August 4, 2020

Green investment vital for economic recovery in Ireland

Climate Change Future Energy

The National Economic and Social Council have stated that environmental sustainability measures and more investment into carbon reduction strategies and biodiversity protection can accelerate the economic recovery of Ireland from the pandemic.


The Council has provided a detailed number of actions that need to be taken to deliver a sustainable recovery. The author Dr. Jeanne Moore explains that taking these steps provides an opportunity to redesign the economy and society and most importantly improve our relationship between us and the natural environment. The report details a way that Ireland could approach things differently to the EU. Dr. Moore highlights that a vital question is how these actions could impact a change in policies or is there a chance that things will gradually return to business as usual?


The action plan includes a priority towards climate plans and a considerable movement towards mobility and sustainable transport. The report refers to a number of positive actions coming from the EU in terms of the Green Deal and a sustainable recovery, and the opportunity to promote a more sustainable future.


Dr. Moore explains that while green travel plans are moving forwards, the report emphasises that delivering sustainability will need more than ambition but will require solid, strategic plans and collaboration from government, business and other associated industries. 


The paper from the NESC Secretariat provides support on plans on securing green investment by implementing certain conditions and measures that generate positive outcomes for the public. The paper emphasises that importance of looking beyond conventional economical factors and acknowledging wellbeing and sustainable development measures, including a focus on biodiversity through ‘natural capital’ and ‘ecosystem services’. The paper provides further details on the need to develop more resilience in cities and communities in preparation for other disruption that will inevitably impact our economy, society and environment.


The paper indicates that while there has been progress in reaching some of the UN sustainable development goals, overall action in environmental and sustainability has been relatively slow in Ireland. The report suggests that current progress in terms of responding to climate and biodiversity emergencies has been fairly poor overall. There is a growing agreement that responding to the range of sustainability challenges will require a number of steps and a complete transformation in energy, heating, food and mobility services.


In Ireland and the EU, this will mean a willingness to change and adapt towards building further resilience. Governments will need to measure sustainability plans and the associated risks. The report states that this information and how this is incorporated into policy systems should be carefully considered.