Cap and Share scheme would tackle emissions

The question of how Ireland can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions will be the subject of a research project carried out by Comhar Sustainable Development Council.

Researchers will primarily look at the proposed 'Cap and Share' scheme, which is a method of limiting CO2 emissions from sectors such as households and transport that will be investigated over the first half of 2008, with Government funding.

The scheme considers how sectors not included in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme can improve their carbon footprint, and would see each Irish adult given a share of the national limit placed on greenhouse gas emissions.

Those companies needing more fossil fuels would have to buy entitlements matching their emissions.

Comhar notes that the scheme would cause the price of fossil fuels to rise, "giving a powerful long-term signal that greenhouse gas emissions must come down".

Residents would be compensated for higher prices by selling their emission entitlements to energy producers, and those who reduce their consumption of fossil fuels would be better off than before.

"There is now an opportunity to consider additional policy measures that will help Ireland make the transition to a low-carbon economy in an efficient and socially equitable way," said Comhar chairman Frank Convery.

"The Cap and Share model could be an effective measure that will ensure we meet our targets on time."

Comhar believes that price incentives are needed for people and businesses in Ireland to cut their carbon emissions.

Ben Meggeson



Waste & resource management
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