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The Green Party reckons Ireland has "thrown in the towel" when it comes to emissions

Ireland is on course to miss its emissions targets for this year and the next according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

shutterstock_94368049 Source: Shutterstock/Discovod

THE GREEN PARTY says Ireland has “thrown in the towel” when it comes to meeting emissions targets.

The party has admonished the government after a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that there was a “surge” in emissions in all areas last year.

“The worrying thing is that there is no change in Government policy that will begin to lower emissions,” Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said today.

We are on a continuous upward trajectory on emissions, when we really need to be going in the opposite direction.
The Government have given up on meeting our 2020 targets. The results of their inaction are entirely predictable.

“We are one of only two countries in the EU that will miss our 2020 targets, and Fine Gael spent huge political capital pleading for special treatment with respect to the 2030 targets. The Government has thrown in the towel on meeting the 2020 targets,” he added.

The Greens’ reaction is at odds with the official government line on the report, which is that all is well with the situation.

“I am fully aware of the challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with our 2020 and other international commitments,” Environment Minister Denis Naughten said today.

24/9/2016. Green Party Think Ins Eamon Ryan Source: Sam Boal

Today’s report, available here, indicates that Ireland reported total emissions of a carbon dioxide equivalent of 59.9 million tonnes in 2015, a 3.7% increase on 2014.

While this is technically within Ireland’s acceptable limit for 2015, it is on course to exceed that limit for both 2016 and 2017.

Naughten today said that he is planning to make a National Mitigation Plan available for public consultation before the end of 2016.

Source: EPAIreland/YouTube

That plan will likewise call on the ministers with responsibility for high emission sectors (agriculture, transport, electricity) to submit their own mitigation plans with a view to lowering Ireland’s carbon footprint.

In its report, the EPA says “that the 2020 milestones and the overall objective of decoupling economic growth from resource use and its environmental impacts are not likely to be fully achieved unless efforts are stepped up”.

“Nonetheless, I am satisfied that the national legislative and policy framework is in place, via the 2014 National Policy Position on Climate Action and through the 2015 climate legislation, to advance actions on climate change mitigation,” Minister Naughten said.

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