For sustainable society


Ireland decides to plant 440 million trees

 Many people may have an image of Ireland, which is located on the left of the UK, as a country rich in nature. 

On September 23, Ireland announced that it will plant 440 million trees to stop global warming. According to the announcement of the Irish government, the country will promote reforestation in a farmland area; however, it directly leads to a decrease in farmers’ income.

  In response to these challenges, Ireland has also decided to impose a stricter environment-related tax than ever. For example, a “carbon tax” introduced in Ireland from 2010 will be increased to €80 per ton (approx. 9,600 yen) by 2030, compared with €44 (approx. 5,600 yen) per ton currently. The tax gained by the tax increases will be used to protect farmers who will provide farmland for the reforestation and those who are forced to change jobs due to the tax increase. In addition, the country will continue discussions with other countries to reform the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) so that farmers can farm in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

 As you can see from the reforestation project and the introduction of the carbon tax, Ireland has recently been focusing on environmental preservation policies. In order to curb the use of coal and oil, the country has decided to implement a new “Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act” from 2020. This Act bans, for example, the use of shale gas mining called “Fracking,” which has a large impact on environment, investment in oil-related companies by national wealth funds, and the use of disposable plastics. The country also plans to eliminate coal-based electricity by 2025 and increase the share of renewable energy from the current 30% to 70% after 10 years. Furthermore, it will ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles and encourage the spread of electric vehicles (EV) by 2030. As part of that effort, the country plans to limit all new public buses purchased in the future to hybrid buses.

 Ireland is trying to truly become a “Green Nation” by seriously addressing the climate and environmental issues our planet is facing and implementing specific policies. The global environment is getting worse now. Not only Ireland but also countries around the world must seriously consider environmental burdens and take measures.