Ireland likely to miss low-carbon economy target, says EPA

28 May 2014

Ireland is more than likely set to miss its original low-carbon economic target by 2020, new figures from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggest.

As part of Ireland’s original target, it was hoped that Ireland was to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from transport, agriculture, residential, waste and non-energy intensive industry by 20pc by 2020, in comparison with emission figures for 2005.

Going by their best-case scenario in the report, the EPA see that Ireland’s production of greenhouse gases will remain relatively static, however, if we are to experience the worst-case scenario, emissions in 2020 will only be 5-12 per cent below the 2005 level.

While they have reason to believe that emissions from many everyday pollutants such as residential, waste, and services is actually on course to decrease between now and 2020, and yet, our two biggest pollutants in agriculture and transport are projected to increase by 15pc and 9pc, respectively.

The figures quoted by the EPA go under the assumption that the government’s targets will be met for renewable fuel penetration, electric vehicle rollout and Food Harvest 2020.

Director general of the EPA, Laura Burke, said that Ireland need to establish themselves as a leader in developing a low-carbon economy: ““We need to translate our national commitment to a low-carbon future into action on the ground if we are to deliver the required emission reductions. This is an opportunity for Ireland to show leadership as a low-carbon economy.

“There are wide benefits for business and farmers, for example, which include reducing impacts and costs; managing and minimising risk more effectively and building competitive advantage through innovative products and processes.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic