Ireland’s greenhouse emissions challenge

Ireland is facing a challenge in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with European Union mandatory caps on the agriculture, household and transport sectors, an expert has warned.

Professor Frank Convery, chair of the Comhair sustainable development council, has highlighted the challenges Ireland faces to meet its cap of a 20% reduction on 2005 emission levels by 2020.

Those figures mean a reduction in emissions by almost ten million tones over 12 years.

Mr Convery described the targets as challenging due to the slowing economic growth, where there are fewer funds available for carbon-reducing schemes.

He proposed initiatives to help meet targets, saying: “Effort should be distributed in a manner that is effective, transparent and fair. Cost effectiveness is important if the economy is not to be damaged.”

A future carbon tax to promote and give incentives for carbon reducing behavior was suggested, the scope of which was to be addressed sometime in the future.

Provisional data from the European Environment Agency has shown that emissions from the member states reduced by 0.9% between 2005 and 2006.

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