The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton TD today (Wednesday the 22nd of April) welcomed the publication of 2019 power and industrial emissions by the Environmental Protection Agency. In 2019, greenhouse gas emissions from Irish power generation and industrial companies fell by 8.7%.
The government's Climate Action Plan, published by Minister Bruton last year, marks a decisive shift in policy and sets out clearly for the first time how Ireland can meet it's legally binding EU 2030 targets.
Minister Bruton said,
"Emissions from our largest energy users have fallen from a high of 20.3 tonnes of CO2 in 2008, to 14.1 tonnes last year. This has been largely due to investment in our renewable energy capacity, which today stands at around 33% of all electricity generation. Through the Climate Action Plan, we have committed to increasing this to 70% by 2030.
These results show that it is possible to break the link between economic progress and carbon emissions. Last year, the economy grew by 6% but our electricity and major industrial emissions fell by 8.7%. It is welcome progress, but we must do more. The upcoming RESS (Renewable Energy Support Scheme) auctions and the preparatory work to grow the renewables on the grid will be important developments.
As we consider our future recovery, we must ensure that climate resilience is built in and that we leverage Ireland's natural assets and invest in our renewable capacity, particularly offshore wind."
The Climate Action Plan, published by Minister Bruton last year, is designed to reduce emissions by 35% by 2030 (or 3.5% per year on average). To deliver the 35% reduction set out in the Plan, we must deliver 1 million electric vehicles, 500,000 homes upgrades, 70% renewable electricity, an €80 carbon tax, greater agricultural efficiencies, and the implementation of over 180 further actions. It will mean we have cleaner air, warmer homes, and a more sustainable economy.
The government have welcomed the EU New Green Deal, which will see the EU raise its ambition from 40% to 50 - 55%. Ireland supports this and supports delivering net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This will require further development of the Climate Action Plan, and the inclusion of new ambition and new actions. The Climate Action Plan, like the Action Plan for Jobs, commits to a rigorous implementation and reporting.
Notes to the Editor
EU Emissions Trading System
The Environmental Protection Agency is the competent authority for implementation of the EU Emissions Trading System in Ireland.
The EU Emissions Trading System covers large energy users and electricity generators, these are known as "stationary installations". 103 major industrial and institutional sites were required to report their emissions for 2019 to the EPA by 31 March 2020.