Power and industrial emissions fell 8.7% last year according to a new report by the Environmental Protection Agency.
This is very positive news as the Government’s Climate Action Plan, launched by my Department last year, marks a decisive shift in policy in order to meet our emissions targets for 2030.
The increased investment in our renewable energy capacity has seen emissions from our largest energy users fall from a high of 20.3 tonnes of CO2 in 2008 to 14.1 tonnes last year.
Our renewable energy capacity currently stands at 33% and we have committed in the Climate Action Plan to increase this to 70% by 2030, which will meet our legally-binding EU targets.
Significantly, we have seen the 8.7% cut in electricity and major industrial emissions at a time when the economy grew by 6%. This clearly demonstrates that economic growth and climate action are not mutually exclusive.
We will continue to grow our renewables capacity through the Renewable Energy Support Scheme and by investing in areas such as offshore wind energy.”
The Climate Action Plan is designed to reduce emissions by 35% by 2030 (or 3.5% per year on average).
It involves delivering one million electric vehicles on the road, 500,000 home upgrades and retrofits, 70% renewable electricity and the implementation of more than 180 additional actions.
Climate Action means we will have cleaner air, warmer homes and a more sustainable economy.”
The Government has welcomed the EU New Green Deal, which will see the EU raise its ambition from 40% to 50 – 55% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.
Ireland supports this along with delivering zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
This will require further development of the Climate Action Plan and the inclusion of new targets and new actions.