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Sunday 22 September 2019

Ireland, Malta to face bills up to €13m for missed carbon targets

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Ireland and Malta will be the only two EU countries forced to buy their way out of their 2020 climate change obligations.

While other EU member states are likely to miss targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, only Ireland and Malta have underachieved to the extent they will have to purchase carbon permits at an expected cost of between €6m and €13m.

A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) warns that progress on ramping-up use of renewables and improving energy efficiency is slowing across the European Union.

Rising energy consumption, particularly in the transport sector, is to blame for the slowdown, the 'Trends and projections in Europe 2018: Tracking progress towards Europe's climate and energy targets' report published today says.

Based on data around greenhouse emissions, renewable energy uptake and energy consumption provided by member states, it says while the EU remains on track to achieve its 2020 targets on emission reductions and increased renewable energy use, increasing hikes in consumption need to be reversed.

It also says "renewed efforts" will be needed to meet more onerous 2030 targets.

The countries not on track to meet targets are Ireland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Bulgaria, Malta and Cyprus.

Meanwhile, Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton will today announce up to €25m in funding for building upgrades under the SEAI scheme.

The money is available to upgrade public buildings, including social housing, and is aimed at reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency in the built environment.

To date, €125m in community grants has helped fund upgrades valued at €300m to 17,500 homes and 2,000 non-domestic buildings, yielding estimated annual energy savings of €50m.

Irish Independent

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