Forestry & Decarbonisation As part of the Government’s Climate Action Plan, there is an annual afforestation target of 8,000ha. The Regional Assembly supports this target and the planned collaboration between Coillte and Bord na Mona to transform Bord na Mona bogs which are no longer used for peat production into native woodlands. The creation of new woodlands and the wider forestry sector have a critical role in contributing to carbon sequestration, decarbonisation and contributing to a post-carbon and climate resilient economy.
Decarbonisation in the Transport Sector It is an objective to: a. Seek initiatives that will achieve the decarbonisation of the transport sector, moving to the use of clean generated electricity bio-gas, hydrogen and other non-fossil fuels for private and public transportation and provision of clean energy and lower carbon fuelling stations by 2030; b. Pursue policies to reduce reliance on private cars and achieve modal shift to sustainable transportation in conjunction with policies to achieve compact growth and reduce congestion; c. Seek the development of clean energy and lower carbon fuelling and electric vehicle charging stations and infrastructure at the appropriate locations including consideration of electric, hydrogen, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)/biogas.
Recognising the value of our peatlands as carbon sinks is key to carbon sequestration in the Region.
In their natural state, peatlands act as long-term sinks for atmospheric carbon dioxide. A persistently high water table is necessary for this function. Peatlands are the most important long-term carbon store in the terrestrial biosphere and sequester and store atmospheric carbon for thousands of years. The EPA highlights the importance of initiatives aiming at increasing soil carbon sequestration including grassland soils. Carbon Capture and Storage CarbonCapture and Storage is amethod of storing carbon dioxide emissions in underground rocks and reservoirs. Carbon dioxide is captured from large emission sources and is condensed to a liquid CO2 that is pumped into deep geological formations where it is stored. RPO 104 supports the development of opportunities for technological innovation in carbon capture and storage.
Electric Vehicle Infrastructure It is an objective to: a. Support investment in the sustainable development of Electric Vehicle charging facilities aligned with our Region’s transportation networks; Local County Development Plans and Local Area Plans, encourage and support policies andobjectives to integrate Electric Vehicle charging point infrastructure within residential, commercial and mixed-use developments. b. Through Authority
Decarbonisation in the Agricultural Sector
Agriculture is both highly exposed to and is a significant contributor of climate change. In 2018, agriculture accounted for 34% of national GHG emissions and is forecast to continue increasing by 4% over the period 2018 to 2030 12 . Agriculture is intrinsically linked to our national identity and the agri-food and drink sector accounts for nearly 8% of Ireland’s economy-wide GVA (DAFM, 2014), nearly 11% of exports and over 8% of total employment (DAFM 2015). Current quantity and export driven Irish agriculture targets are set out in Food Harvest 2020 and Food Wise 2025. There is a need to align to our climate targets and to future proof the agricultural economy in the process.
CNG & EV Infrastructure It is an objective to: a. Support investment in the sustainable development of CNG refuelling stations aligned with the TEN-T corridors as a renewable technology for servicing public service vehicles and commercial fleets; b. Seek the provision of EV charging point infrastructure within residential, commercial and mixed use developments.
12. Ireland’s Environment: An Assessment, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2018
Southern Regional Assembly | RSES
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