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Minister Eamon Ryan. Leah Farrell/
climate action

Eamon Ryan says carbon budget a 'significant milestone' in efforts to tackle climate change

The first proposed carbon budget was sent to the minister yesterday after long deliberations.

THE MINISTER FOR the Environment, Climate and Communications has welcomed the publication of the proposed carbon budgets from the Climate Change Advisory Council. 

The first proposed carbon budget was sent to Eamon Ryan yesterday after long deliberations over its recommendations on how Ireland should chart its path to reducing emissions.

For the first time, the Irish government is due to implement three carbon budgets, each covering five years, that set out limits on emissions from specific sectors.

The budget is part of a roadmap for Ireland to follow to meet the government’s target of cutting emissions in more than half by 2030, a stepping stone on the way to its second key target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Commenting on the proposed budgets, Ryan said: “When we passed the Climate Act in July we embedded the process of carbon budgeting into law. The Act also strengthened the role of the Climate Change Advisory Council, to empower this independent body to do this important work, based on the most up-to-date climate science.”

“These first carbon budgets are a significant milestone in our efforts to tackle climate change,” he said.

The budget, which will last until 2025, allows for a total of 295 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 emissions between now and then.

Between 2026 and 2030, the limit is 200 Mt, and the provisional carbon budget for 2031 to 2035 allocates 151 Mt.

“The first two 5-year carbon budgets equate to a total reduction of 51% emissions over the period to 2030. This is part of the journey towards ‘net zero’, which commits us to the transition to a ‘climate resilient, biodiversity rich, environmentally sustainable and climate neutral economy’ no later than 2050,” Ryan added. 

The proposed carbon budgets will go to Government before being handed over to the Oireachtas, who will be tasked with reviewing and approving the budgets within four months. 

Once the budgets are approved, the Government will allocate specific emission limits on a sector-by-sector basis. 

“There will be different targets for each sector, based on their respective starting points and the relative difficulty, cost, speed and benefits of reducing emissions,” Ryan said. 

He added that every sector of the economy “will need to play its part”. 

“This will be challenging and will require fundamental changes in many parts of Irish life, but it is also an opportunity to create a cleaner, greener economy and society that cuts emissions, creates jobs and protects our people and the planet.”

Alongside the carbon budget, the government’s new Climate Action Plan is due to be published shortly. The plan will detail the next steps in measures to try to tackle the climate crisis.

Leaders from Ireland and around the world are also due to meet in Glasgow on Sunday for COP26, a UN summit where countries will seek to negotiate new climate agreements.

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