In its Annual Highlights 2008, a report summarising key activities during the year, the EPA called for ‘fundamental changes’ to ensure that, when it comes, the economic recovery is low carbon and sustainable.

Dr Mary Kelly, director general of the EPA, said: “At the beginning of 2008, there was little indication that the world was facing an economic crisis on the scale we have witnessed.

“This is happening at a time when we are also facing the twin environmental challenges of a climate change crisis and an eco-systems crisis.

“Fundamental changes will be required to ensure that economic recovery, when it comes, is low carbon economic recovery which is sustainable both economically and environmentally.

“There are also significant economic opportunities for Ireland in becoming a low-carbon and greener economy.”

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