Environmental bill could be halved

The cost of the new government’s environmental policies could be halved if the cabinet is prepared to reduce some of its targets, says the government’s environmental advice bureau MNP.

The government wants to reduce energy consumption by 2% annually and raise renewable power generation (such as wind, solar and biomass ) to 20% of total production by 2020. But lower targets of 1.8% for energy consumption and 16% for renewable power generation would result in a saving of up to €4.6bn, says the MNP.
The total cost of the government’s ambitious environmental policies is around €9bn a year, says the MNP in its initial examination of the government’s programme for the coming four years. The cabinet itself has set aside €500m a year for this. The rest it hopes to raise through ‘a hefty investment’ from business and the general public.

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