State faces bill of over €150m for missing climate change targets
Missing climate change and renewable energy targets will cost the State well in excess of €150m as emissions continue to rise.
The Government has admitted it will miss 2020 emission reduction and renewable energy targets, and has undertaken "informal discussions" with EU neighbours with a view to minimising the cost of compliance, the Dáil Committee on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment has heard.
However, the bill is likely to run into millions of euro, with committee members criticising the lack of climate action which they said was not only affecting the planet, but also leaving Ireland facing expensive compliance costs.
EU member states are given a carbon budget, setting out the level of emissions allowed to be produced from transport, agriculture and other sources. If they rise above these thresholds, compliance can be bought using unused 'carbon credits' from member states where emission cuts have been achieved.
In addition, Ireland must ensure some 16pc of final energy consumption in electricity, transport and heat is from renewable sources by 2020, a target which will also be missed.
Officials from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment said that informal talks were under way in relation to so-called "statistical transfers", where member states which overachieve their renewable energy obligations may sell energy credits to underachieving nations.
Last year, Luxembourg and Lithuania reached such a deal, but the cost is not known. The credits can be traded, meaning the price is not set.