Fine Gael has withdrawn controversial amendments to a major report on how Ireland can decarbonise the Irish economy.

The report is being produced by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action and is due for publication on Thursday.

Fine Gael committee members had proposed replacing a commitment to 'net zero economy wide emissions by 2050' with a proposal for the 'provision for an ambitious 2050 target'.

RTÉ News now understands that the amendments have been taken off the table.

The move came as the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar clashed with the Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald in the Dáil over how money raised by a carbon tax will be spent.

The Taoiseach has advocated in the past a so-called 'fee-and-dividend' approach, in which consumers get a credit from Government for taking action on climate change.

Fianna Fáil's Timmy Dooley has described this approach as a 'gimmick', arguing that money raised by a carbon tax should be used instead to fund the retro-fitting of homes. 

In the Dáil this afternoon, Deputy McDonald branded the Taoiseach's proposal as 'make-believe' which had not worked in Canada or Norway and 'would not work here'.

Mr Varadkar said the Sinn Féin President was 'not being honest' on climate change because her party avoided tough decisions, and he added: 'We all know the far-left is anti-enivronment.'

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action is meeting in private session today to deal with final amendments.

The Committee's deliberations flow from a Citizen’s Assembly recommendation, supported by 97% of delegates, that the Government ensures climate change is at the centre of policy-making in Ireland.

In a related matter, People Before Profit will bring a motion to the Dáil tonight in a bid to ensure their bill, which seeks to end fossil fuel exploration in Ireland, can move on to the next legislative stage.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett has claimed that Fine Gael is engaging in a "sabotage of the democratic will of the Dáil" by blocking their Climate Emergency Bill from proceeding to committee stage.