‘Economic turnaround could help firms meet Kyoto targets’

The ongoing downturns being seen in the Irish economy look set to ensure that the country will succeed in meeting its Kyoto targets for greenhouse gas emissions, one expert has warned.

While the recent turnaround in fortunes has spelt bad news for many businesses and households across Ireland, according to University College Dublin (UCD) specialist Professor Frank Convery, it has made the aims set out by the multilateral agreement look increasingly achievable.

Speaking at UCD’s series of lectures on ‘Meeting the Climate Challenge’, Professor Convery argued that new data shows that Ireland’s GDP has now dropped to 2005 levels, with falling industrial production and domestic consumption ensuring that carbon emission rates have also fallen over the past few months.

“We are now unlikely to overshoot our Kyoto target in 2012, and won’t have to spend up to Euro 300m set aside to buy allowances to cover the overshoot,” he said.

Furthermore, the lecture heard that falling energy prices will serve to boost struggling Irish businesses while also further minimising the chances of a ‘carbon tax’ being introduced anytime soon.

Under the Kyoto Agreement, Ireland is required to cut carbon emissions to 63m tonnes per annum, with the figure for 2006 standing at 70m tonnes.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie