Cowen announces new ‘green deal’ for Ireland

Minister of Finance Brian Cowen has unveiled plans to implement a new 'green deal' as part of a larger framework to build a better economy.

The eco-friendly agreement is to be established within ‘Building Ireland’s Smart Economy: A Framework for Sustainable Economic Renewal’.

It is hoped that the deal will see a shift in Ireland’s use of fossil fuel-based energy production towards investment in renewable energy.

Moreover, the agreement aims to promote the green enterprise sector and help to establish more jobs for people working in environmentally-friendly industries.

“Putting energy efficiency at the heart of this strategy will protect us from the inevitable rise in the cost of energy ‘inputs’ and the pollution outputs from our economic activity,” the report said.

Speaking about the framework, Mr Cowen said he did not want to “mislead people” into thinking it will instantly solve Ireland’s economic problems.

However, he added Government “refuse to simply weather the ‘perfect storm’ of negative international economic factors”.

In all, €31bn will be divided up and invested in energy firms ESB, Bord Gais and Eirgrid as part of the green deal.

They will use these funds to work towards the target of having 40 per cent of Ireland’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.

This week Mr Cowen also announced that financial institutions will be establishing green funds, which will also go towards investment in eco-friendly initiatives.

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