This submission was made in response to a consultation call from the Department of the Taoiseach. It refers to a draft overview of strategic risk in Ireland that is available at https://assets.gov.ie/9294/d5b7898a4d8e47d1a7ff1d9efc6e1e53.pdf.(Please note that the submission had to be made in questionnaire form and so excludes the summary below).
We welcome the Department’s willingness to seek out external opinions on risk in Ireland.
We believe that there are several serious omissions in the Draft Overview, and that some sections of it need to be recalibrated.
Summary of our response
- Environmental risks are increasingly elevated and their existential aspect should be clearly acknowledged.
- Easy access to oil is diminishing steadily, and renewables simply cannot do all the tasks that oil can do. Transportation will be particularly strongly affected. It is essential to keep this in mind while planning the energy transition.
- The global financial system is highly volatile and unstable, and overly dependent on access to cheap (fossil fuel) energy. Financial risk can be mitigated by top-down monetary reform to decouple the financial system from energy dependency, and Irish negotiators can and should lobby for this.
- Ireland is particularly vulnerable to global financial system instability at present, and it needs to diversify and democratise its banking sector in order to increase its robustness.
- The risk of economic overheating can be mitigated by a range of policy tools in addition to fiscal measures, and it also needs to be carefully weighed against a risk of economic ‘underheating’.
Download the full submission
Featured image: rope bridge. Source: https://fr.freeimages.com/photo/rope-bridge-1232850