Decision not to ban gas exploration welcome

July 05, 2019

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today said the decision by Government to halt the progress of the Climate Emergency Measures Bill was sensible given the important role that natural gas will still have to play in Ireland’s energy mix and low carbon transition over the coming years. The Bill would have undermined energy security, left the State financially exposed and, crucially, increased our reliance on imported gas which has a higher carbon footprint.
Commenting on the news, Ibec Senior Executive Conor Minogue said: “Natural gas is the primary fuel for power generation in Ireland today and it will play a vital role as we transition to zero carbon alternatives and move away from other fossil fuels. Renewable technologies like wind and solar can currently only take us so far. When the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine, natural gas will be needed to provide power. Right now there is no other option for Ireland.  We do not have nuclear power in Ireland; battery storage technology, hydro power, interconnection and biomass cannot address this problem alone. All this Bill would have achieved is change where we get natural gas from. If implemented, it would have
· undermined national energy security by cementing the country’s overreliance on foreign natural gas,
· potentially led to a net increase in global GHG emissions as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and piped gas from distant countries can have a bigger carbon footprint than domestically produced gas,
· sent out a negative signal to international investors.

“Now Ireland can focus on the implementation of the new Climate Action Plan and measures that will actually lead to the decarbonisation of our economy. Ibec published its own low carbon roadmap in May. It includes over 80 policy recommendations on how we can progress the transition and build a more sustainable economy. We look forward to working with Government, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders to deliver a transition that is cost effective, evidence-based and does not leave anybody behind,” Mr Minogue concluded.