Minister launches billboard campaign to promote wind energy

Irish Environment Minister Richard Bruton hailed the role of wind energy Credit: Tom Honan/PA

The Environment Minister has launched a billboard campaign highlighting wind energy’s role in tackling climate change.

The campaign was launched on Monday by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton with Dr David Connolly of the Irish Wind Energy Association.

The posters will appear on 45 billboards and bus shelters over the next two weeks in Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, and Westmeath.

Dr Connolly said climate change is the single greatest challenge of our time.

“Our billboard campaign is highlighting the role wind energy has played in leading the move away from fossil fuels and towards clean, renewable, electricity,” he said.

With the right leadership we can be ambitious for Ireland’s energy future and for our role in the fight against climate change.

David Connolly

“The more wind energy we use, the fewer our CO2 emissions.”

The most recent report from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) found that in 2017 wind energy was responsible for avoiding 2.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Last December the Environmental Protection Agency announced that a 21% increase in electricity generated by wind in 2017 was largely responsible for a sharp fall in CO2 emissions in the energy sector.

Dr Connolly added: “Wind energy is the cleanest and cheapest source of renewable electricity in Ireland.

“Last year we provided 29% of Ireland’s electricity but that is not enough. Ireland must do better.

“We know that wind, with other renewables like solar and biogas, alongside battery technology and greater interconnection, can provide 70% of our electricity by 2030.

“This target is supported across the renewable energy sector and we hope Minister Bruton will endorse it in the climate action plan he will publish shortly.

“With the right leadership we can be ambitious for Ireland’s energy future and for our role in the fight against climate change.”

The billboard campaign is unlikely to impress the government’s political opponents, who have consistently criticised their alleged inaction over climate change.

Ireland has been ranked worst in Europe on climate action in the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2019, 48th out of the 57 entities measured.

Eamon Ryan, Green Party leader, has previously accused the government of being “two-faced” when it comes to climate.

“Fine Gael’s record on dealing with the climate crisis has been pitiful and no amount of grandstanding about their environmental credentials can hide that.

“They get out in the media and make great noise about their deep concern for our future but behind closed doors they support huge increases in emissions in transport, agriculture, and award licences to explore for oil and gas.”