As part of this government’s plans to take better care of our planet, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality with responsibility for Law Reform, James Browne and Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett have announced a new €55 million ‘Green Transition’ fund to help businesses move away from fossil fuels and towards more sustainable, cheaper alternatives.
The Green Transition Fund is part of Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), which is funded by the European Union.
Speaking today, the Tánaiste said, “we need to take better care of our planet. This generation should aim to pass it on to the next in a better condition than we inherited it. Businesses have a really important role to play. However, we need to recognise that, despite the fact we have a higher number of people employed now than in the history of the state, many of our business owners are still getting back on their feet after what has been an incredibly difficult couple of years. So, we need to help them when it comes to what is another enormous challenge – reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.”
“This new €55 million Fund has two elements, one part to help businesses make a plan particular to their company to give them clarity on what exactly needs to be done and another part, more aimed at our manufacturing industry, investing in more environmental way of doing things. Putin’s war on Ukraine has highlighted the vulnerability of becoming too reliant on finite resources controlled by other states. We need to help Irish businesses now prepare for a future where economic growth and fossil fuels are not intertwined. This Fund is an important help.”
Minister Pippa Hackett said, “we will only achieve our climate targets with an all-of-government, all-of-society approach, and the business sector has a vital role to play in our transition to a low-carbon economy. This is an exciting time for businesses who want to make that transition, and I am delighted to be part of a government that is targeting supports towards a greener, more sustainable and more resilient business environment.”
“Employees, customers, funders and shareholders alike are demanding more from businesses when it comes to their environmental credentials. As businesses continue their recovery from the pandemic, this €55 million Green Transition Fund is a great example of how government funding can be used to help enterprise to move away from pre-COVID, business as usual models, to models that deliver for the environment, as well as for their employees, their customers and the communities in which they operate.”
Minister James Browne said, “the businesses I talk to see opportunities to reduce their costs and their carbon emissions by better managing their energy use. These Funds can unlock that opportunity for manufacturing businesses in particular, and make a real difference to the bottom line and climate impact of our enterprise base. Government understands the strain that energy costs are putting on business, and this is another way to help relieve some of that pressure.”
The Green Transition Fund comprises:
1. The Climate Planning Fund for Business, which will give businesses funding to come up with a personalised plan to identify how best to remove reliance on fossil fuels in their business. A €1,800 grant to develop a plan and up to €50,000 matched funding to go towards specific capacity building within an enterprise are among the grants available.
2. The Enterprise Emissions Reduction Investment Fund, which will give manufacturing businesses funding to invest in carbon neutral heating processes, smart metering and energy monitoring, and research and development. Up to €1 million is available for businesses to upgrade their processes.
The programmes will run over the next five years. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) was developed by the government to direct funding under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. Ireland is expected to receive more than €900 million in grants over the lifetime of the Facility.
Interested companies can apply: www.enterprise-ireland.com/greentransitionfund.