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Looking To A Greener Future In Ireland

23 Jun | By Smart MBS
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Looking To Greener Future In Ireland

A key topic being discussed by policymakers recently is climate change, including at the recent G7 talks in the UK. A pledge was made there, in the Carbis Bay Communique, to “protect our planet by supporting a green revolution that creates jobs, cuts emissions and seeks to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees.”In this, as in other areas, the Irish Government is ahead of the curve, approving, earlier this year, The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021, which targets net-zero emissions by 2050, in line with the G7’s recent commitment. 

The Climate Action Bill is still making its way through Parliament. However, while the Government is looking to tax polluting behaviours, it is also looking to support businesses to green their activities.

Some of the supports in place in this area include a number overseen by Enterprise Ireland:

  • The Climate Action Voucher: A grant of up to EUR1,800 to support businesses to engage consultants on the adoption of renewable energy technologies and on boosting sustainability.
  • GreenStart: A grant of up to EUR5,000 for businesses to assess and reduce their carbon footprint and increase sustainability.
  • GreenPlus: A grant, capped at EUR50,000, for eligible costs incurred by a business towards the development of a multi-year climate change action plan.

Incentives and supports for businesses are also available from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), including:

  • The EXEED Grant: A grant of up to EUR1m offered to private or public sector organisations looking to make a significant investment in an energy-related project.
  • Accelerated Capital Allowance: This incentive allows businesses to more quickly deduct against tax their purchases of plant and machinery. 
  • Project Assistance Grants: This program supports businesses that spend more than EUR250,000 to reduce their consumption and costs.

 Ireland is likely to announce a number of new measures, in addition to all these support schemes, in its upcoming budget, expected to be presented again in October. These measures are likely to include new perks for companies investing in renewable energies and supports for businesses who alter how they do business to reduce their carbon footprint.

Despite the tax measures, incentives and supports discussed above, it has been argued that the Irish Government should consider further action to incentivise “green” behaviours. Given the potential for a rising burden on polluting activities both in Ireland and internationally, now may be an opportune time for businesses to consider how to ensure they are one step ahead of the curve, using the supports from the Irish Government as a springboard.

Ireland is likely to announce a number of new measures, in addition to all these support schemes, in its upcoming budget, expected to be presented again in October. These measures are likely to include new perks for companies investing in renewable energies and supports for businesses who alter how they do business to reduce their carbon footprint. 

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