between 80% and 95%, compared to 1990 levels, by 2050. Minister White said that Ireland would eventually have to generate 100% of our energy needs from clean sources.

Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future 2015-2030 says that high-carbon fuels like peat and coal will give way to lower-carbon or renewable alternatives in the short to medium term, before fossil fuels are largely replaced by renewable energy sources by 2050. Greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector will “fall to zero or below by 2100".

For the first time an Irish Government has set its course on the eventual elimination of fossil fuels from our energy system.

...Minister White said, speaking at the launch in Dublin’s Mansion House.

We will only achieve this ambitious degree of decarbonisation by engaging all citizens in energy policy and its implementation. Meeting the challenge of global warming can no longer be confined to the realm of international treaties or Government decisions. It is about changing the way we heat our homes and businesses. It is about reassessing how we travel. It is about participating in decisions about the infrastructure needs of a low carbon Ireland.

I would encourage everyone to read this White Paper and see how you can play your part in the transition to a low-carbon energy future. Over the next two to three decades, we will be changing the way we live – and changing it for the better.

 Minister White reiterated that every citizen should read this White Paper as it sets out the changes that we will all make in the coming five, ten, and twenty years.

We will find ourselves thinking in a new way about how we use energy in our homes, in our schools, at work, and when we travel. The changes are not something to be feared. In future years we will look back and wonder what took us so long. We will look on our old energy behaviours and realise that they were no longer sustainable. And we will recognise the positive benefits of our actions for the environment, for the reduction of greenhouse gases, and for addressing extreme weather events. This White Paper will change the way we live, very much for the better.

The full text of the White Paper is available here.