'Carbon neutrality goal in agriculture must to be defined and policies put in place to achieve it'
Ireland is not on track to meet its 2020 targets or to decarbonise its economy by 2050, according to the Climate Change Advisory Council’s first Annual Review.
It said that the provisional greenhouse gas emissions data released recently by the EPA show continued increases in emissions across the Irish economy in 2016 and that the pace and scale of greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to be accelerated across all sectors of the Irish economy.
“The actions in the current National Mitigation Plan do not put Ireland on a pathway to achieve our 2020 targets or our long term decarbonisation objective,” said Chair of the Council, Professor John FitzGerald.
The Council emphasised that the agriculture sector needed to urgently adopt and implement all cost-effective measures.
The goal of carbon neutrality in the agriculture sector needs to be defined and policies put in place to achieve it.
The Council’s Review of the emissions data shows that Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 3.7pc in 2015, illustrating that Ireland’s economy and emissions have not been decoupled, with emissions increasing across all key sectors.
The Council’s first Annual Review considered national greenhouse gas inventory data from 1990-2015. The Review states that if Ireland does not introduce major new policies and measures it will miss its 2020 targets and, on its current trajectory, will also miss the proposed 2030 EU target and the objective of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide by at least 80pc by 2050.
While the Review found some progress had been made in the built environment and the energy sectors, Professor FitzGerald said: “Ireland is still over-reliant on fossil fuels. For example, Ireland has the third highest emissions per capita for residential energy use in the EU, reflecting high dependence on oil, coal and peat.