The aim of this Climate Action Plan is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by the year 2030 - as was specified in climate action legislation passed by the Oireachtas earlier this year.

This plan, which runs to more than 200 pages, lists a range of emissions reductions for multiple sectors, rather than specifying a precise figure.

Some of the ranges are wide - electricity must reduce emissions somewhere between 62% and 81%, a difference of 19%.

Others have narrower range - agriculture must reduce emissions somewhere between 22% and 30% - only an 8% difference.

All sectors will get a specific emissions reduction ceiling next year.

That is after the Oireachtas passes the Carbon Budget, which determines the rate by which over-all emissions are reduced over two five-year periods.

Of the 40 actions listed for the agriculture sector - not one mentions either the cattle or sheep herds being reduced in size.

Instead, it appears a significant reduction in chemical fertiliser will be the workhorse for emissions reduction in this sector.

In order to secure public buy-in, there is to be a national dialogue on climate action.

There will also be a multi-billion euro Just Transition fund, created from carbon tax receipts, which will help people with the costs of going green.

The plan states that by delivering on the objectives, Irish people will secure the future for our children and grandchildren.

"Delivery" will be the hard part.

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The Climate Action Plan 2021 seeks a cut in electricity emissions of between 62%-81%.

Among the measures to achieve this, the plan calls for a review of Ireland's data centre strategy, to ensure that it supports renewables and emissions targets.

Eirgrid estimates that data centres will account for 25% of electricity usage by 2030 and opposition parties have called for the growth of such centres to be curbed.

There will be a phasing out of coal and peat-fired electricity generation and wind and solar energy will account for 80% of Ireland's energy supply by the end of the decade.

A support scheme will be established to help homeowners generate their own electricity and sell what they do not use back to the grid.

There will be a separate scheme to support farmers, businesses, and communities to do the same.

The plan seeks to build three new interconnectors to Northern Ireland, Britain and the European Union.


The enterprise sector must reduce its emissions by 29% to 41%.

To achieve this, the Climate Action Plan calls on the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and SEAI to promote investment and employment in decarbonisation.

Any supports those bodies provide to businesses should be aligned with emissions reductions, the plan states.

An online 'Climate Toolkit 4 Business' will be created to inform businesses about the changes that are required.

The kit will include a simple carbon calculator and will generate a tailored company climate action plan for each business.

Longer-life and lower-carbon cement blends will be prioritised in public contracts.

It calls for a "new obligation" to ensure that a proportion of energy for heat comes from renewable sources.

There is also a provision to accelerate the use of "carbon-neutral low temperature heating" in the food and beverages sector and" hybrid temperature heating" in the industrial sector.

Homes and Buildings

In the area of Homes and Buildings, the plan seeks a reduction of 44% to 56%.

There will be a new National Retrofit Plan.

Low-cost loans will be blended with SEAI grants to make retrofitting affordable, it states.

It calls for three more training centres to be opened for retrofit upskilling.

A programme will be established to decarbonise the heating and cooling sectors by 2050.

The plan seeks to phase out fossil fuels for "space and water heating in all new buildings".

It states that two large-scale district heating projects, supported by the Climate Action Fund, are now underway.

The plan calls for the use of electric heat pumps and other low carbon technology to be promoted in new and existing buildings.


The plan envisages a cut in transport between 42% and 50%.

To achieve this, the plan calls for half a million daily journeys to be completed by walking, cycling, or using public transport.

Biofuels are to be increased in public transport and there will be an expansion of electric bus and rail fleets.

More specifically, it plans on having 1,500 buses by 2030, while the overall number of electric vehicles in Ireland will be one million.

The state will have a role too, with all public transport and public fleets to be updated to low emission alternatives.


The agriculture sector will be tasked with reducing emissions by 22% to 30%.

To meet this target, the plan calls for an improvement in animal breeding and feeding practices.

Organically farmed land is to increase almost five-fold to 350,000 hectares.

It calls for emissions in the dairy herd to be "managed "and for a transformation in the model of beef production.

The plan seeks to reduce chemical nitrogen fertilizer use to 325,000 tonnes per annum.

And for 1.6 TWh of sustainably produced biomethane per year.

There will also be a review into the diversification options for farmers.

Land Use

In the area of land use, the plan is seeking a reduction in emissions between 37% and 58%.

Among the measures in this area is an increase in afforestation with a new forestry programme.

The plan is calling for an improvement in the management of at least 450,000 hectares of grasslands on mineral soils.

It would like to see a reduction in the management intensity (water table management) of 80,000 hectares on drained organic soils.

There will be a "land use review" and a call to "increase public awareness of the value of Ireland's seas".