Financial Incentives to Promote a Resource Efficient Irish Economy

Financial Incentives to Promote a Resource Efficient Irish Economy

Researcher: Dr. Celine McInerney

T: 021 4902839


Funding Body: Environmental Protection Agency

Project Type: 2014 SustainabilityResearch Call

Period: 18 months from April 2015


Project Description 


There is broad consensus in the literature and amongst policy makers that capital markets have failed to correctly price the externalities associated with climate change, and that this has created a need for policy makers to deal with these externalities. The EU (2014) suggest that policy measures to improve resource efficiency must place greater emphasis on “getting the prices right” and “should set the right price signals through market based instruments (payment schemes, charges and taxes)” so that the true cost of consuming these scarce resources (including externalities) is available. Hence if returns on investment in resource efficient assets (which have positive externalities for all citizens) are not sufficient to attract capital, then policy tools should be implemented to incentive investment so that the broader policy goals of resource efficiency can be achieved.


This project will present a proposal for a funding instrument to attract capital to the resource efficient economy in Ireland. This will incorporate international best practice on financial incentives for financing the transition to the resource efficient economy as well as examining the effectiveness of existing financial incentives. The proposed funding instrument will be socially-inclusive as it will be fiscally-incentivised so that investment is “citizen led” rather than “developer led”. The project benefits from Dr. McInerney’s 12 year career as a senior corporate finance advisor prior to UCC where she raised both debt and equity for multiple renewable energy projects.

Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork