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EU €1.85trillion Recovery Plan includes support for renewables and biomethane.

RGFI has welcomed the European Commission’s revamped long-term EU budget and €1.85 trillion Recovery Plan, noting that the proposal includes crucial support for the biomethane industry. The RGFI is now calling on Irish government negotiators to commit to ambitious biomethane targets.

“We commend the European Commission’s plan to stimulate economic recovery and jobs, while enabling the energy transition by supporting renewable energy”. said JP Prendergast, Chairman of RGFI, today. “As well as focusing on renewable and decarbonised gases, and clean and sustainable mobility , the EU Recovery Plan contains a proposal to support new anaerobic digesters to reduce methane emissions in the farming sector.

The €14 billion investment to protect natural carbon sinks and launch the EU carbon farming programme is a positive step. The recognition of sequential cropping as a sustainable technique to reduce farming carbon footprint would additionally help EU and Irish farmers manage soil quality and fertility and restore biodiversity”

The focus of the Recovery Plan and the EU Green Deal on renewable and decarbonised gases, as well as the circular economy, represents a significant opportunity for Ireland’s growth post Covid 19. It is essential now that the Irish government increases its focus on key areas such as biomethane.

In the context of the current government negotiations, RGFI has asked the various Party leaders and government negotiators to commit to a more ambitious target for biomethane and a national strategy for agri based anaerobic digestion. Specifically RGFI has proposed a target of 12% for the replacement of current natural gas consumption with renewable gas biomethane in both the National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 and the Irish governments Climate Action submission to the EU Commission.

“RGFI members who are large scale users of natural gas in the agri food, beverages and biopharma sectors can make an immediate switch to biomethane, which would deliver environmental and carbon reduction benefits throughout the Irish economy. For example Irish gas consumer interest will not be served by supporting the proposed Shannon LNG Terminal but by supporting biomethane – as demonstrated in a KPMG benefit cost report published last October.”

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