Ireland promotes sustainable energy culture
Irish Environment Minister Batt O'Keeffe has urged industry and householders to get behind the government's drive to cut carbon emissions.Speaking at a conference in Cork the minister told delegates that Ireland's culture of energy use had to become more sustainable if there was to be any hope of meeting its emissions targets under the Kyoto Protocol.
Mr O'Keeffe said the country needed to increase energy efficiency in housing and communities and look at ways industry could cut its energy bill while promoting the renewables sector.
Like many signatories, Ireland is struggling to meet its Kyoto commitments and is well off its target of limiting greenhouse gas emissions to 13% above 1990 levels.
The government is targeting homeowners who it believes can make significant savings in both emissions and hard cash by improving energy efficiency.
According to its estimates the average household could save €750 per year and cut its emissions by two tonnes of carbon dioxide.
If taken up by households across the land this could amount to 20% of the reduction necessary to meet it's targets.
"In our emerging carbon constrained world, our climate is changing faster than we would like," said Mr O'Keeffe.
"We are responsible for this situation and we have to change our ways if we are to protect ourselves and future generations from the worst consequences of human induced global warming.
"The change required is an enormous challenge but one that starts with awareness and a proactive approach at the individual and local levels."
The Cork conference was also used as a platform by Sustainable Energy Ireland to promote its Ten Commandments of Sensible Energy use.
These should now be a familiar mantra with most people and are:
By Sam Bond