The European Commission in its low-carbon economy suggest cutting domestic Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. In order to see if this is reflected in the EU Member States (MS), submitted information under the EU Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (525/2013), between 2015 and 2018 on national Low Carbon Development Strategies (LCDS) have been reviewed. The overview shows that the reported strategies vary largely across MS in terms of ambitions, coverage, timeframe, legal status, implementation and robustness. According to the developed criteria, 13 MS are considered to have a proper LCDS, 10 of which have been legally adopted.
LCDS Summary for Ireland
2015: Ireland submitted the template on 7th February 2015, but their LCDS “National Mitigation Plan to 2050” is still in preparation. The Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development Bill, due for enactment early in 2015, gives 12 months for the submission of the National Mitigation Plan to the government.
This plan will be updated at least every 5 years. The Report on the Outline Heads of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill (2013) discusses what should be included in the National Mitigation Plan, and the National Policy Position (2014) on climate action and low-carbon development sets out the high-level objective for 2050. The template was updated on 3rd March 2015, to confirm that the bill is progressing through the legislative process.
2017: Ireland informed that the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 was enacted. At the core of the 2015 Act is a statutory recognition of the ‘National transition objective’ – the goal of pursuing a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050. To facilitate the achievement of the ‘transition objective’, the 2015 Act provides for the development and submission to Government for approval, successive National Mitigation Plans (NMPs). In the meantime the first National Mitigation Plan was published in July 2017, laying the foundations for transitioning Ireland to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050.
2018: no update submitted
Long-term vision of Ireland
The Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development Bill created statutory obligations for successive five yearly national mitigation plans, which will detail actions required to achieve the greenhouse gas mitigation obligations of the Irish State under EU and international law. The long-term goal will be a reduction of CO2 emissions of 80% from 1990 by 2050 across electricity generation, built environment and transport sectors, and striving for carbon neutrality in agriculture and land-use sectors. The first National Mitigation Plan does not provide a complete roadmap to achieve the 2050 objective, but begins the process of development of medium to long-term mitigation choices for the next and future decades.
Key policies and measures of the strategy
The National Mitigation Plan details in total 106 mitigation measures in place and under consideration. Several actions are also dedicated to the overall climate policy framework, such as: evaluation of public expenditure, examination of impact of carbon tax and future tax rates, identifying fossil fuel subsidies.
The sectoral actions are about the following subjects:
- Electricity Generation: bio energy, offshore energy, interconnection, upgrade of grids, spatial planning, energy storage, carbon capture and storage.
- Built environment: energy management, energy efficiency, fuel switching.
- Transport: technology and behavioural change, electric vehicles and alternative fuels, taxation, public transport.
- Agriculture, forest and land use: land management, use of biomass, circular bioeconomy, afforestation, nutrient management, organic farming.
Ireland is committed to tackle climate change through the Paris Agreement, and has the national objective to achieve a reduction of CO2 emissions of at least 80% by 2050 (compared to 1990). Regarding the past emission trend and the projections for 2035, strong ambitions will be necessary to achieve the 2050 target. It is recommended to submit an update relevant to low carbon strategies referring to the first National Mitigation Plan.
Source – EIONET European Environment Agency