Among the measures to protect nature and avoid conflicts over renewable energy projects, the Secretary of State for Biodiversity and Land Use of Ireland, Pippa Hackett, has highlighted to GLM the photovoltaic generation on roofs of individuals, which his country favors by exempting citizens from requesting permits to install panels in their homes.
“So far there have been opportunities for solar energy: they work well and they will continue,” stressed Hackett, who participated in the recent European Green Party congress organized in the Danish capital, where he also highlighted the government’s support measures from Dublin to the agricultural and livestock sector “with high energy intensity” so that they install photovoltaic panels so that they produce the energy they consume.
The energy transition in Ireland is committed to large renewable energy projects on land and sea, but also to the installation of photovoltaics in homes and schools, with direct aid and ease of procedures so that citizens can sell the remaining energy to the grid. energy they produce and do not use.
Just days after Ireland hosted the first global citizens’ assembly against biodiversity loss, Hackett applauds that some of its conclusions show that “we are all now aware of the importance of protecting and enhancing biodiversity.”
After their last deliberative session, citizens called for a referendum to strengthen their protection in the Constitution and asked for more time to debate issues such as agriculture, water and land use, recalled Hackett, who says he is “looking forward to seeing your final report at the beginning of next year.”
This policy of the Irish environmental party is reluctant to base the ecological transition on measures such as the electric vehicle: although it recognizes the importance of electrifying the energy model as much as possible, it advocates other types of policies to favor a new transport model that includes a more active mobility -on foot or by bicycle- and promote trips in collective means.
“Getting people out of their cars and onto public transport requires a huge mindset shift, but it is much better than replacing fossil fuel cars with electric cars, which would leave the roads just as cluttered and not make us any better off. quality of life”, he reasons.
He admits that biofuels “have a role” in decarbonizing some sectors, but “not necessarily for energy production.”
“We are looking, for example, at anaerobic digestion from organic waste”, he specified, because, although “we do not have a large anaerobic digestion system in Ireland, it is something that we are taking into account in our climate action policy ”.
With an eye on the start of the UN summit on biodiversity in Canada (COP15), the Irish Secretary of State stresses the relationship between the loss of biodiversity and the climate crisis that will require, in order to be contained, a rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, according to successive reports from the IPCC, the United Nations group of climate experts.
While the outcome of COP27 – the UN climate summit that took place in Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt) last month – has disappointed many European countries over a lack of ambition on mitigation, Hackett stresses the “hope ” and describes as positive the loss and damage fund, whose negotiations on the part of the EU were led by the Irish minister for the environment, Eamon Ryan.
However, “the developed world cannot simply buy the solution to this problem,” Hackett recalls regarding climate change, but “must stop emitting CO2 now” to contribute to a “long-term solution.”
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