Anyone with knowledge of GEAI’s history knows that Public Submissions are an important part of the organization’s work. Participating in these consultations allows us to place the needs of rural communities on the political agenda, sheds light on our struggles, and uses our expertise to help drive sustainable transformation. This is not possible without involving the most vulnerable communities, and GEAI believes that through the work we have done and will continue to do in these consultations, we can make a difference.

For this reason, the last couple of months have been a carousel of work done on official responses and enquiries we would like to submit. GEAI has done five submissions on:

Developing a Hydrogen Strategy for Ireland

Last July the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications launched a Consultation to develop a hydrogen strategy for Ireland to support the goals of the 2021 Climate Action Plan to decarbonise various sectors including industry, electricity and transport. In the consultation paper the Government made clear statements on the promotion of Green Hydrogen, which GEAI strongly supports. Our Research and Policy team primarily answered to the questions on Energy Security and Energy research. To read them please access this link.

Energy Poverty Strategy

The Residential Energy Efficiency Division of the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications invited stakeholders to answer some questions regarding the review of the Strategy to Combat Energy Poverty. The consultation aimed to overcome new challenges that have emerged since the publication of the strategy and to ensure at-risk households are prepared for winter. To see our responses please access this link.

Biodiversity Loss

The Citizens Assembly were consulted in order to find ways of improvement regarding biodiversity loss and bring forward a proposal. GEAI as a member of the Assembly provided comments and recommendations on important issues such as the scale, threats and opportunities of the biodiversity emergency and key drivers of biodiversity loss. To see the rest of the questions and answers please access this link.

Call for Expert Evidence – Climate Action Plan 2023

The Government of Ireland is starting to prepare the next Climate Action Plan, which will set out actions that must be taken in order to ensure we achieve our legally binding 2030 targets, prepare for climate neutrality no later than 2050, and make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. For that matter GEAI wanted to make contribution in regard to the areas of Just Transition, Transport and Circular Economy. To read our submission please access this link.

Small-Scale Generation Support Scheme in Ireland

The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications is developing a support scheme for Small-Scale Generation (SSG) that contributes to meeting the targets on renewable electricity set out in the Climate Action Plan 2021, helping to deliver the target of 5.5 GW of solar energy by 2023. GEAI is focused not only on helping develop the solar power sector in Ireland but also on highlighting the difficulties and specifics barriers impacting Community projects in rural areas. To know more access the link.

Stay tuned to updates and new responses to the Government. GEAI is committed to engaging in consultations in all areas of sustainability and community development that promise to transform rural regions.

Written by Silvia Garcés.