(Updates with EPA scenarios)
Ireland is unlikely to meet its 2020 EU greenhouse gas reduction targets for sectors outside the bloc’s ETS, the country’s Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday.
The EPA projects that Ireland is likely to cut its non-ETS emissions by 6-11% below 2005 levels by 2020, well short of the country’s 20% target.
The sectors in question include agriculture, transport, residential, commercial, non-energy intensive industry and waste.
“Current and planned policies and measures are not sufficient to meet the 2020 targets … [and] Ireland is expected to breach annual obligation targets in 2016 or 2017, depending on the level of implementation of emission reduction policies and measures,” the EPA said.
It added that under the current scenario, which assumes that no additional policies or measures will be introduced beyond those already in place by the end of 2014, Ireland’s non-ETS emissions are forecast to exceed the 2020 target by 12 million tonnes.
And under a scenario where, in addition to current measures, the government’s renewable and energy efficiency targets for 2020, as set out in the National Renewable Energy Action Plan and the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, the country would undershoot its goal by 3 million tonnes.
In both cases, Ireland could be forced to buy non-ETS allowances from other member states to meet its 2020 target.
“New obligations for Ireland to reduce [its non-ETS] greenhouse gas emissions for the years 2021-2030 are being negotiated at EU level in 2016. The further away Ireland is from the 20% reduction target in 2020, the more difficult the compliance challenges in the following decade are likely to become,” the EPA added.
Ireland has committed to reducing its CO2 emissions from electricity generation, the built environment, and transportation by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, while achieving carbon neutrality in the agriculture and land use sectors.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org