Ireland on course to meet 2020 emissions target
Fine Gael MEP for Dublin, Brian Hayes, today welcomed a letter from the EU Climate Commissioner, which says that Ireland is on course to meet its EU greenhouse gas emissions targets by 2020. Under EU binding targets, Ireland is obliged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, compared to 2005 levels.
“EU Climate Commissioner Arias Canete has informed me that if we take into account flexibility mechanisms under EU rules, Ireland is on course to meet its emissions obligations. For the period 2013-2017, Ireland’s emissions targets could be over-achieved. This would allow emission reductions to be banked and then used for the period 2018-2020. The full implementation of planned measures and renewable targets for transport and heat and energy will ultimately help us to meet our targets.
“One of Ireland’s big difficulties is getting other Member States to recognise Ireland’s challenge as a country that has suffered a major economic downturn. The crisis has restricted Ireland’s ability to direct resources into reducing emissions and therefore some flexibility should be afforded to Ireland.
“Commissioner Canete also stated that according to the latest preliminary assessment of projections, 24 Member States are on course to meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets by 2020.
“There is much work to do to become a truly low-carbon economy, but it should be recognised that progress is being made through the reduction of energy consumption and an increase in the use of renewable energy. According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Ireland is using five times more renewables than in 1990.
“The real challenge lies after 2020, when new obligations will come in and we have to hit more ambitious targets by 2030. By 2030, greenhouse gas emissions will have to be reduced by 30% compared with 2005 levels. This will require some serious forward planning and I believe the government should develop a long-term national strategy on the reduction of emissions in the context of our international obligations.”