Thursday 22 June 2017

Greenhouse gas strategy needs to be more than just a lot of hot air

Ireland is unfairly at risk of fines from the EU over greenhouse gas emissions

Buildings are seen through thick haze at the central business district in Guangzhou, Guangdong province in China. Worldwide, emissions have averaged a 2.7 per cent annual increase
Buildings are seen through thick haze at the central business district in Guangzhou, Guangdong province in China. Worldwide, emissions have averaged a 2.7 per cent annual increase
A couple look inside Toyota's Corolla at its showroom in Beijing
Colm McCarthy

Colm McCarthy

Candidates, the media and voters appeared to agree that issues of European policy were not worth an airing during the European Parliament elections, conducted to general satisfaction as a popularity contest.

Last Wednesday, the Wexford-based Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Ireland was failing to meet European targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and could face fines, possibly running to hundreds of millions, from the European Commission. Not a whisper on this matter was raised during the election campaign.

Both energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions have been falling in Ireland for quite a while now. Total emissions fell 16 per cent from 2005 to 2012 and it comes as rather a shock that the country faces fines for failing to have a sufficiently deep recession.

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