The Government has agreed on a framework for action on climate change that will apply to commercial semi-state companies.
The framework comprises five commitments that the 22 companies in the sector must sign up to in order to show that they are taking action to meet the State’s goals on climate action, and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.
Section 15 of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Acts 2015 to 2021 obliges public bodies to carry out their functions in a way that is consistent with the most recent plans to meet the State’s national climate objectives.
‘Key role’ for many companies
The commitments approved today (29 August) cover five areas:
- Governance of climate-action objectives,
- Emissions measurement and reuction target,
- Emissions valuations in investment appraisal,
- Circular economy and green procurement, and
- Climate-related disclosures.
They reflect requirements that already apply to the wider public sector, though the commitments on governance and disclosure are specific to the semi-state sector.
The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications said that many of the companies covered – including Bord na Móna, CIÉ, Coillte, EirGrid, ESB and Gas Networks Ireland – operated in sectors that had a key role to play in the transition to a carbon-neutral Ireland.
Minister Eamon Ryan (pictured) said that the framework’s aim was to commit every commercial semi-state company to action, in line with the Government’s ambitions to achieve a 51% reduction in overall greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030, and to set Ireland on a path to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.