you are here : home » news »

Still no certainty within the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill on how Ireland will reduce carbon emissions

20 Jan 2015

20th January 2015

Now, more than ever it is essential that decisions on Energy Policy are bold enough to get us off our addiction to fossil fuels

The Government has finally published the long awaited Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015.  Friends of the Earth welcome the publication of the Bill, however have expressed dismay that this current draft does not include any targets for reducing carbon emissions and allows for a potential delay of up to 2 years before any plan to reduce carbon emissions in Ireland is implemented. 

Commenting, Policy and Campaigns manager at Friends of the Earth, Kate Ruddock said

‘We haven’t had a plan in place to reduce carbon emissions in Ireland since the National Climate Change Strategy expired at the end of 2012.  This Bill allows for further delay until 2017 before any plan to reduce emissions is developed and means that individual sectors such as energy, transport or agriculture will not be obliged to make any changes to reduce carbon emissions for at least another 2 years.  The Environmental Protection Agency is already predicting Ireland will not meet its European 2020 emissions reduction targets [1] and without a plan in place it is hard to imagine a scenario where we can reduce our emissions at all.

Kate Ruddock continued,

'This is a massive missed opportunity. Looking at the energy sector, we have one of the most carbon intensive systems in the world, relying on fossil fuels for about 90% of our energy use [2].  Despite the growth in renewables, carbon emissions from the electricity sector continue remain high because the market is allowed to favour the most polluting fuels such as coal and peat to generate electricity. A law aimed at combating climate change should change this, but this Bill as it stands will not. '

'The potential for inaction means it is now all the more important that the White Paper on Energy Policy due later this year is visionary and ambitious with a clearly defined path to decarbonise Ireland's energy and a plan to wean us off our addiction to fossil fuels.' 

'Our plan for the future needs to be on growing our indigenous renewable energy resources and supporting communities to generate and own renewable energy developments for their benefit in their local areas.  We need a plan to upgrade all of our buildings so they waste less energy and a commitment from Government that we will stop sending €6.5 billion a year abroad to import fossil fuels.  This requires some clear and bold decisions on where our energy comes from; it requires closing the coal burning plant at Moneypoint, stopping the burning of peat for electricity, a ban on fracking and a commitment that Ireland will be fossil fuel free by 2050'


[1] Environmental Protection Agency National Emissions Projections

[2] Energy In Ireland 2013, 2014 report

Digital Revolutionaries