Irish companies cut carbon emissions

Irish companies managed to cut their greenhouse gas discharges between 2007 and 2008, according to figures supplied to the European Commission (EC) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The statistics mark a continuation of the year-on-year progress that has taken place since the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) commenced in 2005.

When the project began, Ireland had an annual output of 22.43Mtonnes, while in 2008 it produced 20.38Mtonnes.

EPA Director General Dr Mary Kelly explained the idea behind the ETS is to reduce emissions at the lowest possible cost.

“[It] is seen to play an increasingly important role in assisting European industry implement the type of reductions envisaged in the EC’s recent decisions on an overall 20% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union by 2020,” she said.

Dr Kelly added the results show the ETS has been a success, but pointed out some of that could be a result of the economic downturn.

Earlier this month, the EPA Director General called for the establishment of a green economy to beat the recession and look after the environment.

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