Smoky coal to be banned nationwide by 2018



Environment Minister Alan Kelly
Environment Minister Alan Kelly

Smoky coal will be banned across the State in time for the “heating season” in 2018, according to Environment Minister Alan Kelly.

However, the timescale will ultimately be determined through consultation with the European Union and other stakeholders.

Mr Kelly, speaking at a clean-air conference held in the Wood Quay offices of Dublin City Council yesterday, said the benefits of a nationwide ban - based on the existing 25-year old ban in Dublin - would include “very significant reductions in respiratory problems and indeed mortalities”.

He told the conference that Ireland was “the first country in the world to introduce a nationwide smoking ban 10 years ago and I want us to now show similar leadership in relation to clean air policy”.

He also said the policy could have health and economics benefits worth €53 million a year.

Mr Kelly added: ”I have instructed my officials to commence the process that will see the benefits of the smoky coal ban extended nationwide.

“This process involves consultation with the EU, our colleagues across Government and of course residential fuel market operators.

“My aim is that the nationwide ban will take effect in the shortest possible timeframe following consultations.”