Ireland’s Climate Action Plan will not be sufficient to meet our 2030 climate goals, the Environmental Protection Agency has warned.
The report warns that “all sectors need to do significantly more” to reduce emissions if Ireland is to meet its targets.
The Climate Action Plan legally commits Ireland to net-zero emissions by 2050 and a 51% reduction by 2030.
The EPA is warning that, even if every measure in the plan is carried out, emissions will only reduce by 28% - or 4% per year - by 2030.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, EPA Climate Change Programme Manager Mary Frances Rochford said the agriculture sector is facing particular challenges.
“We are highlighting that all sectors need to do more,” she said. “This is a particular challenge for agriculture, where methane emissions will need to reduce by 30% for the sector to meet the lower end of its climate actions targets.”
She said Ireland can still meet its targets if action is taken now.
“It highlights that urgent implementation of all climate plans and policies, plus further new measures are needed for Ireland to meet the 51% emission reduction target as set out in our national legislation.”
Meanwhile, the watchdog warns that Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions actually increased by 6% last year.
That comes after consecutive reductions in the previous two years.
The EPA said the increase is likely because the country is now returning to pre=-pandemic levels of activity – particularly in the transport sector.
The EPA says the agriculture sector now needs to reduce methane emissions by 30% to meet its Climate Action Plan targets.
Under existing plans, emissions are projected to increase by 1.9% by 2030.
If all plans and policies related to the transport are carried out, emissions in the sector are projected to reduce to 39% below 2018 levels by 2030.
The EPA says increased coal use due to gas shortages threatens to undo some of the good work done in recent years.
It said increased renewable energy generation, if delivered as planned, can reduce energy industry emissions by 10% by 2030.
This would see the country achieving up to 78% renewable electricity generation by 2030.
Current policies and measures can only deliver a 24% reduction in home heating emissions by 2030.
The EPA said plans to install hundreds of thousands of heat pumps and retrofit more than half a million homes must be prioritised.
It said this could achieve a 41% emissions reduction by 2030.
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