Ireland to miss Europe's 2020 emissions targets
IRELAND will not meet binding EU targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, a major report warns.
The European Environment Agency's 'Trends and Projections in Europe 2014' says just nine member states will meet targets to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. It raises concerns that the recession risks sending the "misleading signal" that reductions can be achieved without sustained effort.
The EU's 20-20-20 targets oblige countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 20pc over 1990 levels by the end of the decade; have 20pc of energy produced by renewable sources; and cut energy consumption by 20pc in the same period.
Each country has different targets and while the bloc as a while will achieve the targets, just nine member states will hit three parts - Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the UK.
The report warns that Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Finland and Spain and Ireland are not on track to reduce emissions from non-industrial sources such as transport, buildings and agriculture.
It says a "key contribution" will be made by improving energy efficiency in the building and residential sectors, but that reductions from transport will be "limited" while the agriculture sector is "not currently expected to contribute to significant emission reductions in the future."
It says progress on renewables is not on track, but that Ireland is on course to reduce energy consumption. The Government has insisted that Ireland's targets are more challenging than those of other countries.
According to the report: "The economic recession has played an important role by affecting economic activity and thereby energy demand. This, in turn, drove emissions down."