Environment Minister Richard Bruton has published legislation to put the 500 million euro (£452 million) climate action fund on a statutory footing.
Mr Bruton said the aim of the fund is to help kickstart climate-related projects that can reduce Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions and assist in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
The new legislation allows for the climate fund to be used to support projects to help communities such as Bord Na Mona workers in the midlands – who are disadvantaged by the move away from fossil fuel.
The fund was first announced in 2018 and the first round of funding was announced in November 2018.
The aim of the Climate Action Fund is to kick start innovative projects in the enormous transition which we have to make. That transition presents opportunities to be seized as well as patterns to be changed. This demands that we be both agile and fair as we manage the challenges— Richard Bruton (@RichardbrutonTD) June 22, 2020
The main source of funding for the climate action fund is through the repurposing of part of the existing petroleum products levy collected by the National Oil Reserves Agency, which means there will be no additional cost to the Exchequer.
Under the new law, the climate action fund will be used to support projects that seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, projects that seek to increase the production, or use, of renewable energy and to improve energy efficiency
Mr Bruton said: “The aim of the fund is to kickstart innovative or pioneering projects in the enormous transition which we have to make.
“That transition presents opportunities to be seized as well as patterns to be changed. This demands that we be both agile and fair as we manage the challenges.”
Work is already under way on a number of projects, in areas such as district heating and an electric vehicle charging network, which secured funding under the first round of the scheme.
He said his department was working to develop a second call under the climate action fund and he hoped that this could be published shortly.