Implications for Ireland + some suggestions
The recent highly acclaimed Paris climate agreement is certainly a big step forward in International Relations and its approach to environmental protection. The start of the end of the fossil fuel era!
What it will take to convert the words into reality will be another days work.
Cutting Carbon Emissions and the so called “cost of carbon” will become a really big issue in many countries. This will be especially true for rural Ireland where many households rely 100% on open solid fuel fires as the primary source of heat.
The poorer part of the population will, going on previous knowledge, be asked to proportionally bear more of the burden as has become the usual practice. Just like India and China, which are fairly recent polluters, are being asked to forgo on cashing in their fossil fuel deposits.
Implications for Ireland
Grant schemes in Ireland have tended to heavily favour the better off, where massive grants were offered for very expensive geothermal and wood-pellet heating systems, things that marginal earners cannot even begin to consider.
What is needed are schemes to entice the low earners away from fossil fuel usage. With not so much of the BIG STICK of more taxation.
I have suggested, several times over the years, on this blog that it would be a prudent investment for Ireland to invest in several areas that could impact positively on the situation.
1. A large-scale investment in timber planting and production.
2. Investment in high-density “fused” wood briquette production. This type of pressure fused wood briquette, and only this type of wood briquette is fully capable of properly replacing coal. Hammer mill and screw extrusion hollow briquettes simply do not measure up and will NEVER be widely accepted.
3. Subsidize the price of wood briquettes and keep them tax free.
4. A grant aided scheme to eliminate all open fires by installing multi-fuel stoves.
5. Get the price gougers and also the "expert" BER certificate issuers out of the grant picture. This is complicating the issue and adding cost.