Press release

Green Party creates €3bn Climate & Nature Fund

10th October 2023

The creation of a €3bn State fund to invest in vital climate and nature projects has been hailed by Green Party ministers and TDs as one of the most important and far-sighted decisions of any Irish Government ever.

Government today agreed to use windfall corporation tax profits to establish a fund that will allow the State to continue building vital infrastructure in the event of another downturn. As part of this fund €3.15bn will be made available between 2026 and 2030 specifically to pay for climate action and nature restoration projects that are not already funded by the National Development Plan (NDP).

The decision is further evidence of Ireland’s progress from one of Europe’s climate laggards to one of its leaders as a direct result of the Green Party being in Government.

Although the exact projects that will be funded have not yet been decided, it is expected that the focus will be on projects that help cut Ireland’s use of dirty, imported fossil fuels, make our public and private building stock more energy efficient, support the rollout of district heating, restore our natural habitats, improve water quality in our rivers and lakes, reintroduce once-common species such as eagles and osprey, and remove river barriers that stop fish swimming upstream.

The recent announcement of a new National Park in Dowth, Co. Meath is one such example of the type of project that could be supported. 

The €3.15bn will form part of a larger, counter-cyclical fund the Government is creating using the temporary surge in corporation taxes that Ireland is currently experiencing. By putting this money aside, the State will avoid overheating the economy at a time of high growth, while ensuring it has funds kept aside that it can use to build vital infrastructure and maintain employment in the event of another downturn.

Speaking on the announcement Minister Pippa Hackett, Minister for Land Use and Biodiversity said:

“The climate & biodiversity crisis presents not only a risk to the future of how we live in communities across Ireland, but also to our economy. Today’s announcement of a €3.15bn fund to pay for Government action on climate and nature is a very important development. This is what the Greens in Government are delivering. Since coming into office, the Green Party has been effective at implementing its core values, backed by funding on a scale that will make a real impact. The fund for Climate and Nature is the latest example of this. This €3.15bn will deliver investment in projects that will result in cleaner air, warmer homes and rejuvenated habitats for our wildlife.”

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, said this fund is vital to enable action on biodiversity and water quality and support delivery of the proposed EU Nature Restoration Law.

“Throughout the Nature Restoration Law debates, I made a commitment to seek significant additional funding to support biodiversity action and I’m proud that we have delivered on that today. This unprecedented fund will enable us to invest in communities, farmers, fishers and state agencies and bodies to deliver action for healthy nature, clean water and climate resilience at a pace and scale we’ve never seen before in Ireland. Such a bold vision for our land and seascapes is essential - not just for our own benefit, but for the generations that come after us. Now is the time to act.”

The funds in the Climate and Nature Fund will focus primarily on capital projects that will help cut Ireland’s use of fossil fuels, retrofit our public and private building stock, help business decarbonise and restore nature across Ireland. The fund will begin allocating funds from 2026.

Brian Leddin TD added that it was heartening to see Ireland take such far-sighted decision especially at a time when our nearest neighbour is reversing its climate ambitions.

“At a time when we should be moving faster, we see across the Irish Sea British politicians are reversing their ambition in order to try and split the public consensus on climate and win votes. We can be proud in Ireland that we are taking the opposite approach and are investing in tackling the climate and biodiversity crises and in our children's future.”

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