Energy security and climate challenges should be dealt with on an all-island basis, according to a new all-island energy policy report from CBI Northern Ireland and Ibec, which highlights the lack of co-ordination as a significant barrier to energy and climate progress.

This report calls on policymakers across the island and the UK to develop and pursue a more co-ordinated and ambitious effort to transition to net zero.

According to the report, this transition should be underpinned by a new phase in energy collaboration and investment in shared infrastructure, including a recommitment to the single electricity market.

The report highlights that the shift to net-zero offers a significant chance to enhance competitiveness, but those challenges - such as regulatory uncertainty, planning delays, skills shortages, supply chain constraints and emerging energy security risks - are impeding progress toward climate goals.


Executive director of lobbying and influence at Ibec Fergal O'Brien said: "The restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive, along with the subsequent recommencement of North/South Ministerial Council (NSMC) meetings, presents a real opportunity to begin a new phase of all-Ireland co-operation."

However, he said an unco-ordinated and disjointed approach could see policymakers working against each other, resulting in unnecessary duplication of effort and investment, increased costs, mixed signals for consumers and investors, and missed opportunities for emissions reduction.

Director of CBI Northern Ireland Angela McGowan said: "Policy uncertainty has to date been a defining feature of the NI energy sector. With a new Executive in post, businesses now look forward to a period of energy policy predictability and strategic collaboration.

"Northern Ireland’s continued participation in the single electricity market, which has delivered proven benefits for consumers across the island, is critical, but collaboration must now go beyond this.

"With a relatively small market, it will be in Northern Ireland’s economic interest to broaden that energy collaboration with both ROI and Britain," she concluded.


The recommendations of the report state that new opportunities for all-island collaboration and policy alignment on energy and climate action should be embraced.

It recommends providing greater regulatory and policy certainty for investors in the green transition, safeguarding the single electricity market and strengthening electricity infrastructure across the island.

The report also recommends supporting the decarbonisation and resilience of the all-island gas network.