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5th December 2018 | Climate Change, Environment, Press Releases

EPA Stats Show We’ll Have to Pay €60 Million to Cover Our Excess Climate Emissions in 2017

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One percent reduction primarily due to reduced use of Moneypoint rather than any new policy measures

The EPA have released provisional figures for Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2017. Although the annual statistics show a very small decrease, the overall projections indicate that Ireland is still way off course when it comes to meeting its targets.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan TD: “The greenhouse gas projections for Ireland in 2017 show no underlying change in Irish climate policy. We are three million tonnes below where we have promised to be under European effort-sharing agreements. At current carbon market prices this will cost us some €60 million to cover that year. This cost is going to increase year on year unless we begin to change our ways.

“The one percent fall in emissions was primarily due to reduced use of Moneypoint power station rather than any underlying change in public policy. In addition, the mild autumn in 2017 reduced our use of fossil fuels in residential heating and there were also small improvements because of a reduction in fuel tourism from the North and higher use of blended bio-fuels. However, the underlying trend is still showing an increase in emissions from transport and agriculture when we need both of these sectors to start playing their part in the transition we need to make.

“The reductions in power generation and home heating emissions show what would be possible if we really rose to the climate challenge we face. Our economy has everything to gain from reducing the use of fossil fuels. Moneypoint has been out of action for the last two months, but our system has been able to cope. Spending on the deep retrofitting of buildings is one of the best investments we could make as a country. The €60 million we will have to spend to cover our excess emissions in 2017 would cover the cost of retrofitting 2,500 homes. The old narrative about the decarbonising of our economy costing us dear no longer makes any sense. The falling cost and increasing availability of renewables and energy efficient technologies is part of a new industrial revolution that we are well placed to lead.

“Now is the time to make this change. The only thing holding us back is the lack of political leadership. We need that vision for how this new low-carbon future can take hold. It is long past time for us to make the change.”