Emissions figures release today show strong national targets pay off.
12 Oct 2012
No room for complacency as challenges still remain.
Figures released today show a 7% drop in Irish climate pollution. While some of this can be attributed to the economic recession that is not the whole story. The excellent work of a designated authority(SEAI) to tackle energy effiiency in homes and stretch targets for renewable electricity have resulted in significant progress in the sectors related to power generation and home heating.
Commenting on the EPA figures released Oisin Coghlan said
" We welcome today's EPA figures that show Irish climate pollution is down. The reduction is primarily as a result of two things, the economic downturn and some excellent work in the energy and residential sector driven by strong national targets."
"The EPA projections show that it is well within our reach to meet our targets for 2020, but they warn big challenges remain to meet this target. We need get our house in order so that when economic activity picks up we have a framework in place to keep reducing our emissions. The forthcoming climate legislation will be a cornerstone of a sustainable low-carbon economy.
In the Dáil yesterday, the Minister for the Environment restated his commitment to publish a draft climate Bill before the end of the year.
Highlights from the EPa figures released today:
Our total emissions in 2011 are at 57.3 million tonnes, down almost 7% on the previous year.
Ireland has a carbon budget of 314mT over 5 years under the Kyoto protocol. Current projections have us meeting this target.
Projections show that meeting our EU targets in 2020 in not guaranteed but is certainly possible.
The biggest decreases are in the sectors of Energy(mostly power generation) down 10.5% and Residential(mostly home heating) down 15.6%
Renewables now represent almost 20% of overall electricity consumption. Ireland has a 30% renewable target for 2020 from the EU and a stronger 40% national target. This success in this area has resulted in significant replacement of fossil fuel power generation by renewable energy.
Agricultural emissions are down just under 2% on last year. Agriculture accounts for over a third of our national emissions(32%)
While emissions are down in transport this year this sector has seen the greatest overall increase since 1990 at 121%. Changes in the VRT have resulted in purchases of much efficient new vehicles. However, there are now twice as many cars on the roads as in 1990.
1.Today's EPA press release is here http://www.epa.ie/news/pr/2012/name,33923,en.html
2.Speaking in the Dail yesterday Minister Hogan said "I am adhering to the commitments set out by me last January in the roadmap on climate change. The heads of the Bill will be published, as promised, before the end of the year." http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20authoring/debateswebpack.nsf/takes/dail2012101100025?opendocument
3.The Minister's climate roadmap is here http://www.environ.ie/en/Environment/Atmosphere/News/MainBody,29241,en.htm