(2017-04-13)Ireland said on Thursday it will not meet its 2020 EU greenhouse gas emission reduction targets with the current range of policy measures.
The latest figures demonstrate the need for new and innovative measures to meet the challenges that Ireland faces in making the transition to a low carbon economy, Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in a report of greenhouse gas emission projections from 2016 to 2035.
Ireland's EU target for 2020 is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the non-emissions trading scheme (non-ETS) sector by 20 percent on 2005 levels.
Ireland's non-ETS sector covers emissions from agriculture, transport, residential, commercial, non-energy intensive industry and waste sectors.
The non-ETS sector emissions are projected to be 4-6 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, compared to the 2020 target of 20 percent below 2005 levels.
Agriculture and transport are projected to account for 74 percent of Ireland's non-ETS sector emissions in 2020, the EPA said in the report.
New obligations for Ireland to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the years 2021-2030 are expected to be agreed at EU level in 2017, it said.
"The further away Ireland is from the 20 percent reduction target in 2020, the more difficult the compliance challenges in the following decade are likely to become," it added.
Laura Burke, EPA director general, said the EPA's latest greenhouse gas projections are a disappointing indicator that the current range of policy measures to reduce emissions and to meet compliance obligations are failing in an improving economy.
"In addition, Ireland has a national policy position that commits us to reducing our carbon emissions by at least 80 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2050 across the electricity generation, built environment and transport sectors while achieving carbon neutrality in the agriculture and land use sectors," she said.