Climate Action and Environment Minister Richard Bruton and Business, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Heather Humphreys this morning outlined the government’s plans to reduce harmful emissions from industry at an industry meeting held in Dublin Castle.
They also took the opportunity to launch Pillar 5 of Future Jobs Ireland, the whole-of-Government strategy to prepare our businesses and workers for the future. Pillar 5 focuses on the transition to a low carbon economy, and how Government and businesses can work together to ensure that our country is ready for the opportunities and challenges this presents. It is aligned with and complements the Climate Action Plan.
Minister Richard Bruton said:
Irish enterprise has failed to break the link between economic prosperity and damaging greenhouse gas emissions.
To be competitive in a global economy which is adjusting rapidly requires that Irish enterprise be early movers and integrate climate action into their strategic planning.
Enterprises who fail to adapt will be uncompetitive in a changed world. There are huge opportunities for business in buildings, in transport, in smart technologies, and in waste management to reduce their costs.
Big opportunities for enterprise will open up in renewables, in retrofitting and in the bioeconomy. Sectors will need to recognise the opportunities that will exist and build clusters of best practice.
Capital must also be mobilised to deliver these changes and the financial services sector will have to be particularly innovative.
Minister Humphreys said:
As we know, the move to a low carbon economy presents both challenges and opportunities for businesses. It will radically change important sectors of the economy – including some existing jobs roles – while also presenting new opportunities to firms on the cutting edge of the transition.
Under Future Jobs Ireland, we will be making sure that we have the right skillsets and infrastructure in place to meet the challenges and realise the opportunities.
As part of the overall strategy, we will introduce “Transition Teams” to help businesses and workers to develop and prepare for the challenges ahead.
We want to be able to put the necessary supports in place now to help workers transition and take up new job opportunities in the future.
There are a number of key actions in the Climate Action Plan. We will work with enterprise to:
- Mobilise clusters regionally and sectorally to become centres of excellence for the adoption of low carbon technologies
- Plan for the delivery of quality employment and enterprise in the new areas of opportunity being opened up
- Embed decarbonisation and waste management measures across all enterprises and public service bodies
To help enterprise making the transition, and to take advantage of the opportunities which will arise in a low carbon economy, the enterprise agencies will:
- Prioritisation of decarbonisation as part of their strategies and the promotion of the decarbonisation agenda across their respective client bases
- IDA will use its new strategy for 2020 to 2024 to fully integrate decarbonisation objectives across its portfolio of clients and other relevant stakeholders
- Enterprise Ireland will expand its supports to a larger cohort of client companies and will have an increased emphasis on decarbonisation going forward.
- The Enterprise Agencies will continue to encourage client companies to develop environmental management capability and become more environmentally efficient and sustainable through programmes like EI’s Green Supports and IDA’s Go Green supports.
- The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation will also work closely with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland to, for example:
- leverage and mobilise business cluster initiatives under the Regional Enterprise Plans and Future Jobs Ireland 2019
- Continue engagement with the Corporate Social Responsibility Stakeholder Forum to highlight supports available that promote energy efficiency; and
- identify sectors where the development of tailored supports that promote decarbonisation.
Under the Climate Action Plan, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and its agencies will also engage with the cement and food and drink industry sectors to identify measures to support the achievement of identified potential abatement in these sectors.