EU targets ‘will harm Irish manufacturing’

Recently announced EU targets for greenhouse gas emissions and use of renewable energy could seriously increase the cost base of the Irish manufacturing sector.

That is the claim of the Irish Exporters Association, which said that the cost of meeting EU environmental targets could amount to Euro 2.6bn per annum for Ireland.

What’s more, the association suggested that the extra costs that the emissions targets would create could put many firms out of business if they are exposed to competition from outside the EU.

“Inevitably, that extra expense will be too much of a burden for some manufacturing companies, especially those who must compete against non-EU companies,” explained Mr John Whelan, chief executive of the Irish Exporters Association.

He added that wind power was the main new technology sector where Ireland had a natural advantage.

However, he called for more aggressive funding, planning facilitation and network planning to make the most of the resource.

Mr Whelan urged government to negotiate for a lower target level for Ireland.

He added: “The Irish Exporters Association also calls for an extensive sector-by-sector analysis to be undertaken to establish precisely where the burden will fall most heavily and having determined that to develop imaginative and workable solutions for those sectors.”

James Cooper

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