Minister Joe O’Brien welcomes publication of very green National Development Plan

4th October, 2021

NDP commits to major investment in sustainable transport, climate action, and public housing

Minister Joe O’Brien today welcomed the publication of the new National Development Plan (NDP), which outlines the Government’s commitment to progress key infrastructure over the next decade, meeting our climate action ambitions and improving our collective quality of life.

The National Development Plan will be the largest and greenest ever, delivering on Green Party commitments to future proof the plan and deliver for climate, communities, and equality. The plan lays out a detailed vision for Ireland over the next 10 years, with public investment of €165 billion over the period 2021-2030.

Welcoming the Plan, Minister Joe O’Brien said:

“The time is now for significant investment towards greening our country and our economy. A €35 billion package in transport will transform how we travel within and across our communities in Fingal with a 2:1 ratio of investment in public transport projects over roads, with a total of €11.6 billion being invested in new public transport projects. This extends the key commitments on public transport investment the Green Party secured in the Programme for Government beyond the lifetime of this Government and to the end of the decade. This will provide more people with better access to cleaner, quieter modes of transport. The investment includes the roll out of Metrolink, the extension of the DART line to Drogheda via Balbriggan,  and the completion of the BusConnects project. In addition, there will be ongoing investment of €360m per annum in cycling and pedestrian infrastructure throughout the rest of this decade, which will transform active travel throughout the country.

“This record investment will deliver a transport system which improves our quality of life and provides us with greater choices to travel more efficiently and sustainably – be it by footpath, cycleway, road or rail, keeping us connected to our families, our workplaces and our communities. This will be a decade of change.”

A climate and environmental assessment of the NDP measures has been undertaken, along with an assessment of the alignment of the plan with the ideals of a green recovery. It aims to meet Ireland’s climate targets and to deliver a carbon neutral Ireland by 2050, and provides the funding to support the forthcoming Climate Action Plan.

Minister O’Brien added;

“This plan commits to an unprecedented scaling up of renewable energy up to 80% of supply by 2030. This will help decarbonise Ireland’s electricity supply, reduce emissions across the economy, as well as significantly reduce Ireland’s dependence on fossil fuels from abroad. Critically, there will also be an accelerated shift from a take-make-waste model of consumption to a new Circular Economy strategy and a Circular Economy innovation grant scheme.

The NDP also supports the biggest public housing programme in the history of the State:

“As outlined in the recent launch of the Housing for All plan, we are making a serious commitment to addressing the housing and affordability crisis. This includes the introduction of Cost Rental accommodation to Ireland for the first time and critically, commits funding to an enhanced retrofitting programme. This will provide for the upgrade of at least 500,000 residences to a Building Energy Rating of B2 by 2030, making our homes warmer and cheaper to run while also reducing emissions. The Plan also commits to funding an Affordable Housing Plan which will finance our ambitions in relation to Cost Rental Housing, a key Green Party policy.”