The government has advised industry that the environment needs to move higher up their agenda if businesses want to remain competitive.
"Irish enterprise has failed to break the link between economic prosperity and damaging greenhouse gas emissions," Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, told an industry meeting at Dublin Castle.
"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."
The minister outlined plans to reduce harmful emissions from industry and called on businesses to work with government to ensure that the country is ready for the opportunities and challenges this presents.
"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," the minister said.
In Dublin Castle with @HHumphreysFG for our Town Hall on De-Carbonising Business pic.twitter.com/2F7mMqsxz2— Richard Bruton (@RichardbrutonTD) August 29, 2019
"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 Bruton launched Pillar 5 of Future Jobs Ireland, a strategy to prepare businesses for the future, which is aligned with the Climate Action Plan.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys said 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."
She said the government will introduce "Transition Teams" to help businesses and workers to develop and prepare.
"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," Minister Humphreys said.
She said there is funding available through the Regional Enterprise Fund, as well as the Disruptive Technologies Fund and Climate Fund.
Minister Bruton added that 75% of what we need to do will pay for itself, so we should be doing it even if there is no climate crisis.