Question No. 751
Chun an Aire Comhshaoil, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiúil:
To the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government:
To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the extent to which carbon reduction targets are likely to be achieved in the short, medium and long term; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Bernard J. Durkan.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 16th June, 2015.
Ref No: 23948/15
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly)
For each year between 2013 and 2020, Ireland has an ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction target under the 2009 EU Effort-Sharing Decision (406/2009/EC). An assessment of Ireland’s progress towards achieving its emissions reduction targets under the Effort-Sharing Decision is set out in Ireland’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Projections 2014 €“ 2035 , published by the Environmental Protection Agency in May 2015.
Furthermore, in October 2014, the European Council endorsed a binding EU target of an at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and specified that the target will be delivered collectively by the EU in the most cost-effective manner possible, with the reductions in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and the non-ETS sector amounting to 43% and 30% by 2030 compared to 2005, respectively. While the specific details of each Member State ‘s contribution towards these targets have yet to be determined , the Council agreed that all Member States will participate in this effort, balancing considerations of fairness and solidarity.
The extent of the challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in line with our EU and international commitments, is well understood by Government, as reflected in the National Policy Position on Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development , published in April 2014, and in the Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development Bill 2015 , published in January 2015 . The National Policy Position provides a high-level policy direction for the adoption and implementation by Government of plans to enable the State to move to a low-carbon economy by 2050. Proposed statutory authority for the plans is set out in the Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development Bill 2015 .
In anticipation of enactment of the planned legislation, work is already underway on developing a low-carbon plan – the National Mitigation Plan, the primary objective of which will be to track implementation of measures already underway and identify additional measures within the longer term to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and progress the overall national low car bon transition agenda to 2050. Last week, I launched a six week consultation on the development of the National Mitigation Plan and I look forward to receiving input from all interested parties on how we might address the specific challenges ahead and harness the opportunities that arise as Ireland moves towards a low-carbon sustainable economic future. To stimulate discussion on the matter, a backgro und paper outlining the development of the National Mitigation Plan to date, and the planned process for its further development, has been prepared and is available at the following link: