26 Aug 2021 | 09.00 am
Bord Na Móna’s Transition To A Climate Solutions Company
Semi-state prioritising carbon storage and biodiversity
26 Aug 2021 | 09.00 am
Bord na Móna is a semi-state climate solutions company helping lead Ireland towards a climate-neutral future. The organisation provides employment for approximately 1,500 people and manages a land holding of over 80,000 hectares. Our ambition is to create the right conditions to store carbon and protect biodiversity, while helping to deliver ongoing, sustainable energy security for Ireland.
Climate Solutions For A Cleaner, Brighter Future
Ireland has committed to ambitious climate goals, and Bord na Móna has designed innovative solutions to help achieve them. Our growing renewable-energy infrastructure will power a net-zero future. Renewable energy is energy that can be replenished from natural sources, such as the wind, sun and trees. Our renewable energy solutions are pioneering a low-carbon future. We work across wind, biomass, biogas and solar energies to power the national grid with clean energy.
Bord na Móna’s renewable-energy plans include a series of climate action projects, such as wind, solar energy, battery storage, biomass, renewable-gas and demand-side assets for delivery in this decade. Renewable-energy development is key to enabling future high-tech investment. It will also deliver €26m community gain funds to localities by 2030. The developments will reduce Ireland’s dependence on fossil fuel imports and result in significantly increased rate payments by Bord na Móna to local authorities supporting local services.
Climate And The Circular Economy
In recent years, Bord na Móna has grown its focus on reusing resources, instead of consigning them entirely to landfill. This focus supports the national circular-economy policy, which aims to reduce commercial and residential waste in Ireland. Significant investments have been made in the domestic waste recycling infrastructure, the development of the Drehid and other facilities in Kildare, the Littleton farm plastics facility (on the site of a former briquette factory in Co. Tipperary), and the expansion of operations at a tyre-recycling facility in Drogheda.
Restoring Raised Bogs
Peatlands are the earth’s largest store of land carbon. By protecting and restoring our peatlands, we’re protecting our climate. Returning 8,000 hectares of raised bogs to their natural state will help absorb carbon from the atmosphere. At the end of 2020, Bord na Móna (with €108m in funding from the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications) launched the €126m Peatland Climate Action Scheme, which will harness the natural power of peatlands to secure a store of over 100m tonnes of carbon in perpetuity, cut emissions, and capture millions of tonnes more in the coming years.
Over 1,400 climate solutions jobs are currently being created and enabled by Bord na Móna across the Midlands. Some 550 jobs have been created over the past 18 months, and Bord na Móna will create a further 250 jobs in renewable energy, recycling, consumer products, and land and habitat development in the next five years. Along with direct employment creation, the company expects a yearly average of 300 construction jobs for renewable energy and other projects across the Midlands. In addition, over 300 new jobs are expected to be enabled through partnerships. Most of the new roles will be taken up by employees who were, until recently, employed in peat-harvesting activities.
According to Tom Donnellan, Chief Executive of Bord na Móna: “We are in the climate solutions business now, and Bord na Móna will continue to be a leading employer in the Midlands into the future. We are going beyond merely replacing old jobs – we are creating over 1,400 twenty-first-century jobs that will sustain this generation of people in employment, to ensure that communities continue to thrive across the region.”
Photo (l-r): Tom Donnellan, Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD and Minister for the Environment, Climate Action and Communications and Transport Eamon Ryan TD