Home ireland Ireland set to significantly miss emissions reduction targets, EPA warns

Ireland set to significantly miss emissions reduction targets, EPA warns

Ireland set to significantly miss emissions reduction targets, EPA warns

Ireland is set to miss its 2030 emissions reduction targets by a significant margin, an environmental watchdog has warned.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the country is on course to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 29 per cent from a 2018 baseline by the end of the decade, falling well short of the legally-binding 51 per cent target.

The 29 per cent will only be achieved with the implementation of the confirmed policies contained within the Government’s Climate Action Plan, the EPA said.

The agency projected that almost all sectors are on a trajectory to exceed their specific emissions ceilings for 2025 and 2030, including agriculture, electricity, transport and industry.

The EPA said more government action is needed, with policies that deliver reductions in emissions across all sectors in the short term.

The agency based its projections on an assessment of the measures included in the national Climate Action Plan.

It said there is a need to firm up actions in the plan that currently do not have associated policies and measures, such as diversification in agriculture, and identify and implement further carbon=cutting policies.

The first two carbon budgets (2021-2030), which set a maximum amount of emissions that can be produced, are projected to be exceeded by between 24 per cent and 34 per cent, according to the EPA.

EPA director-general Laura Burke said a 51 per cent reduction is still “feasible” but all sectors need to prioritise climate action and “grasp the nettle”.

“Ireland will miss its 2030 climate targets unless all sectors of the economy deliver emission reductions in the short term and sustain this delivery into the future,” she said.

“We’re in the third year of the first carbon budget period, with only seven more years left to 2030. A continued lack of delivery of large-scale practical actions to decarbonise activities in all sectors will see us exceed our carbon budgets.

“Importantly, in preparing these projections, it was not possible for the EPA to include all actions in Climate Action Plan 2023 – such as diversification of agriculture and decarbonisation of construction materials – more detail is needed on the how and the when of the delivery of these actions.”

Ms Burke added: “Ireland needs to grasp the nettle of climate action so it can realise the significant opportunities and social and economic co-benefits for people, communities and business that can be delivered through innovation and decarbonisation.“