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  1. The Irish government unveiled its ambitious Climate Action Plan on Monday Ireland is set to ban the sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 as part of its ambitious new Climate Action Plan, which was published on Monday. The 150-page Climate Action Plan was unveiled by TD Richard Bruton along with colleagues and Taoiseach [Prime Minister] Leo Varadkar on Monday in Dublin. Among some 180 actions to help Ireland reach its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, Ireland's Climate Action Plan seeks to ban the sale of gas-fueled vehicles in favor of electric vehicles. To support that action, the Irish government is promising to invest in a nationwide charging network to power the new electric vehicles. Additionally, the Irish government said it will stop offering National Car Test (NCT) certificates to gas-powered vehicles by 2045. TD Bruton said on Twitter: “This is a life changing journey and it is a rapid, transformative adjustment that is required. Nothing less will do. We must all now take up the challenge.” A press release highlighted the main takeaways of the new Climate Action Plan: Eliminate non-recyclable plastic and impose higher fees on the production of materials which are difficult to recycle, implement measures to ban single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks, and cotton buds; Establish a new Microgeneration Scheme, allowing homeowners to generate their own electricity and sell what they don’t use back to the national grid; Move to 70% renewable electricity by 2030. Currently, only 30% of our electricity comes from renewable sources; Bring 950,000 electric vehicles onto our roads, deliver a nationwide charging network, an electric vehicle scrappage scheme and legislation to ban the sale of petrol / diesel cars from 2030; Expand our network of cycling paths and “Park and Ride” facilities, helping ease congestion; Deliver an intensive program of retrofitting to install 400,000 heat pumps in homes and businesses, replacing the existing carbon-intensive heating systems; Establish a system of 5-year carbon budgets and sector targets, with the relevant Minister responsible for delivering on the target, with penalties if they are not met. These targets will be underpinned by a new Climate Action Act. All major government investments and decisions will be carbon-proofed; Deliver reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture by creating new, sustainable opportunities for family farms Deliver a new Retrofit Plan to retrofit 500,000 homes, with large groups of houses being retrofitted by the same contractor to reduce costs, smart finance, and easy payback methods; Every public body will be given a climate action mandate by their line Minister to prioritize climate action and new letters of expectation will issue to semi-state bodies on Climate Action. Source
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