European Commission says Irish emission targets will not be altered

The President of the European Commission has said that Ireland would not be allowed to alter its climate change targets, as the country can afford the costs associated with cutting CO2 emissions.

According to the Irish Times, President Jose Manuel Barroso said that there would be no alterations to targets that Ireland reduces its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.

When asked if he would consider revising the core methodology used to set the Irish targets, Mr Barroso is reported to have replied: “Our proposal is equitable, fair and technically sound – we will not change it.”

During a press conference, Mr Barroso is reported to have said gross domestic product (GDP) was still considered to be the best way for the EU to determine if a country could afford to meet emission targets.

“Ireland has benefited so much from structural aid from the EU because its [GDP] was much lower than the average and now it is higher than the average,” he added.

However, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has repeatedly said that emission reduction targets set for Ireland are not fair as GDP does not truly reflect the country’s economic situation. He explained that it does not accurately reflect the high level of profits repatriated by multinational companies out of Ireland.

James Cooper

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