Tuesday 23 April 2019

Ministers considering automatic carbon tax increases if emissions targets not met

Richard Bruton said such a scheme could be contemplated for next year’s budget.

Energy Minister Richard Bruton (Michelle Devane/PA)
Energy Minister Richard Bruton (Michelle Devane/PA)

By Michelle Devane, Press Association  

The Government will consider hiking carbon taxes annually if emissions targets are not met, the Energy Minister has said.

Richard Bruton said carbon tax would not be increased in this year’s budget but that it could be on the cards for the 2020 budget.

Mr Bruton made the comments at the launch of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2019 review of Ireland’s energy policies in Dublin on Monday.

The IEA recommended that the government introduce an “automatic upward adjustment” in carbon tax if Ireland fails to meet its emission targets each year.

“They believe that if we’re not reaching a target we should consider upping to, if you like, have the carbon price responding to an annual performance,” Mr Bruton said.

“I suppose that is open to consideration.”

But he added that it was important the taxpayers would have an idea of where carbon tax price increases were likely to end up.

“We want to see a clear trajectory so people have an idea of where carbon price is going,” he said.

While Mr Bruton said ultimately it was up to the Finance Minister whether to increase carbon taxes in October’s Budget, he said both he and the Taoiseach had been clear that increases should be put in place in the coming years.

“A carbon trajectory will be put in place, that won’t happen this year, but that will be one of the issues considered in the 2020 budget,” he stated.

The IEA acknowledged that Ireland had made significant progress in recent years but the review recommended that concrete plans be put in place to reduce carbon emissions as the country remained heavily reliant on fossil fuels.

Press Association

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