The group’s director general, Dr Mary Kelly, made the claim while presenting the EPA’s Annual Highlights 2007 report to the Irish Environment Minister, John Gormley.

She said: “Looking back in years to come, the year 2007 will be seen as a watershed year for climate change.

“The reports of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, the Stern Report and the Nobel Peace Prize all contributed to a much heightened awareness of the fact that we are now living in a world that is experiencing climate change and that the time for action is short if we are to avoid the potentially calamitous impacts that climate change might bring about.”

She stressed that all sectors of the economy must look for possible carbon emissions reductions, and begin making changes to bring about a low carbon future.

The EPA will help by providing reliable emissions information and pushing forward the emissions trading scheme.

Meanwhile, the good environmental work done by business was highlighted recently by Sustainable Energy Ireland, which found it had helped Ireland improve energy efficiency levels by more than 8% between 1995 and 2005.

Ben Meggeson

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