2.National Climate Change Strategy 2007

2.National Climate Change Strategy 2007
IRELAND
NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY 2007-2012
Printed on 100% Recycled paper
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government,
Custom House, Dublin 1
www.environ.ie
PRN: A7/0397
1
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
Ireland
National Climate Change Strategy
2007 - 2012
2
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
Table of Contents
Taoiseach’s Foreword......................................................................................................................................4
Minister’s Foreword .........................................................................................................................................5
Executive Summary .........................................................................................................................................7
Section 1 – The Challenge of Climate Change
Chapter 1 - Introduction ...............................................................................................................................12
Chapter 2 – What Ireland is doing ...............................................................................................................15
Section 2 – Sectoral Analysis
Chapter 3 – Energy Supply ...........................................................................................................................20
Chapter 4 – Transport ...................................................................................................................................22
Chapter 5 – Residential .................................................................................................................................25
Chapter 6 – Industry, Commercial and Services ..........................................................................................28
Chapter 7 – Agriculture, Land-use and Forestry ..........................................................................................31
Chapter 8 – Waste .........................................................................................................................................33
Chapter 9 - Public Sector ..............................................................................................................................35
Chapter 10 – Cross-Sectoral Action ..............................................................................................................38
Section 3 - Adaptation
Chapter 11 – Adaptation to Impacts of Climate Change .............................................................................44
Section 4 - Monitoring and Review
Chapter 12 – Implementation, Reporting and Review ................................................................................48
Annexes
Annex 1 - Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Projections ...............................................................................52
Annex 2 – Science and Impacts ...................................................................................................................54
Annex 3 – National policy for State purchase of Kyoto Units ....................................................................56
Glossary of Terms..........................................................................................................................................58
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Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Foreword by An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, T.D.
Climate change is among the greatest challenges of our time. The debate is no
longer about whether climate change is happening: we now know that it is. The
recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reinforces
our understanding of the scale of action required.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global priority and requires committed
international action and cooperation. As a global community we need to reach a
collective view on how to share the burden of the challenges ahead.
At the recent European Council, I and other EU Heads of Government agreed that we must continue to show
leadership to the rest of the world in tackling climate change. We set ambitious targets for the reduction
in greenhouse gas emissions within the EU. We will cut these emissions by at least 20% on 1990 levels
by 2020. We are also committed to a reduction of 30% by 2020 provided that other developed countries
undertake comparable reductions and the more advanced developing countries make a contribution in line
with their capabilities.
Ireland supports the level of ambition represented by these targets. We will contribute fully to their
achievement.
Our more immediate target under the Kyoto Protocol is to limit our emissions for 2008-2012 to 13%
above the 1990 level. The continuing growth in our economy is undoubtedly putting upward pressure on
emissions. But systematic and coherent action under our energy and climate change policies will enable
Ireland to meet this target.
With challenges also come opportunities. There is great scope for improving the functioning of energy
markets and for increasing investment in energy efficiency and renewable sources; as well as for better use
of finite fossil fuels.
However, the scale of the challenge facing us means that we must also look beyond the energy sector to
achieve the necessary reductions in greenhouse gases. This Strategy involves a cross-cutting approach and
includes targets in the transport, residential, industrial, waste and agricultural sectors. Responsibility must
be shared by a wide range of actors, including the public sector, which must lead by example.
To achieve the targets set will also necessitate voluntary changes in behaviour by individual citizens in
small ways through, for example, increasing their use of low-energy light bulbs and by driving in a more
fuel-efficient manner. This is an area where everyone can and must play a part if we are to be successful
in protecting the environment for the next generation.
This National Climate Change Strategy 2007-2012 builds on the commitment to sustainable development
set out in Towards 2016 and the National Development Plan 2007-2013 and is one of a number of interrelated Government initiatives that will address energy and climate change issues. These include the White
Paper on Energy, the Bio-Energy Action Plan and the forthcoming Sustainable Transport Action Plan. Taken
together, these measures will support environmental sustainability, underpin our competitive position and
enable us to meet our global responsibilities.
Bertie Ahern,T.D.
Taoiseach
April 2007
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
5
Foreword by Minister for the Environment, Heritage and
Local Government, Dick Roche, T.D.
Across the world, the scientific, economic and political analysis of climate
change is converging. There is overwhelming scientific consensus on
the cause of global warming and the actions necessary to counteract
it. There is a developing economic consensus that failure to act will
be many times more costly than taking the necessary steps now. And
political consensus is growing, led by the European Union, on the urgency
and scope of the required global response.
Ireland is playing its part in enabling the European Union to meet its commitments on reducing greenhouse
gas emissions. We are also ready to take on the greater challenges that lie ahead.
The Ireland of 2007 is remarkably different from that of 1990. Our economy has grown by 150%. Our
population has increased by almost three- quarters of a million and the number at work by 800,000. There
has been a phenomenal rate of infrastructural development and housebuilding. It was inevitable that
increased activity on that scale would result in some increase in our greenhouse gas emissions. This was
recognised by our partners in the European Union when an 8% reduction target was set for the EU as a
whole for the 2008-2012 period as compared to 1990. Ireland’s target within that was set at a limit of 13%
above the 1990 level, to allow for our exceptional rate of growth and development.
The 2008-2012 emissions target is challenging, not just for Ireland but for some of the most environmentally
advanced countries in Europe. The most recent data show that, in 2005, we stood 25% above 1990 emissions.
We must therefore achieve, in the 2008-2012 period, an average reduction of some 12 percentage points
from the current level. This places Ireland in the mid-range of the EU-15 countries in terms of our distance
to target.
Ireland will meet its 2008-2012 climate change target.
This National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012 sets out a range of measures, building on those already
in place under the first Strategy. It shows clearly that the necessary emission reductions will be delivered,
primarily through action within our jurisdiction.
We will, along with most of our partners in the EU burden-sharing agreement, bridge a small part of the
gap through use of the flexible mechanisms in the Kyoto Protocol. Doing so allows Ireland to receive credit
by supporting the development of clean technology in the developing world. Climate change is a global
problem. A tonne of carbon removed from the atmosphere in any part of the world has an equally positive
effect. The response to climate change must therefore be on a global scale. The flexible mechanisms in the
Kyoto Protocol are integral to that global response.
While the achievement of our 2008-2012 commitment is a key objective of this Strategy, we must also
ensure that Ireland is positioned for the greater challenges of the post-Kyoto period.
The European Union is now pursuing international agreement on reductions of 30% on 1990 emissions
across all developed countries by 2020. Even in the absence of such an agreement, the EU has committed
itself to a unilateral reduction of at least 20%. The EU also accepts the scientific analysis that much deeper
cuts will be needed in later decades.
Ireland’s precise target for 2020 will be determined in conjunction with our fellow EU member-states. As
with the 2008-2012 target, the EU has committed itself to drawing up a burden-sharing agreement which
takes account of differing national circumstances. As 1990 will remain the base-year against which targets
are set, Ireland’s relative under-development in 1990 will continue to be a factor which must be taken into
account in the burden-sharing agreement. There is no doubt, however, that whatever target is eventually
agreed for Ireland will require us to intensify our action to reduce emissions.
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Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
The Government considers that we must begin that intensification now. We need to build on the momentum
of measures that have been introduced, such as supports for the use of renewables in energy supply. We
also need to tackle areas where progress has been slow - most notably in the transport sector.
The measures set out in this Strategy will represent a significant extra effort across all sectors. They also
reflect a whole-of-Government approach which embeds climate change considerations in the development
of all relevant sectoral policies. There are close synergies between this Strategy and other key policy
statements such as the Energy White Paper and the forthcoming Sustainable Transport Action Plan. Many
of the research programmes funded under the National Development Plan will help us develop further
measures in areas such as energy technology - for example, Ireland aims to become a world leader in the
harnessing of ocean energy.
The transition to a low-carbon world is unavoidable. It is a transition which requires management: otherwise,
less effective or more disruptive measures could be proposed for implementation without delivering the
necessary results.
Ireland, which owes much of its economic success to innovation, creativity and flexibility, has the ability
to adapt quickly and, indeed, to gain competitive advantage from being to the fore. The Government will
continue to provide the leadership, direction and resources to ensure that we do so.
Dick Roche,T.D.
Minister for the Environment,
Heritage and Local Government
April 2007
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National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Global Challenge
There is now a scientific consensus that global warming
is happening, that it is directly related to man-made
greenhouse gas emissions, and that we have little time
remaining to stabilise and reduce these emissions if we
are to avoid devastating impacts on our planet.
There is also an economic consensus that the costs
of inaction will greatly outweigh the costs of action,
and that progressive climate change policies, based on
innovation and investment in low-carbon technology,
are consistent with global economic growth.
Ireland’s Response
Ireland, as a member of the European Union, is
committed to a concerted response to this challenge.
As our contribution to the EU’s commitment under
the Kyoto Protocol, we must limit the growth in our
emissions to 13% above the 1990 levels in the 20082012 period. The EU has adopted a much more
challenging reduction target for 2020. While Ireland’s
precise contribution within this new framework has yet
to be agreed, it is likely to require a reduction to below
our 1990 emission levels.
This National Climate Change Strategy 2007-2012 follows
on from the first national strategy, published in 2000
and reviewed in 2002, and takes account of the public
consultation process which followed the further review
in Ireland’s Pathway to Kyoto Compliance (2006).
The purpose of this Strategy is twofold:
n
to show clearly the measures by which Ireland will
meet its 2008-2012 commitment; and
n
to show how these measures position us for the
post-2012 period, and to identify the areas in
which further measures are being researched and
developed to enable us meet our eventual 2020
commitment.
Through innovation, energy efficiency and more
sustainability in our personal choices, we can achieve
the necessary lowering of the carbon intensity of our
economy without sacrificing competitiveness, economic
performance or quality of life.
Meeting our 2008-2012 Commitment
The Strategy shows, sector by sector, that the range of
existing and additional measures which have already
been developed, will reduce Ireland’s greenhouse gas
emissions by over 17 million tonnes (Mt) of carbon
dioxide equivalent in the period 2008-2012.
Reduction from existing measures
Reduction from additional measures
Use of flexible mechanisms
TOTAL
Table 1: 2008-2012 emission reductions
Mt CO2 equivalent
8.66
4.953
3.607
17.22
The quantified reductions include 13.6 Mt (or 79%)
resulting from domestic action and 3.6 Mt (or 21%)
credited to the Government in return for investing in
emission-reduction projects in developing economies.
These credits arise under the flexible mechanisms
which are an integral part of the Kyoto Protocol since
the environmental benefit of a given emission reduction
is the same irrespective of where on the planet it is
achieved. The Protocol therefore allows countries
determine the most cost-effective balance between
domestic reductions and investing in reductions
elsewhere.
Table 2 shows that the combined effect of all quantified
measures will be more than adequate to meet Ireland’s
Kyoto commitment.
Emissions without any measures
Existing measures
Projected emissions after existing measures
Less: Kyoto target
Distance to target
Additional measures
Flexible mechanisms
Total additional effect
Mt CO2
equivalent1
79.829
8.66
71.169
63.032
8.137
4.953
3.607
8.56
Table 2: Achievement of the distance to target
There will be further reductions, not included in these
calculations, as a result of measures which cannot be
separately quantified, such as awareness campaigns,
and measures planned but not yet finalised, such as the
rebalancing in 2008 of motor tax and VRT in favour of
low-emission vehicles.
Looking forward to 2020
The European Union has committed itself to reducing
its greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below 1990 levels
by 2020. It has also committed to a reduction to 30%
below 1990 levels if there is a global agreement on
comparable reductions elsewhere.
Ireland’s commitment for 2020 will not be known until
the completion of international negotiations on a new
agreement and the EU’s internal discussions on burdensharing among the Member States. For illustrative
purposes only, Table 3 shows the implications of
two possible commitments. In each case, Ireland’s
new commitment is assumed to be pro-rata to the cut
required by the EU as a whole. For example, an EU
commitment to 20% below 1990 levels represents a 13%
cut on its Kyoto target. A pro-rata cut in Ireland’s Kyoto
target would require a reduction to 2% below our 1990
emissions, giving a target of just under 55 Mt. Similarly,
our target would be 14% below 1990 levels, or 48 Mt, if
it were to be pro-rata to an EU reduction of 30%.
8
2020 emissions before post2006 measures
Additional measures
quantifiable to date
New 2020 baseline
Possible 2020 target
Balance required from
unquantified and further
measures
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Pro-rata to EU
target of 20%
cut on 1990
Pro-rata to
EU target of
30% cut on
1990
n
measures which are planned but have yet be
quantified, such as those in the forthcoming Energy
Efficiency Action Plan and Sustainable Transport
Action Plan;
74.12
74.12
n
10.107
10.107
measures which cannot be quantified, such as
awareness campaigns;
64.013
54.7
64.013
48.0
n
intensification of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme
for the post-2012 period;
n
potential use of the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible
mechanisms beyond 2012; and
n
further measures to be developed by the
Government, which will be informed by the
substantial research programmes now underway.
9.313
16.013
Table 3: possible 2020 scenarios (all figures are Mt CO2 equivalent)
The basis for Table 3 is set out in detail on page 18. Post2006 measures quantified in this Strategy are projected
to reduce annual emissions by 10.107 Mt by 2020. The
remaining gap is estimated at 9.313 Mt under the first
scenario and 16.013 Mt under the second.
The means by which this gap will be bridged include:
1 Measures have been quantified for 2010, which is used as a proxy for 2008-2012.
The Government will update this analysis through an
annual Implementation Status Report, which will detail
the further measures as they are developed. It will also
publish the third National Climate Change Strategy in
good time to ensure that Ireland is well placed to meet
its post-Kyoto commitments.
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National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
KEY ADDITIONAL MEASURES
Agriculture, Land-use and Forestry (Ch 7)
The following are the principal measures in this Strategy,
over and above those already in place when the review of
the first National Climate Change Strategy was published
in 2006. As the Strategy draws together the Government’s
collective effort across all sectors to tackle climate change,
some of these measures are also included in recent policy
statements such as the Energy White Paper and Budget
2007.
n
REPS 4 scheme will support carbon sequestration
and reduction of emissions from fertilisers
n
Support for improved manure management
n
Feasibility of anaerobic digestion to be explored
n
Top-up to EU premium for energy crops
n
New supports for afforestation
n
Biomass Harvesting Scheme
Energy Supply (Ch 3)
n
15% of electricity to be generated from renewable
sources by 2010 and 33% by 2020
n
Biomass to contribute up to 30% of energy input at
peat stations by 2015
n
Support for Combined Heat and Power projects
n
National Ocean Energy Strategy
Transport (Ch 4)
n
Modal shift to public transport as a result of
Transport 21 investment
Waste (Ch 8)
n
Use of waste biomass in energy production
n
Support for waste-to-energy projects under REFIT
scheme
Public Sector (Ch 9)
n
Energy Efficiency Programme with target of 33%
energy savings across public sector by 2020
n
Biomass heating in schools
n
Rebalancing of VRT and motor tax, supported by
improved mandatory labelling
n
All street lighting and traffic lights required to be
energy efficient
n
Introduction of biofuels obligation scheme in 2009
n
n
CIE to be required to move to biodiesel blend
All public sector fleets to be required to move to
biofuel blend
n
National efficient driving awareness campaign
n
Carbon offsetting of all official air travel
n
Sustainable Transport Action Plan to be published in
late 2007
n
Support for inclusion of aviation in EU Emissions
Trading Scheme
Residential (Ch 5)
n
n
Revised Building Regulations in 2008 to aim for
40% improvement on current thermal performance
standards
Building Energy Rating certification introduced from
2007
n
Grants for renewable energy heating under Greener
Homes Scheme
n
Levy on incandescent bulbs to encourage shift to
low-energy bulbs
n
n
Cross-sectoral (Ch 10)
n
€15m multi-annual Climate Change Awareness
campaign
n
Examination of incentives and disincentives
n
Assessment of potential for domestic offset schemes
n
Major funding for research programmes
Adaptation (Ch 11)
n
Flood risk strategy being developed
n
Overall national adaptation strategy to be developed
by 2009
Implementation, Reporting and Review (Ch 12)
n
Smart meters to be supplied to all electricity
customers
Commission on Climate Change to provide highlevel advice to Government on progress and to
increase awareness in all sectors
n
Energy efficiency measures to be funded in social
housing programmes
High Level Group on Climate Change to coordinate
implementation
n
Guidance on cost-benefit appraisal of emission
reductions
n
Implementation Status Report, including further
measures, to be published each year and presented
to Joint Oireachtas Committee
Industry, Commercial and Services (Ch 6)
n
Building Regulations and Building Energy Rating
n
Energy Agreements Programme
n
Bioheat and CHP programmes
n
Periodic review by Cabinet Committee
n
Support for eco-efficient technology and practices
n
Third National Climate Change Strategy to focus on
post-Kyoto commitments
Section 1 - The Challenge of Climate Change
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Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Chapter 1 - Introduction
THE CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE
Science of Climate Change and Impacts of Expected
Changes
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC), was established in 1988 by the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World
Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Its First Assessment
Report, issued in 1990, confirmed the scientific basis
for concern about climate change. The first part of its
Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), The Physical Science
Basis (2007), concludes that warming of the climate
system is unequivocal. This is linked to increases in the
atmospheric concentration of long-lived greenhouse
gases, particularly carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous
oxide. These far exceed pre-industrial levels as a result
of emissions to the atmosphere by human activities.
Some of the key conclusions, based on observations
and measurements, in the recent AR4 report include:
n
the Earth has warmed by 0.76ºC on average during
the last 100 years with eleven of the last twelve
(1995-2006) being the warmest on record;
n
global average sea level rose at an average rate of
1.8mm per year over the period 1961 to 2003 with
a rise of 3.1mm per year over the period 1993 to
2003, very likely due to thermal expansion and
input of fresh water from melting of Greenland and
Antarctic ice sheets; and
n
there have been significantly increased
precipitation amounts in some areas with more
intense and longer droughts in others. The
frequency of heavy precipitation has increased and
hot days, hot nights and heat waves have become
more frequent.
The AR4 report also addresses projections of future
changes in climate on the basis of no additional
initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Continued emissions at or above the current rates would
cause further warming leading to a projected rise in the
global average temperature by 2100 of 1.8ºC - 4.0ºC.
This would result in increases in average air and ocean
temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice,
rising sea levels, regional precipitation increases and
decreases, and increased frequency of extreme weather
events. It is also reported that even if greenhouse gas
concentrations were stabilised at 2000 levels, warming
and sea level rise would continue at least until the end
of the century due to the timescales associated with
climate processes and feedbacks.
Unchecked climate change would have dramatic adverse
effects on peoples’ lives, the environment and the
prospects for growth and development. It would affect
rainfall water supplies and water quality, agricultural
production, and the built environment. Hundreds of
millions of people are vulnerable to flooding due to sea
level rise and coastal erosion. Ecosystems are vulnerable
to climate change with the risk of extinction for certain
species, loss of tundra and certain forest areas, and
changes in marine life due to ocean acidification and
increased ocean temperatures. Human health will be
affected due to climate-related diseases and temperature
extremes.
Ireland’s future climate will change in line with global
changes. A recent report from the Environmental
Research Centre of the EPA Implications of the EU
Climate Protection Target for Ireland (2006) notes
that some short-term benefits may occur in agriculture
and food production if global mean temperatures are
limited to a 1ºC increase above pre-industrial levels.
However, widespread negative effects are projected
for the agricultural and marine environments, for plant
and animal distributions, and for water resources with
higher temperature increases. Sea level rise will also
negatively impact certain coastal areas due to inundation
and erosion.
Economic Imperative for early action
The 2006 economic review by Sir Nicholas Stern2
brought an important new dimension to the EU and
wider international climate change agendas. It estimates
that the cost of not taking action to address climate
change will be in the range of 5%-20% of global GDP,
equivalent to the Great Depression of the 1930s. By
contrast, the cost of addressing climate change now
could be about 1% of GDP by 2050 – demonstrating
that the costs of inaction greatly outweigh the costs of
an early and effective international response.
The European Commission makes the case that
progressive climate change policies are consistent with
global economic growth. Investment in a low-carbon
economy will require around 0.5% of total global GDP
over the period 2013-2030. This would reduce global
GDP by only 0.19% per year up to 2030 – a fraction
of the expected annual global GDP growth rate of
2.8%. The Commission has estimated that even a 30%
reduction target for 2020, as part of a broad international
agreement, would only reduce the EU’s annual growth
rate by 0.19% per year, without taking into consideration
valuable co-benefits in areas such as air quality, human
health, energy security and commercial opportunities in
new energy markets3.
International framework for action
The Framework Convention on Climate Change was
agreed at the 1992 United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro and
has been ratified by 190 countries. It sets an overall
framework for intergovernmental efforts to address
climate change. Its ultimate objective is the stabilisation
of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at
2 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, HM Treasury (2006).
3 Limiting Global Climate Change to 2 degrees Celsius: The way ahead for 2020 and beyond, European Commission, COM (2007) 2.
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National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
n
gather and share information on greenhouse gas
emissions, national policies and best practices;
n
launch national strategies for addressing
greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to
expected impacts, including the provision of
financial and technological support to developing
countries; and
To balance these binding commitments, the agreement
offers flexibility in how countries may meet their
targets. For example, they may partially compensate for
their emissions by increasing "sinks" - forests, which
remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This
may be accomplished either in their own territories or
in other countries. They may also meet part of their
targets by investing in foreign projects that result in
emission reductions through the Clean Development
and Joint Implementation mechanisms provided for in
the Protocol.
n
cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the
impacts of climate change.
Ireland in the European Union
a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic
(or man-made) interference with the climate system. It
requires Governments to:
Under the Convention, industrialised countries were
expected to take the lead in modifying longer-term trends
in emissions. However, commitments by industrialised
countries to stabilise their greenhouse gas emissions at
1990 levels by the year 2000 were not legally binding.
The European Union has been proactive in promoting
a concerted international response to climate change.
This involves mitigation efforts to control greenhouse
gas emissions, as well as the promotion of adaptation
measures to counter the adverse impacts of climate
change that are already inevitable.
The member countries subsequently decided that the
Convention should be augmented by an agreement
with stricter demands for reducing greenhouse-gas
emissions. In 1995, Governments began negotiations
on a protocol - an international agreement linked to the
existing treaty, but standing on its own.
The European Union and its Member States are parties
to both the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. Under
the Protocol, the 15 Member States then in the EU have
a binding collective emission reduction target of 8%
below 1990 levels, to be achieved over the period 20082012.
In 1997, a Protocol to the Framework Convention on
Climate Change was adopted at a UN climate conference
in Kyoto, Japan. It entered into force in February 2005.
The EU has an internal burden-sharing agreement to
meet its 8% target by distributing different targets to
its Member States. Targets for individual Member States
range from a 28% reduction by Luxembourg and 21%
reductions by Denmark and Germany, to a 25% increase
by Greece and a 27% increase by Portugal. Ireland’s
target is to limit its average annual emissions to no more
than 13% above 1990 levels over the five-year period.
The Protocol's major feature is that it includes mandatory
greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for the
world's leading economies, including Ireland. These
targets range from –8% to +10% compared to 1990
levels, with a view to reducing their overall emissions
of greenhouse gases by at least 5% below 1990 levels in
the commitment period 2008 - 2012.
The means by which Ireland will comply with this
commitment is set out in detail in Chapter 2.
14
Looking beyond 2012
The Kyoto Protocol sets out commitments for
industrialised countries for the period 2008-2012. Ireland
fully supports the position of the European Union
on the urgent need for a global and comprehensive
post-2012 agreement to build on the Kyoto Protocol
and bring about the longer-term emission reductions
that are required to limit the increase in global mean
average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius above the
pre-industrial level.
While the international negotiations will be complex, the
European Union wishes to see the process completed
and a new international agreement in place by the
end of 2009 so that there will be certainty about future
commitments well in advance of the end of the Kyoto
period.
For the purposes of the international discussions on a
post-2012 climate agreement, the European Union has
set out a very clear starting position. The Union believes
that developed countries should continue to take the
lead in responding to climate change by committing to
collectively reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by
30% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2020.
At its 2007 Spring meeting, the European Council
committed the European Union to a reduction of 30% of
its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (compared to 1990)
as its contribution to a global, comprehensive agreement
for the period beyond 2012, provided that other
developed countries commit themselves to comparable
emission reductions and economically more advanced
developing countries adequately contribute according
to their responsibilities and respective capabilities. In
addition, it made a firm independent commitment to
achieve at least a 20% reduction, without prejudice to its
position on a post-2012 international agreement.
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
It agreed that the contributions of Member States to the
overall target will be differentiated in a manner to reflect
fairness and transparency, and taking into account
national circumstances. The European Commission is
to carry out, in close cooperation with Member States,
a technical analysis of the socio-economic and other
parameters which will provide a basis for detailed
discussions on the contributions which individual
Member States will be expected to make towards the
committed 20% reduction, and for whatever further EU
commitment emerges from the international discussions
on a post-2012 agreement.
While the actual emissions reduction targets which
Ireland will face in the period up to 2020 and beyond
are not yet known, the following assumptions can be
made:
n
Ireland will be expected to achieve further
significant greenhouse gas emission reductions in
the post-2012 period;
n
actions taken to meet 2012 targets will have a
major bearing on preparations for more challenging
targets post-2012;
n
there will have to be radical changes across the
economy, particularly in relation to the way Ireland
produces and uses energy, in the built environment
and in transport; and
n
energy for transport is the most immediate
significant issue.
The challenge now for Ireland is to plan and implement
effective action across all sectors to achieve a progressive
lowering of the carbon intensity of the economy.
Through innovation, energy efficiency and more
sustainability in our personal choices, Ireland can meet
whatever post-2012 target is eventually agreed, without
sacrificing competitiveness, economic performance or
quality of life.
15
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
Chapter 2 – What Ireland is doing
This National Climate Change Strategy 2007-2012
follows on from the first national strategy, published
in 2000, and takes account of the public consultation
that followed the review in Ireland’s Pathway to Kyoto
Compliance (2006). Details of the submissions received
in that process can be found at www.environ.ie.
This chapter summarises the measures by which Ireland
will meet its commitment to limit its greenhouse gas
emissions over the 2008-2012 period to 13% above 1990
levels. The measures are examined in more detail in the
sectoral chapters that follow.
THE UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES
Ireland is meeting its commitment through a variety of
domestic measures to reduce emissions throughout the
economy, including participation in the EU Emissions
Trading Scheme by all energy and large industry
sources. Through the flexible mechanisms in the Kyoto
Protocol, Government purchases of carbon allowances
will supplement these measures.
Ireland’s National Allocation Plan 2008-2012 will provide
the administrative framework for participation by Irish
installations in the second phase of the EU Emissions
Trading Scheme.4 It is based on a detailed analysis of the
most cost-effective balance between these approaches.
The use of market-based instruments such as the EU
Emissions Trading Scheme and the Kyoto Protocol
flexible mechanisms is fundamentally aligned with both
the principles of the Protocol itself, and the approach
of the European Union and other Member States to
meeting their commitments. This approach recognises
that reducing greenhouse gas emissions can and should
be achieved in an efficient, cost-effective and equitable
manner.
In deciding on emission-reduction measures, the
Government must take account of other policy
objectives in the various sectors of the economy.
While some of these are mutually supportive of the
need to tackle climate change (for example, policies
on more sustainable use of energy), in other cases the
Government must find the appropriate balance between
divergent goals. To that end, this Strategy is based on
the following principles:
n
the need to a take long-term view having regard
to likely future commitments and the economic
imperative for early action;
n
the promotion of sustainable development,
including through integration of climate change
considerations into all policy areas;
n
the protection of economic development and
competitiveness, utilising market-based instruments
with the exploitation of new markets and
opportunities;
4 Available to download at www.epa.ie.
n
the maximisation of economic efficiency both on a
macro-economic basis and within sectors; and
n
an equitable approach to all sectors, having regard
to the relative costs of mitigation between sectors.
This Strategy will therefore achieve Ireland’s existing
and future commitments through an integrated approach
utilising the full range of policy options, including:
n
economic instruments such as taxation and
emissions trading with broad sectoral and/or crosssectoral application which seek to introduce a price
signal for emissions of greenhouse gases;
n
a broad range of policies and measures using other
instruments such as regulation and other incentives
towards behavioural change, tailored specifically to
relevant sectors;
n
a vigorous and appropriate pursuit of common and
co-ordinated policies and measures implemented at
EU and wider international levels; and
n
participation in international emissions trading.
16
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
MEETING OUR KYOTO COMMITMENT
n
Existing measures
Table 2.1 summarises measures that were already
in place by early 2006, and were therefore taken
into account in the analysis5 that underpinned the
review paper Ireland’s Pathway to Kyoto Compliance
and Ireland’s National Allocation Plan 2008-2012 as
submitted to the European Commission in July 2006.
The Table shows the estimated emission reductions on
foot of each measure for the year 2010, which is used
as a proxy for the 2008-2012 average.
Existing Measures
Energy Supply
Electricity generation from renewable
sources
Modernisation of natural gas network
Transport
Technology Improvements
Rebalancing of motor taxes and fuel
economy labelling
Dublin Traffic Measures
Mineral Oil Tax Relief for biofuels
Residential
Building Regulations 2002
Industry, Commercial and Services
Building Regulations 2005
Large Industry Energy Network
Agriculture, Land use and Forestry
CAP reform – decoupling of support from
production
Forest sinks
Waste
Diversion of biodegradable waste from
landfill
Landfill Gas Capture
Total
Reductions in
2010 (Mt CO2
equivalent)
1.3
0.06
0.48
0.05
0.27
0.27
0.36
0.045
0.145
2.4
2.08
0.7
0.5
8.66
Table 2.1: emission reductions from existing measures
Additional measures
Table 2.2 summarises the additional measures that are
examined in more detail in the sectoral chapters that
follow. These include:
n
n
measures which have been put in place since
early 2006, and were not therefore included in the
analysis underpinning Ireland’s Pathway to Kyoto
Compliance and the National Allocation Plan 20082012;
further measures set out in subsequent
Government policy statements or in this Strategy;
and
reductions arising from the participation of Irish
installations in the 2008-2012 phase of the EU
Emissions Trading Scheme.
Additional Measures
Reductions in
2010 (Mt CO2
equivalent)
Energy Supply
Increase in electricity from renewables to
15% by 2010
Emissions Trading Scheme
Transport
Modal Shift through Transport 21
Alignment of transport investment with
spatial planning
Biofuels obligation – 5.75% by 2010
Efficient driving awareness campaign
Residential
Greener Homes
Buildings Regulations 2008
Industry, Commercial and Services
Emissions Trading Scheme
Energy Agreements Programme
F-Gases Regulation
Commercial Bioheat Programme
CHP Deployment Programme
Total
0.17
2.42
0.51
0.083
0.5
0.13
0.037
0.12
0.6
0.037
0.024
0.16
0.162
4.953
Table 2.2: emission reductions from additional measures
Government use of the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible
mechanisms
The Kyoto Protocol includes mechanisms to allow
countries gain credit for investment in emission
reductions elsewhere. These mechanisms recognise
that reductions in emissions have exactly the same
benefit in terms of tackling climate change regardless
of where in the world they occur. They also allow
parties to the Protocol meet their commitments in the
most cost-effective way available to them. A majority
of the Member States in the current EU burden-sharing
agreement will be using the flexible mechanisms for
compliance purposes in the 2008-2012 commitment
period.6
The Kyoto mechanisms, especially the Clean
Development Mechanism, are of particular importance
to developing countries as they can provide the funding
for modern clean technologies.
The Government has designated €270 million under the
National Development Plan 2007-2013 for investment
under the flexible mechanisms. This is in addition to
an initial investment of €20m in 2006. For every tonne
of greenhouse gas emissions that is reduced or avoided
through investment, Ireland will receive an allowance
which can be used to offset an equivalent amount of
emissions here.
In the National Allocation Plan, as submitted to the
European Commission, the Government has committed
5 Analysis carried out by ICF Consulting & Byrne Ó Cléirigh and published in Determining the Share of National Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Emissions Trading in Ireland 2008-2012, Department of the
Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 2006.
6. See Greenhouse gas emission trends and projections in Europe 2006, European Environment Agency, 2006.
17
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
to purchases of up to 18.035 million allowances over
the 2008-2012 period, an average of 3.607 million per
year, and it is expected that the designated funding will
be sufficient for that requirement. The National Treasury
Management Agency will act as the purchasing agent
for the State, subject to the guidelines set out in the
Purchasing Framework, which is at Annex 3.
Combined effect of all measures
Table 2.3 shows that the full range of measures will
reduce Ireland’s Greenhouse gas emissions by over 17
million tonnes per annum, approximately 20% of which
will be from the purchase of credits.
Reduction from existing measures
Reduction from additional measures
Use of flexible mechanisms
Total
Mt CO2
equivalent7
8.66
4.953
3.607
17.22
Table 2.3: combined effect of all measures
Distance to target
Ireland’s Kyoto target is calculated to be 63.032 million
tonnes of CO2e on average over the 2008-2012 period.
The analysis underpinning both Ireland’s Pathway to
Kyoto Compliance and the National Allocation Plan as
submitted to the European Commission concluded that
the average annual distance to target in that period,
after taking account of existing measures, would be
7.174 million tonnes of CO2e.
In its initial decision in November 2006 on Ireland’s
National Allocation Plan, the European Commission
considered that Ireland had underestimated its projected
emissions from the transport sector. The Government
has re-examined its projections in the light of reported
emissions for 2005 which have subsequently become
available. The Government considers it prudent to accept
the Commission’s assessment and has therefore revised
its average projection of annual transport emissions in
2008-2012 upwards by 983,000 tonnes to give a total
distance to target of 8.137 million tonnes.
7. Measures have been quantified for 2010, which is used as a proxy for 2008-2012.
8. Measures have been quantified for 2010, which is used as a proxy for 2008-2012.
Table 2.4 shows that the combined effect of additional
measures and use of the flexible mechanisms will be
more than is required to enable Ireland to meet its Kyoto
Protocol commitment to maintain emissions within 13%
of 1990 levels.
Emissions without any measures
Existing measures
Projected emissions after existing measures
Less: Kyoto target
Distance to target
Additional measures
Flexible mechanisms
Total additional effect
Mt CO2
equivalent8
79.829
8.66
71.169
63.032
8.137
4.953
3.607
8.56
Table 2.4: Achievement of the distance to target
All projections are inevitably subject to some degree
of forecasting error. This applies both to the projected
emissions in each sector and to the projected effect
of the emission reduction measures, and may equally
involve over-estimations or under-estimations. The
projections are, however, based on the best information
and analysis that is available to the Government from
the relevant expert sources.
It must also be borne in mind that a number of measures
included in this Strategy will have positive effects which
cannot be separately quantified and cannot therefore
be included in the above tables. Examples include
awareness campaigns, spatial and planning polices, and
farm measures under the Rural Environmental Protection
Scheme. The tables also exclude measures which will
be quantifiable when their details are finalised – for
example, measures to be included in the forthcoming
Energy Efficiency Action Plan and the rebalancing of
VRT and motor tax to favour low-emission vehicles
which will be implemented from 2008.
Overall, the Government is satisfied that the measures
in this Strategy, along with the provision made for
the use of the flexible mechanisms, will be more than
adequate to meet Ireland’s Kyoto commitment. This
will enable the use of the flexible mechanisms to be
commensurately reduced, or alternatively will enable
allowances to be carried forward for use in the post2012 period.
18
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
LOOKING FORWARD
Ireland’s commitment in the post-Kyoto period will not
be known until the completion of both the international
negotiations on a new agreement and the European
Union’s internal discussions on burden-sharing among
the Member States. The scenarios in Table 2.6 are
therefore illustrative only but show the implications of
two possible commitments:
n
n
In the first scenario, Ireland’s new commitment
is assumed to be pro-rata to the cut required
by the EU as a whole in moving from its Kyoto
commitment of 8% below 1990 levels to a new
commitment of 20% below 1990 levels (i.e. the
unilateral commitment agreed at the Spring
European Council). A pro-rata cut in Ireland’s
Kyoto limit of 13% above 1990 levels would take
us to 2% below 1990 levels by 20209. This equates
to an emission level of 54.7 million tonnes.
In the second scenario, Ireland’s new commitment
is pro-rata to an EU move to 30% below 1990
levels, to which Europe is willing to commit in the
context of a satisfactory international agreement.
In that case, Ireland’s 2020 target would be 14%
below 1990 levels.10 This equates to an emissions
level of 48 million tonnes.
The analysis11 underpinning Ireland’s National Allocation
Plan 2008-2012 included projections of greenhouse gas
emissions to 2020. These indicated that emissions across
the economy would be 74.1 million tonnes per annum,
before account was taken of any measures beyond
those in place in early 2006.
The effects of the measures included in Table 2.2, which
will contribute over 5 million tonnes of emission reductions
in the 2008-2012 period, have also been quantified to
2020. The assumption has been made that the effect will
hold steady, including in relation to the EU Emissions
Trading Scheme, except where an additional effect can
be estimated on foot of targets adopted by Government,
as in the Energy White Paper. The post-2012 effects of
the latter targets make a significant contribution to the
projected reduction of 10.107 million tonnes on foot
of the quantified additional measures. Table 2.5 shows
the additional contribution of measures, on the basis of
targets included in the Energy White Paper and an initial
estimation of the effects of demand side management
measures in the transport sector by 2020.
Measure
Extension of electricity from renewables to 33%
Biofuels use to 10% of transport fuels
12% renewables share in heating sector on
basis of existing programmes
Transport demand side management measures
Total
Contribution
by 2020
3.26
0.878
0.276
Table 2.6 shows that the gap which would remain to be
bridged is 9.313 million tonnes under the first scenario
and 16.013 million tonnes under the second.
Pro-rata to
Pro-rata to
EU target EU target of
of 20% cut 30% cut on
on 1990
1990
2020 emissions before post-2006
measures
Additional measures quantifiable to
date
New 2020 baseline
Possible 2020 target
Balance required from unquantified
and further measures
74.12
74.12
10.107
10.107
64.013
54.7
64.013
48.0
9.313
16.013
Table 2.6: possible 2020 scenarios (all figures are Mt CO2 equivalent)
The means by which this gap would be bridged
include:
n
measures which have yet be quantified, such as
those in the forthcoming Energy Efficiency Action
Plan and Sustainable Transport Action Plan;
n
measures which cannot be quantified, such as
awareness campaigns;
n
intensification of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme
for the post-2012 period;
n
potential use of the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible
mechanisms beyond 2012; and
n
further measures to be developed by the
Government, which will be informed by the
substantial research programmes now underway
and described in detail in Chapter 10.
The Government will be publishing an Implementation
Status Report on the National Climate Change Strategy
each year, beginning in 2008. In addition to reviewing
progress on implementation, this report will update
projections of emissions and quantification of emission
reduction measures. It will also detail the further
measures which have been introduced or which are in
the process of development.
Through this report, the analysis in this chapter will
be updated annually, in respect of progress towards
both our Kyoto commitment and towards positioning
ourselves for our post-Kyoto targets.
Finally, the Government will publish the third National
Climate Change Strategy in good time to ensure
that Ireland is well placed to meet its post-Kyoto
commitments.
0.74
5.154
Table 2.5: additional effect of 2020 targets with existing measures (all
figures are Mt CO2 equivalent)
9. The EU must cut emissions by 13% to move from 92% to 80% of 1990 levels. A pro-rata reduction would take Ireland from 113% to 98%.
10. The EU must cut emissions by 24% to move from 92% to 70% of 1990 levels. A pro-rata reduction would take Ireland from 113% to 86%.
11. See footnote 5.
Section 2 – Sectoral Analysis
20
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Chapter 3 – Energy Supply
INTRODUCTION
The Government has published a White Paper, Delivering
a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland, which sets out
the broad energy policy framework for the long-term
development of the energy sector, including power
generation, and energy use in transport and the built
environment. There are significant synergies between
the White Paper and this Strategy.
The White Paper recognises that energy policy must
make a substantial contribution to reducing greenhouse
gas emissions through energy efficiency improvements,
changes in the fuel mix and the increased use of
renewable energy. Investment in modern energy
infrastructure, including the progressive deployment
of emerging technologies will, over the longer term,
contribute to greater reductions in emissions by
increasing the efficiency and sustainability of energy
consumption.
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
Emissions from the energy supply sector arise
predominantly from electricity generation. Other sources
include oil refining, gas production and distribution, and
solid fuel production. Electricity generation accounted
for 96% of energy sector emissions in 2005. The energy
sector as a whole accounted for approximately 23% of
total emissions in 2005.
EMISSION REDUCTIONS IN THE SECTOR
Reductions in
2010 (Mt CO2
equivalent)
Existing Measures
Electricity generation from renewable
sources
Modernisation of natural gas network
Sub-total: measures accounted for in 2006
projections
EU Emissions Trading Scheme
Increase in electricity from renewables to
15%
Total Reduction
Existing incentives to help Ireland achieve these targets,
such as the Renewable Electricity Feed-in-Tariff (REFIT)
Scheme, will be underpinned by strategic planning
and investment in infrastructure. The Government will
also provide support for research, development and
deployment of emerging technologies such as tidal
and wave power. Other constraints to the development
of renewable energy are also being addressed, for
example, with the publication in 2006 of Wind Energy
Development Guidelines for Planning Authorities and
new grid code connection conditions. Following the
completion of the All-Island Grid Study, the Government
will, jointly with Northern Ireland, set a further all-island
renewable energy target for 2020 to complement the
national target of 33%. Figure 3.1 shows the increasing
share of renewables in electricity generation to 2020.
40000
35000
30000
Renewables
25000
Gas
20000
Oil
15000
.06
1.36
2.42
0.17
3.95
Emissions Trading Scheme
The Government’s overall approach to the Emissions
Trading Scheme for 2008-2012 is set out in Chapter
10. Of the overall annual reduction of 3 million tonnes
expected from the ETS, a potential emissions reduction
of 2.42 million tonnes is attributed to the energy supply
sector.
Electricity from Renewables
Electricity generation from renewable sources provides
the most effective way of reducing the contribution of
power generation to Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The Government has therefore established ambitious
Peat
10000
Coal
5000
0
1.3
Table 3.1: Quantified measures to reduce emissions
12. Source: Energy in Ireland 1990-2005, SEI, 2006.
national targets for the contribution of renewables to
power generation; 15% of electricity consumed will
be from renewable sources by 2010 and 33% by 2020.
These are above and beyond existing EU targets. Annual
emissions savings of 1.47 Mt will be achieved on foot of
the Government’s 15% target for 2010.
1990
2000
2010
2020
Figure 3.1: Electricity Generation by fuel12
Co-firing with biomass in power generation
The Government supports co-firing of biomass with peat
in power generation as a means of reducing greenhouse
gas emissions and introducing additional diversity into
the fuel mix for power generation. The Government
has established a target for biomass to contribute up to
30% of energy input at peat stations by 2015, which will
contribute to the achievement of the overall renewable
electricity target of 33% by 2020. It is estimated that
achievement of this target could reduce emissions from
peat stations by 900,000 tonnes per annum by 2015.
The Government will amend the REFIT scheme to allow
biomass from co-firing to avail of the tariff.
For the 2008-2012 period, the peat stations are included
in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and any reduction
in emissions as a result of co-firing in this period will be
captured by reductions attributed to the Scheme. The
Government will further assess how its co-firing target
will be included in the ‘bubble’ for the next phase of
the emissions trading scheme after 2012.
21
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
Improvements in generation efficiency
The efficiency of electricity generation, measured as
the amount of fuel inputs required to provide a unit
of electricity for final consumption, will continue to
be improved in line with recent trends to commission
additional high -efficiency gas-fired power plants to
displace less efficient generating capacity.
the Winter Peak Demand Reduction Scheme shows that
substantial savings can be made in electricity costs to
business and residential customers. A comprehensive
and fully costed DSM Plan will be finalised in 2007,
which will include the progressive provision of realtime electricity displays linked to meters to provide
information to consumers on electricity usage and its
cost.
Infrastructure development programme
Investment in the region of €7 billion in the electricity
and gas networks is envisaged under the National
Development Plan 2007-2013. Ongoing investment in
electricity networks will continue to reduce losses of
electricity, as a percentage of electricity distributed. This
investment will be underpinned by analysis to ensure that
investment in electricity transmission and distribution
networks can accommodate the Government’s target
for electricity generation from renewables by 2020.
Analysis is also underway to assess the potential for
various forms of distributed electricity generation, and
the implications for the electricity transmission and
distribution networks.
Gas transmission and distribution
Following the completion of the North-South gas
pipeline, as part of the all-island market developments,
the natural gas network will continue to be extended
over the 2008-2012 period, where it is cost-effective and
economic to do so. A major upgrade programme for
the existing natural gas transmission and distribution
network will be completed by 2009. The replacement
of older cast-iron piping will result in a reduction in
fugitive emissions from the network with estimated
annual emissions savings of 0.06 Mt in 2008-2012.
Combined Heat and Power
It is recognised that the potential benefit of Combined
Heat and Power (CHP), particularly in the commercial
and public services sectors, is constrained by economic
factors. The Government is acting to stimulate its
development with support under the CHP Deployment
Programme, which includes support for small scale
CHP and large-scale biomass-fed CHP, and additional
research and development supports. The Government’s
ambition for CHP is underpinned by a target to achieve
an installed capacity of 400 Mw by 2010 and 800 Mw
by 2020. The achievement of the 2010 target will reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 162,000 tonnes on average
over the 2008-2012 period. This saving is attributed to
the Industrial, Commercial and Services sector for the
purposes of this Strategy.
Electricity Demand side management
Electricity Demand Side Management (DSM) programmes
have a key role to play in delivering energy efficiency
by enabling electricity suppliers and network operators
to plan better, and to manage and modify customer
demand. The experience to date of schemes such as
LOOKING FORWARD
The Government’s National Ocean Energy Strategy
envisages that Ireland will become a world leader for
the development and deployment of ocean energy
technologies. The Government is working to realise
this long-term ambition with ongoing research into
the energy conversion potential and the technical risks
of deploying such technologies in the Irish marine
environment. An initial target of 500Mw of installed
ocean energy capacity by 2020 has been set by the
Government as part of its overall renewable electricity
target. The development of ocean energy will be
supported through the Energy Research Sub-Programme
under the National Development Plan 2007-2013,
which will see a total investment of €149 million over
the period covered by the NDP. Research into ocean
energy is also envisaged under the Discovery Research
Measure which forms part of the Marine Research SubProgramme.
The potential of emerging technologies to allow for
cleaner generation of electricity from coal over the longer
term is recognised by the Government. While carbon
capture and storage offers potential in the Irish context,
the process is still at the technology demonstration
stage internationally and its use on a commercial scale
remains to be demonstrated. The Government will
keep the potential of clean coal technologies under
review in light of international technical and regulatory
developments.
The ESB’s coal-fired power station at Moneypoint,
Co. Clare, is the single biggest source of greenhouse
gas emissions in the State. However, its continued
operation is fundamental to maintaining an appropriate
level of diversity in the national fuel mix for electricity
generation so as to ensure security of electricity supply.
Given its size in greenhouse gas emissions terms and
its importance to the economy, it is essential that the
plant operates at maximum efficiency when measured
against best available technologies. The scope for the
introduction of clean coal technologies and the potential
for the use of carbon capture and storage, whether in
new plant or by way of refitting existing plant, will be
pursued in the period to 2020, in line with the pace and
scale of technological and commercial development,
as well as planning frameworks, in relation to these
technologies.
22
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Chapter 4 – Transport
INTRODUCTION
Modal shift through Transport 21
Transport plays a pivotal role in supporting economic
growth and balanced regional development and there
has been a strong correlation between economic growth
in Ireland and energy consumption and greenhouse gas
emissions in the transport sector.
The provision of infrastructure through the continued
implementation of Transport 21, a €34.3 billion capital
investment framework for the transport system for 2006
to 2015, will result in a switch from private to public
forms of transport. Overall €18.5 billion will be invested
in the national roads programme while €15.8 billion
will be provided for public transport projects and for
regional airports.
However, it is imperative that growth in emissions in the
transport sector is decoupled from economic growth in
order for the transport sector to move along a more
sustainable path. Recent growth rates in emissions from
the transport sector highlights the need for a broad mix
of policies and measures, which will achieve a modal
shift to public transport, walking and cycling, as well
as increased fuel efficiency in both personal and freight
transport.
The Government aims to develop a sustainable transport
system that will promote economic competitiveness by
removing infrastructural bottlenecks and achieving a
diverse fuel mix, whilst increasing social cohesion, access
to peripheral rural areas and reducing environmental
impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions.
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
Transport emissions accounted for approximately 19%
of total emissions in 2005. Overall between 1990 and
2005, transport emissions increased by 160%, with
road transport accounting for the vast majority of
that growth. The growth in emissions from the sector
can be attributed to economic prosperity, increasing
population and employment, urban expansion, reliance
on private cars, long distance commuting, larger air
passenger numbers and greater freight transportation,
particularly by road. A proportion of total emissions
from road transport are also attributable to international
fuel bunkering, or ‘fuel tourism,’ arising from crossborder fuel price differentials.
EMISSION REDUCTIONS IN THE SECTOR
Reductions in
2010 (Mt CO2
equivalent)
Existing Measures
Technology improvements
Mineral Oil Tax Relief for biofuels
Dublin Traffic Measures
Rebalancing of motor taxes and fuel economy
labelling
Sub-total: measures accounted for in 2006
projections
Modal Shift through Transport 21
Alignment of transport investment with spatial
planning
5.75% biofuels use in transport fuels
Efficient driving awareness campaign
TOTAL
Table 4.1: Quantified measures to reduce emissions
0.48
0.2713
0.27
0.0514
Preliminary modelling of the reduction in emissions
from implementation of Transport 21 suggests a
potential annual average reduction of almost 0.51
million tonnes of CO2 in 2010. The capital investment
will complement the National Spatial Strategy 20022020 and Regional Planning Guidelines by better
integrating land-use planning and spatial development,
and concentrating development in close proximity
to transport infrastructure. The effect of this will be
to further reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions
by 0.083 million tonnes by 2010. As the investment
window for Transport 21 stretches to 2015, additional
reductions that have yet to be quantified are expected
to be realised after the end of the Kyoto commitment
period.
An integral part of planning for future public transport
provision will require encouraging commuters to move
from private car use to more sustainable modes of travel.
Existing traffic management measures in urban areas,
such as quality bus corridors and park-and-ride facilities,
will be enhanced under Transport 21 with further bus
priority measures, car restraint measures, park and
ride facilities, and improved cycling and pedestrian
facilities. Modelling of the effect on emissions due to
implementation of demand-side measures in the latter
stages of the Transport 21 investment period shows an
additional reduction in emissions, with an indicative
reduction of 0.74 million tonnes by 2015.
Transport 21 will facilitate a switch to more sustainable
modes of transport such as public transport, cycling and
walking, and create greater certainty in knowing where
best to focus higher density development within the
greater Dublin metropolitan area, as well as concentrating
development in the hinterland in strategically placed
dynamic urban conurbations. The Cork Area Strategic
Plan (CASP) provides a model for successful integration
of land-use planning and public transport development
in urban settlements and their hinterlands.
1.07
0.51
0.083
0.5
0.13
2.293
Fuel efficiency
Improving the fuel efficiency of the passenger vehicle
fleet is a key part of reducing emissions from the transport
sector since private cars will remain an important means
of personal mobility. Technological advances within
the automotive industry will be critically important
in bringing more fuel-efficient technologies and
alternative fuel technologies to market. Because Ireland
is a technology taker, it has little ability to influence the
development of cleaner vehicle technology on its own.
13. Updated from Ireland’s Pathway to Kyoto Compliance in light of revised projections for transport sector.
14. This estimation pre-dates and does not take account of the Budget 2007 announcement. The analysis will be updated when the extent of the tax rebalancing is confirmed.
23
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
The Government does, however, support initiatives such
as the EU objective of limiting average emissions from
private cars to no more than 120g/km by 2012 through
improvements in vehicle engine and other technology
improvements. Emissions savings in Ireland of 0.48
million tonnes are projected from such improvements.
In addition, the National Car Test helps ensure that
cars are maintained and operated as fuel efficiently as
possible.
The Government will support the market uptake of
biofuels in publicly owned fleets by requiring the CIE
transport companies to move existing fleets to a 5%
biodiesel blend and to ensure that all of their new fleet
purchases are capable of using biofuels at blends of at
least 30% as quickly as is feasible. Hybrid technologies
will also be implemented as part of future fleet
replacement once production capacity increases.
Efficient driving
VRT and motor tax
From 2008, the basis for assessing both vehicle
registration tax and motor tax will be more closely
aligned with CO2 emissions. This is intended to provide
further incentives for consumers to choose fuel-efficient
cars with lower CO2 emissions.
The restructuring of these taxes to reflect the climate
impact of individual vehicles will be supported by
enhancing the existing mandatory labelling system to
provide more information on CO2 emission levels and
on fuel economy.
The Government will also consider the extension
beyond December 2007 of the existing preferential
VRT treatment currently available to series production
hybrid-electric, flexible fuel and electric vehicles.
Biofuels
The existing Mineral Oils Tax Relief (MOTR) II Scheme,
which aims to place 163 million litres of biofuels on the
market at a cost of over €200 million, will achieve the
indicative target of 2% by 2008, as set out in the Biofuels
Directive, and will achieve emissions savings of 0.27
million tonnes. This will be complemented, from 2009,
with the introduction of a biofuels obligation scheme,
requiring that biofuels represent a given volume of
overall sales, while allowing the market the flexibility
to organise the appropriate mix of fuels offered at the
supplier level. This will enable Ireland to achieve the EU
target of 5.75% biofuels market penetration by 2010 and
provide a solid basis for achieving the Government’s
target of 10% penetration by 2020. Achievement of the
2010 target will reduce emissions by an additional 0.5
million tonnes in 2008-2012.
The promotion of smooth and safe driving at lower
engine revolutions can contribute to increased fuel
efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions. A
national efficient driving awareness campaign will be
implemented, building on existing initiatives such as
Power of One. Studies have shown that up to a 20%
improvement in fuel efficiency can be achieved by
more efficient driving. Potential emissions savings from
such a campaign are estimated to be 0.13 Mt CO2 per
annum by 2010.
Commuting patterns
The Government recognises and supports the role
of employers in promoting more sustainable travel
patterns among employees, for example through the
highly successful TaxSaver Commuter Ticket Scheme.
The Government will support the development of
workplace travel plans, building on existing pilot
projects, to encourage reduction in private car
commuting, use of car sharing and flexible working in
individual workplaces. These will be supported by an
information campaign, funded under Transport 21, on
mobility management and sustainable commuting.
Road freight
The EU Driver Training Directive 2003/59/EC aims to
improve the efficiency of road freight operations by
including logistics and route planning modules for road
hauliers. Under Transport 21, funding has been provided
for the modification of 50 selected vehicles to run on
100% pure plant oil (PPO) in a scheme being carried
out under the aegis of the German-Irish Chamber of
Industry and Commerce. It is expected that this will
provide a replicable model for the development of
localised supply chains between hauliers and biofuel
producers.
24
LOOKING FORWARD
The Government intends to publish a Sustainable
Transport Action Plan in late 2007 and propose an
optimal policy mix, which will ensure the delivery of
a sustainable transport system. It is intended that this
Action Plan will propose a number of sustainable mobility
indicators and targets for reducing both greenhouse gas
emissions and energy consumption from the transport
sector over the period to 2020.
This Action Plan will use a multi-criteria approach, which
will balance the need for economic efficiency, reduced
environmental impact and social cohesion as well as
proposing the appropriate institutional arrangements
requisite to deliver a sustainable transport system.
An integral component of ongoing analysis of investment
needs for the transport sector will be the development
of a national capacity to model impacts on traffic flows,
as well as environmental impacts such as greenhouse
gas emissions. Steps to put this in place will be initiated
during the development of the Sustainable Transport
Action Plan, undertaking a more in-depth modelling of
the emissions reduction associated with the Transport
21 investment programme.
An Intelligent Transport Systems Strategy, currently being
developed by the Department of Transport, will integrate
the application of information and communication
technologies (ICT) for use in transport management
strategies to provide for optimum integration of
transport systems. The Strategy will include provision
for measures such as integrated ticketing and real-time
journey information.
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Consideration will be given to the potential introduction
of fiscal measures, including road pricing or congestion
charging, to reduce transport demand, once adequate
supply-side infrastructure is in place.
The Government supports, in principle, having regard
to Ireland’s peripheral status, the inclusion of aviation
and maritime emissions in future restructuring of the
EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Emissions from
aviation are projected to continue to grow to more
than double present levels by 2020. While emissions
from international aviation are not covered by the
Kyoto Protocol, initiatives taken now to address the
contribution of aviation to climate change will ensure
that they do not cancel out the successful reduction of
emissions from other sectors over the longer term. The
Government is working with other EU Member States
to include aviation in the EU Scheme on the basis of
the proposal presented by the European Commission
in 2006. The Government will also support any future
EU framework to address emissions from the maritime
sector, such as the possible inclusion of the sector in the
third phase of the ETS.
25
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
Chapter 5 – Residential
INTRODUCTION
Building Regulations
Ireland’s housing stock is relatively new. About one
third of the current stock was built over the past ten
years and this proportion will grow significantly. It
is estimated that some 600,000 new homes will be
required to meet demand up to 2015. Measures to
reduce emissions from the sector are geared towards
increasing energy efficiency. At the level of the
individual residence, the focus is on construction
standards and energy technology. On a broader scale,
the Government’s recent policy statement Delivering
Homes, Sustaining Communities places an emphasis on
sustainable residential development including energy
efficient housing development layouts, and sustainable
urban and rural settlement patterns that can help to
minimise transport-related energy consumption.
The Building Regulations are steadily enhancing the
thermal performance standards of new and refurbished
buildings. The first thermal performance requirements
in national building regulations came into force in 1992
and since then, the energy efficiency of new buildings
has increased significantly. SEI estimates that the
nominal space heating demand of an Irish home built to
the 2002 standard is 76% less than that of an equivalent
home built in the 1970s although much of that saving
is likely to have been displaced by higher internal
temperatures. The current standards are expected to
achieve an annual emissions saving of 360,000 tonnes
in the period 2008-2012.
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
Emissions from the residential sector accounted for
10.2% of total emissions in 2005. They are based on
direct energy consumption for space and water heating
in this sector.15 Emissions associated with domestic
electricity consumption are attributed to the energy
sector. While there have been record numbers of house
completions in recent years, emissions from the average
dwelling have fallen by approximately 30% since 1990,
primarily as a result of strengthened energy efficiency
standards for new buildings and shifts from solid fuels
to natural gas for heating.
EMISSION REDUCTIONS IN THE SECTOR
Reductions in
2010 (Mt CO2
equivalent)
Existing Measures
Building Regulations 2002
Sub-total: measures accounted for in 2006
projections
Greener Homes
Building Regulations 2008
TOTAL
0.36
0.3616
0.037
0.12
0.517
Table 5.1: Quantified measures to reduce emissions
EMISSION REDUCTIONS IN NEW BUILDINGS
Residential Density Guidelines
The Government will replace the current Residential
Density Guidelines with Guidelines on Sustainable
Residential Development. These will be issued in draft
for consultation in Autumn 2007. The new guidelines
will encourage more energy-efficient housing layouts
by, inter alia, setting more quantifiable sustainable
development standards, maximising access to
sunlight and daylight, facilitating greater movement
by pedestrians and cyclists, facilitating use of public
transport, and using efficient energy supply (such as
combined heat and power), where appropriate.
The Government has commenced a full review of
the scope, structure and form of the current building
regulations to prepare for the next revision to the Part
L thermal performance requirements. This review will
examine the scope for extending the coverage of Part
L to include a requirement for high efficiency boilers,
renewable energy systems, energy efficient lighting,
as well as the scope for tighter insulation and air
infiltration requirements. Revised Part L standards will
come into force in 2008 and will aim to achieve up
to a 40% improvement on current standards. These
higher standards can be expected to achieve additional
emissions savings of up to 120,000 tonnes per annum in
the period 2008-2012.
Compliance with Building Regulations is mandatory for
all providers of new buildings and major improvement
works to existing buildings. The Government is working
to achieve strengthened compliance with the regulations.
The anticipated enactment of the Building Control Bill
in 2007 will strengthen the legal enforcement powers
of Building Control Authorities (Local Authorities),
with increased maximum penalties for breaches of the
Building Regulations.
Building Energy Rating
From 1 January 2007, an energy rating requirement for
new dwellings, in the form of a Building Energy Rating
(BER) certificate, has been introduced. This certificate
will also be introduced for new non-domestic buildings
from 1 July 2008 and for existing buildings when being
let or sold from 1 January 2009. A BER gives an objective
scale of comparison for the energy demand and CO2
performance of buildings, which will allow prospective
tenants or buyers to objectively compare the energy
performance of buildings and factor energy performance
and costs into purchase or tenancy decisions. An
advisory report attached to the BER certificate will set
out cost effective ways of improving building energy
performance for the information of building owners
and landlords in planning future upgrade works.
15. Emissions relating to residential construction and the manufacture of construction products are included in the relevant sector, based on the source of emission.
16. This figure has been updated from Ireland’s Pathway to Kyoto Compliance, in light of revised estimates on numbers of dwellings affected.
26
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Switch to low-energy light bulbs
Traditional incandescent light bulbs are extremely
inefficient; modern CFL bulbs use 80% less energy for
equivalent light and last up to 15 times longer. While
they are therefore more economical for the consumer
in the long-run, their initial cost is higher. The European
Commission intends to bring forward a proposal for an
EU-wide ban on incandescent bulbs, but this may take a
number of years to be agreed and implemented.
To bridge the gap, the Government will introduce an
environmental levy on incandescent bulbs, to reduce
their price advantage and encourage consumers to switch
to CFL bulbs. The intention, as with the very successful
plastic bag levy, is to alter consumer behaviour rather
than to generate revenue, but any income from the
new environmental levy will be channelled through the
Environment Fund to support climate change awareness
initiatives. It is estimated that emissions savings of up
to 230,000 tonnes could be achieved if every household
replaced 6 conventional bulbs with CFL bulbs. Further
savings could be achieved in non-residential buildings.
These savings are not included in Table 5.1 as reduced
electricity generation is accounted for as an emissions
reduction in the Energy Supply Sector.
Smart meters
EMISSION REDUCTIONS IN EXISTING BUILDINGS
Greener Homes Scheme
The Greener Homes Scheme, launched in 2006 and
administered by Sustainable Energy Ireland, will provide
€47 million over five years for grant assistance to
homeowners who intend to purchase a new renewable
energy heating system for either new or existing homes.
Over 13,000 applications have been received since the
scheme commenced and it is expected to result in
annual emissions savings of 37,000 tonnes by 2010.
The Government has recently introduced regulations
to provide exemptions from planning permission for
the installation of mirco-renewable technologies for
homeowners. These exemptions apply to wind turbines,
solar panels, heat pumps and biomass, subject to certain
conditions in each case, and are designed to encourage
the uptake of cleaner and cheaper energy from smallscale renewable sources in domestic dwellings. The
exemptions will, in many cases, complement grant
support provided in the Greener Homes Scheme.
Smart meters have demonstrable potential to deliver
benefits for energy consumers, including more flexible
tariffs offering greater choice and energy saving
opportunities, and remote meter reading resulting
in reduced costs and full accuracy. Smart meters can
also facilitate the incorporation of on-site generation at
consumer premises, including renewable generation.
The Government will initiate steps in 2007 to roll out
the provision, over the next five years, of smart meters
for all electricity customers in both new and existing
housing stock.
Awareness Initiatives
Consumer information plays a key role in driving energy
efficient behaviour. Support for energy awareness
initiatives is provided through Sustainable Energy Ireland
campaigns and through the national Power of One
awareness campaign. This campaign will be sustained
over the next three years at national, regional and
community level as well as across economic sectors.
Existing awareness initiatives will be complemented
from 2007 with the launch of a €15 million multi-annual
climate change awareness campaign which will be
closely coordinated with complementary initiatives such
as the Power of One campaign and various schemes
being undertaken by Sustainable Energy Ireland.
27
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
Efficiency of appliances
Energy labelling of appliances, to enable consumers to
compare energy consumption of product alternatives,
is designed to promote the uptake of more energyefficient appliances. Requirements for energy labelling
are laid down in a series of EU Directives. Suppliers
and distributors are required to produce the labelling
material and to ensure accuracy. Retailers are required
to ensure that all display models carry the correct energy
labels. Labelling requirements are to be introduced in a
number of additional product categories by 2010.
Energy labelling is underpinned, at the EU level, by the
eco-design directive, which provides a formal mechanism
for establishing product standards for energy efficiency.
Products that do not meet the requirements may not
be placed on the market. The European Commission is
implementing a three-year programme to develop ecodesign requirements for product groups offering the
highest potential for energy efficiency improvements,
including water heaters and boilers, computers, fridgefreezers, dishwashers and washing machines.
Energy efficiency of social housing
The Best Practice Guidelines, Quality Housing
for Sustainable Communities, published in March
2007, focus on promoting high standards in design,
construction, environmental performance and durability.
Sustainable development can be achieved through
settlement patterns that are planned in accordance
with urban design principles that create high quality
neighbourhoods at a density which supports schools,
shops and amenities within easy walking distances
of dwellings. The guidelines advocate that climate
sensitive design should take account of orientation,
topography and existing features of the site of a
proposed development so as to control wind effects,
while optimising the benefits of sunlight and solar gain.
Designing for sustainability involves achieving energy
efficiency at the design, manufacture, and construction
stages and during the lifetime of the dwellings. The
guidelines set the ambition of optimising the energy
performance of new homes with the aim of reducing
emissions and improving energy efficiency by 40%.
Energy efficient practices that meet the approval of
SEI will be funded as part of social housing projects
through existing capital programmes such as the Local
Authority Housing Regeneration Programme and the
Central Heating Scheme, and future programmes to be
developed. As the benefits of innovative practices are
validated through implementation experience, they will
be included in recommended guidelines.
A proposed audit of social housing stock will provide
an important incentive to continual improvement of the
general quality, including the energy efficiency of social
housing. It will also provide a basis for considering the
potential for further cost-effective measures to be readily
employed to improve the sustainability of housing.
The particular circumstances of low income households
require coordinated action to ensure that homes which
are subject to fuel poverty have access to cost-effective
heating, hot water and lighting through the installation
of energy efficiency measures. The SEI Warmer Homes
Scheme is the primary intervention in this area.
LOOKING FORWARD
The Government is committed to supporting the
adoption of new technology and innovative approaches
to design and construction of dwellings. The
development and implementation of future measures
will be informed by evidence regarding quality and
performance characteristics being achieved in practice.
The potential for improved sustainability of new housing
will be explored, building on the experience of energy
performance and rating requirements. Initiatives may
be advanced on the basis of voluntary codes with the
construction sector with a view to ultimate incorporation
into the Building Regulations.
28
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Chapter 6 – Industry, Commercial and Services
INTRODUCTION
The strength of Irish business is key to the longterm strength of Ireland’s economy. While economic
growth has been remarkable in recent years, the
energy efficiency of the economy has also increased
significantly. Through further efficiency gains and
through innovation, the sector can contribute to
emission reductions and can also exploit the domestic
and international opportunities presented by the
emergence of low-carbon technologies.
The Government is adopting a multi-faceted approach
to addressing the diverse sources of emissions in this
sector, including economic instruments, regulation,
increasing energy efficiency awareness and support for
technology deployment.
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
The sector contributes to greenhouse gas emissions
mainly through direct fossil fuel combustion for heating
and emissions that arise in the course of various
industrial processes. The sector is also the main source
of emissions of industrial gases, in particular through use
in refrigeration, air conditioning and in the electronics
sector. Emissions from the sector, which include
emissions from the Public Sector for inventory purposes,
accounted for 17% of total emissions in 2005.
EMISSION REDUCTIONS IN THE SECTOR
Measures
Building Regulations 2005
Large Industry Energy Network
Sub-total: measures accounted for in
2006 projections
EU Emissions Trading Scheme
Energy Agreements Programme
F-Gases Regulation
Commercial Bioheat Programme
CHP Deployment Programme
Total
Reductions in
2010 (Mt CO2
equivalent)
0.045
0.14517
0.19
0.6
0.03718
0.024
0.16
0.162
1.173
a requirement for a feasibility assessment of alternative
heating and energy supply systems for buildings over
1000m2 before construction begins. The requirement
under the European Performance in Buildings Directive
to assess the overall energy performance in the design
of new non-domestic buildings will be introduced in
July 2008 and is intended to promote the development
of optimum energy solutions at the design stage.
Building Energy Rating
Building facilities managers will have an additional tool
to assess energy consumption in a building with the
introduction of Building Energy Rating (BER) for new
non-domestic buildings for sale or rent from 1 July 2008
and for existing buildings for rent or sale from 1 Janury
2009. The BER will provide a transparent assessment of
a building’s energy performance and the measures that
may be put in place to increase performance.
Regulating industrial gases
The EU Regulation on Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases
introduces prohibitions and other restrictions for certain
products containing such gases, including requirements
for operators of appliances that use F-gases to prevent,
detect and repair leakages from a list of specified
stationary applications and maintain adequate records.
The main provisions of the Regulation apply from July
2007 and the Government is working with stakeholders
to ensure the smooth implementation of the regulation
in Ireland.
Vehicles with air-conditioning units that use a refrigerant
known as HFC-134a (which has a global warming
potential of 1300 times that of CO2) are a particular
concern. To address the potential consequences
of leakage of this refrigerant, the EU Mobile Air
Conditioning Directive places restrictions on the types
of units fitted to vehicles before they can be approved
for sale. The principal effect of the Directive in Ireland
is that the provisions in respect of leak detection and
refilling of air conditioning units must be implemented
by January 2008.
Table 6.1: Quantified measures to reduce emissions
Supporting the achievement of greater energy efficiency
Emissions Trading Scheme
The Government’s overall approach to the EU Emissions
Trading Scheme for 2008-2012 is set out in Chapter 10.
Of the overall annual reduction of 3 million tonnes
arising from the ETS, a potential emissions reduction
of 0.6 million tonnes is attributed to this sector – the
balance arising in the energy sector.
Building Regulations
The introduction of more stringent energy performance
requirements for non-residential buildings, through
amendments to Part L of the Building Regulations from
July 2006, will lead to significant annual savings on
energy use and CO2 emissions. This is complemented by
The Government will shortly publish a comprehensive
Energy Efficiency Action Plan to deliver a significant
reduction in energy demand for Ireland by 2020, building
on achievements to date. Programmes will target energy
efficiency across all sectors, including business, with
the public sector expected to lead by example with an
energy efficiency target of 33% by 2020.
The national energy efficiency awareness campaign Power of One - will continue over the next three years
at national, regional and community level. Tailored
elements for the business sector will be introduced, and
the campaign will be extended to an all-island campaign
during 2007.
17. This was not quantified in Ireland’s Pathway to Kyoto Compliance. Total emissions savings associated with the Large Industry Energy Network are estimated at 195Kt, but approximately 25% is covered by ETS.
18. Total emissions reduction associated with Energy Agreements Programme is 150Kt, but approximately 75% is covered by ETS.
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
The Irish Standard for Energy Management, (IS 393),
promotes energy consciousness in all aspects of business,
from design and specification, through procurement,
operation and maintenance. Companies that sign up to
IS 393 deploy formalised structures to achieve significant
energy savings. The Government will work to promote
the adoption of the Standard in all workplaces and will,
in particular, support its implementation in small and
medium enterprises (SMEs).
The Energy Agreements Programme, managed by SEI,
is based on IS 393. By joining the Energy Agreements
Programme, companies undertake to work towards
achieving certification to IS 393, supported by tailored
advice from SEI. It is expected that the Programme will
eventually attract 60 to 100 of the largest industrial energy
users in Ireland to participate. Potential annual savings
in greenhouse gas emissions arising from the scheme
are conservatively estimated to be 150,000 tonnes by
2010, approximately 75% of which are associated with
firms in the Emissions Trading Scheme.
A parallel Energy Management Action Programme
(EMAP) is in place for those companies that may not
have the resources to commit the audit requirements
necessary to obtain IS 393. EMAP can simplify the
process for companies towards obtaining IS 393.
Increasing energy costs and environmental regulation
are recognised as posing particular challenges for
SMEs. There is often significant untapped potential
for energy efficiency gains in this sector that are not
29
being realised due to resource and time constraints. SEI
provides tailored advice for SMEs to reduce their energy
consumption and will, from 2007, extend the energy
agreements programme to the SME sector. In Budget
2007, SEI was allocated an additional €3m specifically
to engage in energy efficiency actions with the SME
sector.
The SEI-managed Large Industry Energy Network, a
voluntary network involving the largest industrial energy
consumers in Ireland who together account for around
40% of the total annual industry energy expenditure in
Ireland, will continue to improve the competitiveness
of its members by reducing energy costs and assisting
companies in meeting environmental and regulatory
requirements. The experience gained in the network
is being used to implement other energy management
programmes for the business sector. On the basis of
energy efficiency gains by members of the network,
emissions in 2010 are expected to be 195,000 tonnes
less than would otherwise have been the case.
The business sector is increasingly recognising that strong
environmental performance makes good business sense
and firms may wish to communicate that their adoption
of the superior energy performance practices also
demonstrates their commitment to addressing climate
change. Building on existing expertise in State agencies
such as EPA and SEI, the Government will support and
advise businesses that seek proactively to reduce their
greenhouse gas emissions.
30
Support for the deployment of alternative energy
The €26 million commercial bioheat support scheme for
renewable heat technologies enables companies and
small businesses to obtain grants for the installation of
wood chip and wood pellet boilers in large buildings
and commercial premises. The scheme is being rolledout over a five-year period and will support conversion
to renewable energy in up to 600 installations depending
on overall project sizes. The scheme is being extended
in 2007 to enable community and voluntary groups
to apply for funding and to include other renewable
technologies such as solar and geothermal. By 2010
emissions savings of 160,000 tonnes are expected in a
full year from this programme.
The €11 million Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
programme provides grants for the installation of CHP
units. The scheme is aimed at small-scale units (up to
1 Mw), which can be deployed in hotels, leisure centres,
small hospitals, offices or commercial buildings, which
have a substantial heat requirement. The programme is
running over a five-year period. A target deployment of
400Mw by 2010 has been set by the Government, with
a further target of 800Mw by 2020. By 2010 emissions
savings of 162,000 tonnes are expected in a full year
from this programme.
The Government is examining options to enable
the planning system to play a more active role in
encouraging renewable energy uptake in the industrial,
commercial and agricultural sectors. As a general
rule, it is intended that where possible, exemptions
from planning requirements will be provided. Where
planning considerations relating to specific technologies
or sectors preclude exemption, the Department of
the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
will provide guidance to planning authorities. Where
exemptions are provided, the Government will ensure
that these complement existing supports provided for
the installation of renewable technologies, such as the
Commercial Bioheat Scheme.
Innovation and markets
Increasing consumer awareness of climate change
and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with
products placed on the market will require businesses
to address changing expectations of the environmental
impact of their products and services. The integration of
environmental considerations into business planning is
fundamental to the future success of the business sector.
The Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation
2006-2013 sets out the Government’s approach to
supporting R&D to enable enterprise innovation in
Ireland.
A range of supports, such as Enterprise Ireland’s
Environmental Management Grant Scheme and the
Environmentally Superior Products Initiative, are in place
to support the adoption of eco-efficient technologies
and practices. These are aimed at improving the
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
strategic capability of business, in particular SMEs, in
the management of their environmental issues, and
developing and exploiting the market opportunities that
improved environmental performance can provide.
The Environmental Research Technological Development
and Innovation (ERTDI) Programme, which is funded
by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and
Local Government and operated by the Environmental
Protection Agency, supports a wide range of projects to
improve the level of research and development work
on environmental technologies and eco-innovation
in Ireland. As part of the overall ERTDI, the Cleaner
Green Production Programme (CGPP) works directly
with industry to prevent and minimise the impact of
industrial activities on the environment.
The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local
Government will, in conjunction with other Government
Departments and Agencies, continue to participate in the
EU process to implement the European Environmental
Technologies Action Plan (ETAP), which will include
the objective of ensuring that the greatest possible level
of environmental research and development output will
be disseminated to, and taken up by, Irish industry.
The Government will aim to build on existing supports
to ensure that businesses can:
n
exploit the innovation and market opportunities
provided by energy efficient and low-carbon
technologies;
n
avail of potential opportunities for investment
abroad through the Kyoto Protocol’s project-based
flexible mechanisms; and
n
provide energy efficient goods and services
through the Government’s green public
procurement action plan.
LOOKING FORWARD
Ireland will work with its EU partners through the
forthcoming review of the Emissions Trading Scheme
to ensure that it continues to work in a way that will
deliver emissions reductions consistent with criteria such
as cost-effectiveness, equity, flexibility and maintaining
competitiveness.
The review is intended to inform the preparation of
a legislative proposal to amend the Emissions Trading
Directive for the operation of the scheme after 2012.
The Emissions Trading Scheme will therefore remain a
central element of the EU’s long-term strategy to address
climate change.
31
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
Chapter 7 – Agriculture, Land-use and Forestry
INTRODUCTION
The agriculture and forestry sectors have a key role to
play in addressing climate change, through emission
reductions and sequestration and also through the
development of renewable energy resources. Emissions
from the sector are closely linked to livestock numbers
and use of fertilisers.
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
The agriculture sector contributed almost 28% of Ireland’s
emissions in 2005. Total emissions have been declining
since 1999 and this is projected to continue through
the Kyoto Protocol commitment period and beyond to
2020. Emissions are predominantly non-CO2 gases and
arise primarily from enteric fermentation in animals,
management of animal manures and agricultural soils.
EMISSION REDUCTIONS IN THE SECTOR
Measures
CAP reform – decoupling of support from
production
Forest sinks
TOTAL
Reductions in
2010 (Mt CO2
equivalent)
2.40
2.08
4.48
Table 7.1: Quantified measures to reduce emissions
Impact of Common Agricultural Policy Reforms
The decision by Government to adopt full decoupling
of direct payments from production is projected to
reduce emissions by 2.4 million tonnes per annum in
the 2008-2012 period. The impact of CAP reform will
continue beyond 2012 and will be an important factor
in Ireland’s post-Kyoto strategy.
Rural Environment Protection Scheme
The proposed new REPS 4 scheme, for the period
2007–2013, will not only benefit the environment in
terms of water quality or biodiversity, but will also
take account of climate change issues. The planting of
broadleaf trees will contribute to carbon sequestration.
The planting of new hedgerows and the rejuvenation of
degraded hedgerows are also expected to be beneficial.
Emissions from fertilisers will be reduced, for example
through organic farming and by encouraging greater
uptake of nitrogen by soil.
Manure Management
Improved farming practices, resulting in better utilisation
of nutrients, have the potential to reduce nitrogen
applications without significant impact on output levels.
The regulations implementing the EU Nitrates Directive
will lead to more efficient use of nitrogenous fertiliser
and therefore will reduce emissions.
The Government will work to promote awareness
among farmers of the benefits of low emission trailing
shoe technology for slurry spreading, which reduces
the need for additional chemical nitrogen and will
develop mechanisms aimed at increasing the uptake
of this technology.
Anaerobic Digestion
The Government recognises that there are a number of
financial and technical obstacles to the extensive use
of anaerobic digestion. Scope for farm-scale anaerobic
digestion is somewhat limited with the main potential
in the pig sector. Most cattle manure is already recycled
successfully on-farm as fertiliser and needs no further
processing. The price at which the energy resulting
from anaerobic digestion can be sold raises further
questions of viability. The Government will however
closely monitor the feasibility of anaerobic digestion
in light of experience from the existing Farm Waste
Management Technology Demonstration Scheme.
Possibilities for centralised anaerobic digestion will
be explored with various interests – farmers, suppliers
of animal feed inputs, processors – in the context of
addressing requirements under the Nitrates Regulations
for the intensive agriculture sectors.
Support for reduced emissions in other sectors
In many cases, policies and measures adopted in the
agriculture sectors contribute to the reduction of carbon
dioxide emissions in other sectors of the economy,
such as the electricity, transport and heat sectors,
by substituting for fossil fuels and fossil fuel based
products. Crops and forest products, grown for use
as energy crops or renewable raw materials, have the
potential to contribute to the achievement of multiple
policy objectives. This is recognised in the recently
published Bioenergy Action Plan for Ireland, which
sets out an integrated strategy for the delivery of the
benefits of Ireland’s potential bioenergy resources.
Increased use of bioenergy resources will contribute to
the achievement of Ireland’s renewable energy targets
as set out in the White Paper, Delivering a Sustainable
Energy Future for Ireland.
Energy crops
The Government recognises that support is required for
the production of energy crops throughout their lifecycle.
€8 million is being provided through a Bioenergy
Scheme for establishment grants to plant miscanthus
and willow. Establishment costs are estimated at €2,900
per hectare and the proposed grant rate is up to 50% of
the costs associated with establishing the crop.
Under the EU Energy Crops Scheme, energy crops
may qualify for an EU Premium aid of €45 per
hectare provided they have a bioenergy end-use. The
Government is providing an additional national topup of €80 per hectare to the existing EU premium,
bringing the overall premium to €125 per hectare. The
€80 additional payment will apply for 3 years and will
be subject to a maximum ceiling per producer over the
32
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
to 17%. Forest areas established as a result of grant aid
under the State / EU funded afforestation schemes since
1990 are expected to contribute an annual average of
2.074 million tonnes over the Kyoto period. These
sequestration estimates will be subject to ongoing
review.
In addition to the main afforestation programme, the
Rural Development Programme also includes new
forestry measures such as the Forest Environment
Protection Scheme (FEPS), which encourages farmers
to combine the establishment of high nature-value
woodland with their participation in REPS. A separate
agro-forestry initiative to encourage more on-farm
planting is also being put in place. The indicative costs
of afforestation under the proposed Rural Development
Plan for the period of 2007–2013 are approximately
€906 million.
LOOKING FORWARD
three years. The current maximum area per producer
is 37.5 hectares, but this is under review. €6 million is
being provided for the energy crop top-up in the period
2007–2009.
The Government has allocated €2.5m in funding for
research to, inter alia, identify and select plant varieties
and crop production and management systems that are
most suited to bio-fuel production in the Irish context.
Under the Research Stimulus Fund Programme
operated by the Department of Agriculture and Food,
grant assistance of €1.5 million has been allocated to
five projects that relate directly to biofuels and energy
crops.
Forest wood energy
By far the largest and most readily available biomass
resource currently available is from the national forest
estate, in the form of thinnings. There is significant
potential for wood fuel to displace fossil fuel, particularly
in the generation of heat. As a fuel, it can be used in
log, wood-chip or pellet form. The Government is
committed to the national forestry strategy and will
work to develop the wood fuel economy.
A €1.2m Biomass Harvesting Scheme is also being put in
place to provide grants towards the purchase of wood
biomass processing machinery, such as wood chippers
and forest residue bundlers.
Sequestration Potential of Land-use and forestry
Approximately 10% of Ireland’s land area is currently
covered by forests, with a current target to increase this
In 2007 the Government will conduct an analysis of
“research needs” required to support the development
of potential future measures to reduce emissions from
the sector and also to identify potential climate change
adaptation measures. This analysis will inform the call
for projects for consideration under the Department of
Agriculture and Food’s Research Stimulus Fund and
under the Public Sector Research Programme of the
Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation.
Potential strategies to reduce methane emissions from
livestock, in particular by manipulating animal diets,
have been identified by recent research. While the
effectiveness of these techniques has been confirmed,
the economic and practical implications have to be
clarified. Further work is continuing, to identify the
impacts of husbandry techniques and a range of dietary
intervention techniques.
Policies aimed at promoting renewable energy (in the
form of heat and electricity) from forestry will create
a market for thinnings and residues, in the form of
by-products from the forest and the mills. Research is
required to develop effective production methods.
Sequestration from non-forests sinks may prove valuable
in the post-Kyoto period. A programme of research
will be undertaken to increase our understanding of
the sequestration potential of sinks, to identify which
sinks may be vulnerable in future to carbon dioxide
losses and to identify and encourage land management
practices which seek to optimise the sequestration
potential of non-forest sinks.
The Government recognises that market-based
mechanisms may provide scope to deliver additional
emissions reductions in the sector and will keep them
under review in light of developments at EU and
international level.
33
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
Chapter 8 – Waste
INTRODUCTION
Recovery and Recycling
National policy is to regard waste as a resource. This is
reflected in our commitment to developing a recycling
society and in the priority given to the diversion of waste
from landfill. The implementation of these policies
has a positive side-effect in reducing greenhouse gas
emissions.
Significant energy savings derive from recycling activity.
However, given Ireland’s current dependency on
overseas recycling infrastructure, many of these CO2
savings currently arise outside of Ireland. Government
policy recognises the value of a more developed
recycling infrastructure in Ireland. To this effect, a Market
Development Group was established by Government in
2004 with a view to identifying market opportunities for
materials recovered for recycling. A Market Development
Programme – focusing on the priority waste streams of
paper, plastic and organics - is currently being finalised
and will be published shortly. Further analysis will
be undertaken, following the commencement of this
programme, of the potential for emissions savings to be
attributed to recycling of recovered materials.
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
Emissions from the waste sector consist mainly of
methane from the anaerobic decomposition of solid
waste that has been deposited in landfill sites. Small
amounts of methane and nitrous oxide arise from
wastewater treatment. Improved landfill gas management
through capture for power generation since 1997 and
through flaring since 2001 is contributing to a reduction
in methane emissions. Waste accounted for 2.5% of total
emissions in 2005.
EMISSION REDUCTIONS IN THE SECTOR
Existing Measures
Diversion of biodegradable waste from
landfill
Landfill Gas Capture
Total Reduction
Reductions in
2010 (Mt CO2
equivalent)
0.7
0.5
1.219
Table 8.1: Quantified measures to reduce emissions
Diversion of biodegradable waste from landfill
Ireland is obliged under the EU Landfill Directive
to ensure that no more than 35% of 1995 levels of
biodegradable municipal waste is landfilled by 2016.
Ireland’s approach to achieving this target is set out in
the National Strategy on Biodegradable Waste (2006).
The Strategy requires that 80% of projected arisings
of biodegradable municipal waste be diverted from
landfill by 2016 and is based on the integrated waste
management approach established as Government
policy since publication of the national policy
framework document Changing Our Ways in 1998.
Under this approach, the preferred options for dealing
with biodegradable municipal waste, based on the
internationally recognised waste hierarchy, are:
n
prevention and minimisation – avoiding generating
the waste;
n
recycling – mainly of paper and cardboard but also
of textiles;
n
biological treatment – mainly of kitchen and
garden waste including composting; and
n
residual treatment – thermal treatment with energy
recovery or by way of mechanical-biological
treatment.
Race Against Waste
In 2003, the Government launched a major new public
awareness and information campaign entitled Race
Against Waste. The campaign aims to drive home the
message that there is a serious waste management
challenge facing Ireland and that everyone has a
responsibility to respond and improve our attitudes
and practices. The campaign features initiatives and
practical measures that can be taken by individuals
and businesses in helping to solve waste management
problems.
The success of Race Against Waste has been based on
the fact that it is far more than an information campaign.
It directly engages specific audiences who are creating
waste - communities, businesses, large organisations and
homes - with the objective of improving environmental
behaviour. Race Against Waste provides advice and
operates programmes that help people to take action to
reduce, reuse and recycle.
Landfill Gas Capture
Waste licences issued for landfill sites by the Environmental
Protection Agency require the preparation of evaluation
reports by the licensee on the viability of landfill gas
collection, flaring and / or energy production.
Gas collection and energy generation is undertaken at
high gas-yield sites and modern enclosed ground flares
are installed at landfill facilities possessing sufficient gas
potential to support combustion.
The level of landfill gas capture is increased through
the implementation of the technical requirements of
the Landfill Directive, and utilisation for electricity
generation is supported by the Renewable Energy
Feed-In Tariff (REFIT) which promotes the increased
penetration of electricity from renewable sources in
Ireland. The Government is working to expedite the
installation of landfill gas recovery and flaring/use at all
existing sites under EPA licensing control.
19. These figures have been updated from Ireland’s Pathway to Kyoto Compliance, in light of further analysis by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
34
Waste-to-energy
Waste biomass encompasses not only the biodegradable
component of municipal and industrial waste, but also
the biodegradable fraction of products and residues
from agriculture, forestry and related industries. The
recently published Bioenergy Action Plan sets out an
integrated strategy for harnessing the energy potential
of all bioenergy sources, including waste biomass, to
make a contribution to renewable energy.
To assist in the development of waste to energy projects,
the Government is extending REFIT to allow support
for the renewable portion of mixed renewable and nonrenewable generation. This will allow waste-to-energy
projects to obtain support for the renewable portion of
the generated electricity. This type of hybrid support
mechanism is fully consistent with the overall ‘hierarchy
of waste’ treatment approach.
Hazardous waste
The main greenhouse gas emissions associated with
hazardous waste arise from transportation, particularly
in the case of exported wastes. The Environmental
Protection Agency is responsible for planning for
the management of hazardous waste. Its National
Hazardous Waste Management Plan (2001) is currently
under review. The review process will give consideration
to how a revised plan might contribute to reducing
greenhouse gas emissions.
LOOKING FORWARD
The Government will continue to encourage the timely
implementation of non-hazardous waste management
plans by local authorities to provide optimised waste to
energy solutions compatible with national waste policy
goals, including the National Strategy on Biodegradable
Waste.
While substantial volumes of biodegradable municipal
waste will be diverted from landfill as a result of high
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
levels of recycling and biological treatment, significant
quantities of residual waste will remain. To maximise the
recovery of useful materials and energy from residual
waste, the National Strategy on Biodegradable Waste
identifies thermal treatment with energy recovery as
the preferred option in most Waste Management Plans
adopted by local authorities. The National Strategy
on Biodegradable Waste also recognises, particularly
in the shorter term prior to the development of
adequate thermal treatment capacity, a potential role
for mechanical biological treatment (MBT). MBT should
be expected to contribute to national energy recovery
policy. In the absence of energy recovery potential,
fully stabilised waste may be sent to landfill where
alternative and more suitable treatment solutions are
not available.
In accordance with the methodologies developed by
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
the CO2 emissions resulting from the combustion of
biodegradable waste are considered carbon neutral and
are not counted for the purposes of Kyoto obligations.
In addition, generation of heat and electricity from waste
in thermal treatment plants reduces the need to produce
this energy from fossil fuels and will therefore displace
CO2 emissions from these sources. By exploiting an
indigenous energy source, waste-to-energy plants make
a contribution to national security of energy supply.
In the current process of revising the Waste Framework
Directive (2006/12/EC), mechanisms are being
considered which would encourage waste-to-energy
plants to increase efficiency to a level comparable to
conventional power plants, thereby allowing the energy
content within waste to be transformed into electricity
and heat for beneficial use in accordance with Best
Available Techniques. The Government supports this
approach, in the context of the waste hierarchy, which
will minimise climate impacts through the sustainable
management of waste.
35
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
Chapter 9 - Public Sector
INTRODUCTION
The public sector is the biggest landowner, property
owner and tenant in the State and also owns the largest
fleet of transport vehicles. It has a key leadership role in
adopting high energy efficiency standards and practices
that can lead by example and drive change through
the wider community. It also plays an important role
in creating markets and supply chains for renewable
technologies, through setting high standards of energy
efficiency in its public procurement of goods and
services.
The OPW has developed a multi-tiered strategy to reduce
energy consumption and thereby reduce greenhouse
gas emissions:
n
Heating Fuel Conversion Programme – to convert
the heating systems in approximately 20 large State
buildings from their existing fossil fuel burners (oil/
natural gas) to biomass burners within 12 months.
n
Energy awareness – OPW is currently rolling
out a pilot staff energy awareness campaign
in 20 buildings, with a target to reduce energy
consumption by 10% through local energy
conservation campaigns, energy workshops and
close monitoring of the performance of heating/air
conditioning equipment. It is then proposed to roll
the energy awareness campaign out to staff in 250
large OPW buildings.
n
Energy efficient design of new buildings – The
scope for improving energy efficiency in new
buildings is very significant and the design stage
of new buildings can considerably improve
the energy efficiency of the building over
their entire lifetime with little or no additional
construction costs. The procurement process for
decentralisation is enabling OPW to leverage
its office accommodation specification to
include higher standards of energy saving and
sustainable construction, including the greater
use of bio-energy to fulfil the heating and energy
requirements of buildings.
n
Leased accommodation - OPW is currently
examining ways of adapting this specification to
the Dublin leased accommodation sector with
a view to encouraging and promoting energy
efficiency and sustainability in accommodation
being offered in the city.
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
Emissions attributable to the public sector arise from
energy use in public sector buildings. These are not
reported separately in the annual EPA National Inventory
Report, and are therefore included in emissions from
the Industry, Commercial and Services sector for the
purposes of this Strategy. While emissions for the public
sector can be derived from energy consumption data for
the services sector, there is a lack of comprehensive data
on energy consumption in public sector buildings. The
collation of specific data will be essential for developing
a greater understanding of future progress in reducing
emissions from this sector.
EMISSION REDUCTIONS IN THE SECTOR
Overall target
The White Paper, Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future
for Ireland, has set a target of 33% energy savings across
the public sector and commits the Government to the
introduction of an Energy Efficiency Programme, with
targets and standards, for Government Departments,
State Agencies, Local Authorities, the Health Service and
the public sector overall. The Government will require
the public sector to lead the way on energy efficiency
with a mandatory programme of efficiency measures,
including the sole use of energy efficient lighting in
offices, schools, hospitals and other public buildings.
In light of this commitment, the Government has agreed
that the public sector should achieve a reduction in
greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to a 33% saving in
energy use by 2020. Every public service organisation
will be required to adpot specific targets for reducing
emissions, and to measure and report progress in their
annual reports.
Public sector offices
The Office of Public Works, as the property manager
for central Government buildings, is in a key position
to effect significant energy savings in its existing
building stock and to encourage the market towards the
construction of more sustainable buildings. In parallel
with the planned levy on incandescent bulbs (see
Chapter 5), the Government will require the exclusive
purchase of CFL light bulbs for use in public bodies by
the end of 2007.
The SEI public sector investment programme aims to
stimulate the application of improved energy efficient
design strategies, technologies and services in public
sector building construction and retrofit projects. The
programme is also establishing energy management
bureaux to encourage the provision of contracted energy
control and management for public sector buildings,
which lack the scope to provide the service from
internal resources, and help public sector organisations
to manage their energy consumption and costs.
A key requirement of the Energy Performance in
Buildings Directive is the display of a Building Energy
Rating in public service buildings over 1000 m2, even
when the building is not being placed on the market.
Display of the rating will provide information regarding
the actual energy use of the building by the current
occupant and can also be used to show improvements
over time. This will encourage transparency of energy
performance by the building occupier and represents a
motivational approach to the energy rating of existing
large public service buildings. This requirement will
36
come into effect for all new public service buildings
from 1 July 2008 and to applicable existing large public
service buildings from 1 January 2009.
Offsetting official air travel
Pending the inclusion of aviation in the Emissions
Trading Scheme, the Government has decided that it
will voluntarily introduce a carbon offsetting scheme for
all air travel on Government business, including flights
by Ministers and by civil servants, from the beginning
of the Kyoto commitment period in January 2008.
Practical arrangements will be put in place to enable
each Department to compute annually the emissions
associated with its air travel and to make a contribution
to an appropriate fund to secure verified emission
reductions of an equivalent amount. For example, the
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local
Government has calculated that its 2006 air travel would
have given rise to a contribution of the general order of
€5,000 if such a scheme were already in place.
Schools
The Government will commence a programme of
installing biomass heating in schools, starting with 8
schools in the summer of 2007, with a view to expanding
this on a significantly wider scale on a national basis.
The Department of Education and Science has already
developed a number of generic school designs with
SEI, which minimise energy use and costs in new
schools. This design will be implemented in 40 new
schools, which will be capable of being 2 - 3 times
more efficient in energy terms than best international
normal standards.
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Local authorities
Local authorities can have a significant influence over
emissions in their local areas, both directly in relation
to reducing emissions through their own energy use
and procurement activities, in raising awareness and
stimulating action in local communities, and indirectly
through the exercise of their housing, planning and
other statutory functions. The Government has made a
commitment that all street lighting and traffic lighting,
an area that falls under local authority control, should
be energy efficient.
Local authorities are supported by local energy
agencies, which provide advice on energy-related
matters to households, businesses and to public sector
bodies in their respective areas. Local energy agencies
also promote renewable energy and energy efficiency
at local and regional levels. A number of agencies are
working to establish targets for energy conservation and
the use of renewable energy technologies within their
respective regions.
This Strategy addresses the interaction of spatial and
planning policies with climate change considerations
in more detail in Chapter 10. The planning functions
of local authorities and the role of regional authorities
in relation to regional planning guidelines are key
considerations in this regard. Decisions by local
authorities on the location, design and construction of
domestic and commercial developments and of related
economic and social activity can have a significant affect
on greenhouse gas emissions.
The procurement role of local authorities offers
significant potential to address environmental and
energy efficiency considerations. In the procurement of
37
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
social housing, for example, the Best Practice Guidelines
on Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities note
that appropriate design decisions in relation to dwelling
layout, levels of insulation, amount and orientation of
glazing, utilisation of solar energy, heating system and
fuel type, construction materials and measures to limit
the use of potable water can contribute to ensuring
sustainability.
Public sector fleets
The Government is developing a Sustainable Transport
Action Plan. Promoting fuel efficiency and the increased
use of biofuels in publicly owned fleets will play a crucial
role in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of the
transport sector. As part of the Action Plan, public sector
fleet operators will be required to publish strategies to
reduce emissions from their fleets.
Dublin Bus is currently piloting the use of 5% biodiesel
blend in vehicles in Dublin. This trial, which uses over
1,000 litres of biodiesel blend per week, is proceeding
without any major technical difficulties. The CIÉ group
consumes approximately 2 million litres of diesel per
annum and the Government has asked the company to
move all the existing fleet to 5% bio-diesel blend and
to plan to achieve a 30% bio-diesel blend in all new
buses.
Building on the initiatives of Cork and Dublin City
Councils, the Government will work to ensure that
existing transport fleets of local authorities use biofuels
at up to 5% blends and that newly purchased vehicles
are capable of using biofuel blends of up to 30%.
The operators of a number of other fleets in public
ownership have already decided on a greater use of
biofuels. In addition to a number of local authorities,
the introduction of biofuel of a 5% blend for the entire
fleet of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of 160
vehicles will be completed during 2007. These initiatives
by the public sector hold the potential to promote the
uptake of biofuels in Ireland and will advance progress
towards the national 2009 biofuels obligation target.
Public Procurement
The Government will publish its Action Plan for Green
Public Procurement in 2007. The total Government
purchasing budget is over €10 billion per annum, giving
significant leverage to procurers in the public sector to
‘move the market’ towards the competitive provision
of sustainable products and services. The action plan
will underline how high environmental standards
must be an integral element of value for money across
the whole range of public purchasing. Therefore the
importance of training for buyers in the public sector
will be highlighted, as well as the concepts of life cycle
costing or whole life costing, energy efficiency and
sustainability standards.
LOOKING FORWARD
The Government will work with both local and
regional authorities to enhance existing coordination
arrangements with central Government and state
agencies to ensure that they are supported to develop
the necessary competencies in relation to climate change
mitigation and adaptation issues. This will include the
development of indicators that reflect the contribution
of local authorities to addressing greenhouse gas
emissions, in particular their energy consumption.
38
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Chapter 10 – Cross-Sectoral Action
INTRODUCTION
The sectoral measures set out in previous chapters
will be supported by a range of actions to contribute
to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the
economy.
Awareness
The Government will introduce a multi-annual awareness
campaign on climate change in 2007. A minimum of
€15m will be spent over five years, which will be made
available from the Environment Fund. This campaign
will build on the experiences of existing highly effective
campaigns such as Race Against Waste and will exploit
synergies with the Government’s ongoing energy
efficiency campaign Power of One and various schemes
being undertaken by Sustainable Energy Ireland. The
campaign will:
n
raise general public awareness of climate change,
its causes and impacts;
n
promote behaviour change to lower emissions; and
n
include sub-campaigns to focus on stakeholders
in specific sectors and to work in partnership
with them on specific programmes and initiatives
tailored to achieve emission reductions in their
sectors.
TAXATION
The taxation system can make a contribution to reducing
greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging behavioural
change or investment in energy-efficient technology.
In appropriate circumstances, taxation-based measures
may be more effective in reducing emissions than
other mechanisms, such as regulations or grant-based
mechanisms. A range of taxation measures are already
in place or will shortly be introduced. These include:
n
amending the VRT and motor tax systems to
take greater account of environmental issues, in
particular CO2 emissions;
n
a five year excise relief scheme for biofuels, costing
over €200 million, which commenced in November
2006;
n
50 per cent VRT relief for hybrid vehicles, flexible
fuel vehicles and electric vehicles;
n
extending the qualifying period for the scheme
of corporate tax relief for corporate equity
investments in certain renewable energy generation
projects; and
n
extending and enhancing the Business Expansion
Scheme and the Seed Capital Scheme which can,
among other manufacturing areas, be used for
investment in companies engaged in renewable
energy generation and recycling.
The Government will continue to examine other tax
incentives or disincentives where these can be shown
to have a clear cost-benefit in reducing greenhouse gas
emissions.
EMISSIONS TRADING
EU Emissions Trading Scheme
The EU Emissions Trading Scheme, which came into
operation in January 2005 on a three-year pilot phase
basis, is the EU’s flagship response to its international
commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. Under the
Trading Scheme, the carbon dioxide emissions of
approximately 12,000 installations across the EU are
controlled on a cap and trade basis. Over 100 Irish
installations are participating in the Scheme.
The key economic rationale behind emissions trading
is the use of market mechanisms to ensure that
emissions reductions for the purpose of achieving a
pre-determined environmental outcome are achieved at
minimum cost. Emissions trading is a highly efficient
means of breaking down national caps into sectorspecific or individual business targets. It is particularly
well suited to climate change because its effectiveness
is independent of any particular region of the world
where emission reductions are achieved.
This Strategy sets out the contribution of the energy and
industry sectors for the second period covered by the
scheme, 2008-2012, based on the overall effort of 3.02
million tonnes proposed in Ireland’s National Allocation
Plan for the 2008-2012 period. The plan has received an
initial assessment by the European Commission and is
currently being examined in light of further initiatives
taken by Ireland, particularly in relation to Ireland’s
planned use of the Kyoto Protocol flexible mechanisms.
The Government is of the view that the allocation
proposed in the Plan as submitted to the Commission
is appropriate. If the Commission requires any changes
in the allocation the contribution of the energy and
business sectors will increase commensurately.
Kyoto Protocol Flexible Mechanisms
Kyoto Parties who chose to purchase carbon credits
in lieu of domestic emission reductions are availing
of flexible mechanisms provided in the Protocol.
Governments, as well as installations participating in
the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, can acquire carbon
credits by investing in approved projects under the Joint
Implementation and Clean Development Mechanisms
Articles 6 and 12 respectively of Kyoto Protocol.
Provision also exists in Article 17 of the Protocol for
Government-to-Government carbon trading.
In respect of the Kyoto Protocol commitment period
2008-2012, Ireland can purchase allowances any time
up to the end of 2012. The Government has signalled
its intention to purchase up to 3.6 million allowances in
respect of each of the five years of the Kyoto Protocol
commitment period 2008-2012.
The purchase of carbon allowances is not a substitute
for reducing domestic emissions but is a valid approach
to supplementing domestic action for the purpose of
compliance with the Kyoto Protocol. Therefore, the
39
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
possible purchase of up to 3.6m allowances per year
over the Protocol commitment period 2008-2012 is
very much an upper limit. To the extent that additional
measures introduced to secure further cost-effective
emission reductions across the economy are successful,
the Government will face a lower purchase requirement
or alternatively will have more allowances to carry
forward for use in the post-2012 period.
Domestic Projects
Domestic offsetting refers to projects to reduce emissions
that could be carried out in Ireland in accordance with
certain rules. As generally conceived, credits would be
issued by the host Government in return for verified
emissions reductions. Much interest has been expressed
about the possibility of introducing a scheme for
domestic projects in Ireland for sectors of the economy
outside the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Such a
scheme could also be linked to the Emissions Trading
Scheme to allow credits to be used for compliance
by participants in the EU scheme. This would have
the added attractiveness of extending the concept of
emissions trading to additional sectors in which the
potential for further emissions reductions might exist.
n
maximising access to, and encouraging use of,
public transport, cycling and walking; and
n
developing sustainable urban and rural settlement
patterns and communities to reduce distance from
employment, services and leisure facilities and to
make use of existing and future investments in
public services; including public transport.
The National Spatial Strategy is also promoting the
physical consolidation of large urban areas, which
is required to provide an efficient system of public
transport in light of the substantial investment that is
planned under Transport 21.
The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local
Government has powers under planning legislation
to issue guidelines to planning authorities. A series of
guidelines have been issued which support climate
change policies:
n
Residential Density Guidelines (1999): give effect
to the Government policy of encouraging more
sustainable urban development through avoiding
excessive suburbanisation and promoting higher
residential densities in appropriate locations,
especially in conjunction with improved public
transport systems. The Guidelines detail the type
of locations appropriate for higher residential
densities, the range of densities appropriate to
various locations and the need to achieve a high
quality of residential environment.
n
Guidelines on Sustainable Residential Development:
The 1999 Guidelines will shortly be updated
with Guidelines on Sustainable Residential
Development, which will be issued in draft for
consultation in Autumn 2007. The new guidelines
will encourage more energy-efficient housing
layouts by, for example, setting more quantifiable
sustainable development standards, maximising
access to sunlight and daylight, facilitating greater
movement by pedestrians and cyclists, facilitating
use of public transport, and using efficient energy
supply (such as combined heat and power), where
appropriate.
n
Wind Energy Guidelines (2006): these supersede
1996 guidelines and are aimed at maximising the
development of renewable energy sources. All
development plans are encouraged to incorporate
a statement of the planning authority’s policy in
relation to wind energy, particularly by indicating
areas considered suitable or unsuitable for wind
energy, thus providing greater certainty for
potential developers.
n
Planning and Development Regulations 2007
– Micro Renewable Energy Technologies:
Regulations were recently made to amend the
exempted development provisions of the Planning
and Development Regulations 2001. These will
encourage the uptake of cleaner and cheaper
energy from small-scale renewable sources in
As Ireland’s emissions are currently significantly
above the Kyoto target, the economic effectiveness of
such projects must be given careful consideration. In
examining the potential for such schemes in Ireland,
the Government will consider:
n
whether they can achieve cost-effective emissions
reductions that are verifiable, permanent and
additional to those that would otherwise take place
with existing measures;
n
whether they can provide ongoing incentives
for emissions reductions, for example, through
technological innovation;
n
whether such reductions could be accounted
for in Ireland’s national inventory of greenhouse
gas emissions and thus lead to real reductions in
Ireland’s distance to target; and
n
whether the potential benefits of the schemes
would justify the administrative costs, which are
likely to be significant.
The Government will undertake an assessment of
sectors that offer the most potential for domestic
projects, having regard to the criteria set out above, and
taking account of existing sectoral support mechanisms
and their contribution towards the targets already set
out in this Strategy. The feasibility of such projects will
be kept under ongoing review in the light of experience
in other countries.
Spatial and planning Policies
The National Spatial Strategy 2002-2020 is based on
a sustainable development policy framework. Two of
its key principles are intended to minimise transportrelated energy consumption i.e.:
40
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
domestic dwellings. Exemptions, apply to wind
turbines, solar panels, heat pumps and biomass
subject to certain conditions in each case.
RESEARCH AND OBSERVATIONS
n
identification, development and promotion of
socio-economic and technological solutions to
mitigate climate change and to adapt to adverse
impacts of unavoidable climate change;
n
development of analyses of air, land, ocean,
exchanges processes and their drivers (including
future climate conditions); and
n
development of climate observations and analysis
systems.
Research
The substantial programme of climate-change related
research which was funded under the 2000-2006 National
Development Plan has enabled the establishment of
new research expertise and capacity in Ireland and
produced a considerable body of scientific knowledge.
Key contributions include:
n
improved understanding of sources and sinks for
greenhouse gases and improved reporting under
the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol;
n
improved understanding of climate change impacts
on Ireland and adaptation needs;
n
contributions to understanding of the basic science
of climate forcing, for example “global dimming”
linked to pollutant impacts on cloud formation;
n
development of new observation systems and data
provision; and
n
provision of socio-economic analyses of policy
options.
The Government will build on this research base and
will further develop expertise and capacity with a range
of climate change research initiatives in the 2007-2013
period.
An unprecedented level of funding has been committed
by the Government to realise the objectives of the
Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation, with
€6.1 billion provided under the Science, Technology and
Innovation Programme of the National Development
Plan. Many of the State-funded research programmes
will address climate change either directly, or indirectly
through the contribution to research in, for example,
the energy or agri-food sectors.
The main aim of climate change research is to enhance
scientific understanding of climate change issues
in support of the development of policy responses
that are appropriate for Ireland, in the context of the
development of EU and wider international actions on
climate change. This research will have a variety of
objectives:
n
provision of a scientific basis for achievement of
a sustainable greenhouse gas emissions profile for
Ireland;
n
provision of analyses of climate change impacts,
key vulnerabilities and identification of sustainable
adaptation options;
20. http://www.epa.ie/EnvironmentalResearch
The EPA has established a national climate research
data archive under its Environmental Research Centre
(ERC) of Excellence. This archive contains a range of
data from greenhouse gas emissions to future climate
change scenarios20. The EPA will continue its role of
coordinating climate change research and dissemination
of outputs in the 2007-2013 funding period. Enhanced
coordination both with other agencies and with the
academic community will be established.
A key role of publicly funded research is its potential to
inform policy-making and increase understanding and
awareness of the issues among the wider community.
Research will support ongoing analysis by Government
of climate change issues and facilitate the extension
of climate change considerations in decision-making.
Research outputs will also support decision-making by
local authorities, businesses, community groups and
the public on actions to address climate change and
provide information to inform private sector investment
decisions on climate change issues.
Significant linkages also exist between climate change
and other issues, particularly with air quality in relation
to ozone depleting substances, transboundary pollutants
and particulate matter. Where such links exist, efficient
use of resources and analyses will be promoted in order
to avail of the co-benefits and cost saving.
The development of effective responses to climate
change is ongoing in many countries throughout the
world. Ireland will seek to cooperate with EU Member
States and more widely, with countries such as the United
States and New Zealand, in developing national policies
and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Engagement with EU and international processes is
required to provide access to larger infrastructures and
analysis systems that are not otherwise available. Such
contacts promote the widest possible dissemination
of research outcomes, enable Irish researchers to
fully participate in international research coordination
activities and provide lessons and opportunities for
Ireland.
41
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
In seeking to build on this research base, and further
develop expertise and capacity on climate change,
a new climate and atmosphere analysis centre will
be established under the remit of the Environmental
Protection Agency. This new centre will strengthen
analytical capacity in support of current and emerging
regulatory and monitoring activities on climate change
and wider atmospheric protection issues. It will provide
support for implementation of policies and measures to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions through:
n
the provision of a focal point for analysis and
assessment of greenhouse gas emissions and sinks
and wider atmospheric issues;
n
linking outputs from research, regulatory and
monitoring activities and bridging gaps between
these areas;
n
the provision of new analytical capacity which will
link to similar centres and activities within Europe
and more widely; and
n
regulatory activities and assessment of the
effectiveness of policy responses.
Climate Observations
The UNFCCC has identified the crucial role of high quality
systematic observations in assessing the characteristics,
rate and impacts of climate change.
In response, the World Meteorological Office (WMO), the
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of
UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) and the International Council for Science
(ICSU) established the Global Climate Observing System
(GCOS) to ensure that the observations and information
needed to address climate-related issues are obtained
and made available to all potential users. GCOS have
identified a suite of essential climate variables required
at a global level in order to understand climate change
and variability. They have also highlighted the need for
preservation and analysis of historic data.
In Ireland, Met Éireann has a long history of high quality
meteorological observations and climate variables,
which will be sustained and developed to provide a
basis for understanding of climate change in Ireland
and responses to climate change by key ecosystems
and economic sectors.
The Government is committed to developing an
appropriate framework within Met Éireann to ensure
that Ireland has an adequate and modern capability
for climate observations. This will enable Met Éireann
to protect, digitize and process all available past
climatological observations and ensure all available past
climatological records are comprehensively analysed
and available for further utilisation. These high quality
climatological data are essential to detect changes in
the climate system and in its variability, particularly in
its extremes, and to continue to verify the prediction
models.Met Éireann will lead the further development
of observation systems and will work with other State
agencies, including the Marine Institute and EPA, to
enhance the climate observation network in Ireland
and utilise the most advanced data collection and
communication systems for these purposes.21
Met Éireann will develop new capacity to protect, digitize
and process all available climatological observations
and ensure these are comprehensively analysed and
available for further utilisation. These data are also used
for validating climate models, particularly their ability to
simulate the past climate.
Climate Prediction
The ability to make high quality long-term predictions
about future climate underpins all planning and
adaptation strategies to reduce the adverse impacts of
unavoidable climate change. This implies availability
of high quality, high resolution, climate information
on multi-decadal time scales including information on
future variability and extreme climate events.
The Community Climate Change Consortium for Ireland
(C4I) project, lead by Met Éireann, has developed
climate modelling for Ireland. This integrates largescale global analyses and outputs from Global Climate
Models and dynamically downscales these to provide
meaningful information and prediction for the climate
at local scales in Ireland.
To date, the C4I project has produced several projections
of climate conditions for this century and applied this
information to various applications such as the study of
river flooding potential. This is a crucial component of
national capacity required to inform policy development,
sectoral planning and investment in key infrastructure.
Internationally, significant efforts are continuing to
improve the quality and performance of global and
regional climate models. Sustained efforts are required
in Ireland to maintain and develop climate modelling
and downscaling capacity in order to ensure that these
improvements inform decision-making.
Future work includes the development of more
sophisticated climate predictions for Ireland to permit
high resolution impacts studies focused on agriculture,
forestry, transport, water resources, natural hazards
(including extreme events), as well as issues such as
potential for renewable energies.
The aim is to inform planning by key economic sectors
such as agriculture, forestry, energy and transport and
for investment, inter alia, in national infrastructure,
construction and flood mitigation.
The Government is committed to sustaining and
developing a climate-modelling framework within
Met Éireann, building on the C4I project, with links to
national and international research in this area, to ensure
that Ireland has an advanced capability for prediction of
future climate conditions.
21. This will advance GCOS related observation in Ireland such as those carried out under Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW), Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), and Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS)
programmes.
Section 3 - Adaptation
44
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Chapter 11 – Adaptation to Impacts of Climate Change
International Context of Adaptation
In addressing global warming, the primary focus of
national, EU and wider-international agendas to date
has been the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in
order to prevent dangerous interference with the climate
system. Some climate change is, however, inevitable due
to historic and current emissions of greenhouse gases.
For this reason, adaptation is no longer a policy option
– it is a fundamental element of the global response to
climate change.
The objective of adaptation is to reduce vulnerability to
climate change, thereby reducing its negative impacts.
It should also enhance the capability to capture any
benefits of climate change. Hence, adaptation, together
with mitigation, is an important response strategy.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will
shortly publish a report on impacts, adaptation and
vulnerability, as part of its Fourth Assessment Report.
This report further develops scientific understanding
of impacts and adaptation associated with climate
change.
Impacts on Ireland
The Irish climate is experiencing changes which have
been found to be consistent with those occurring at a
global scale and there is increasing confidence that these
changes are largely attributable to global warming.
Mean annual temperatures in Ireland have risen by over
0.7°C over the period 1890-2004. This increase largely
occurred in two periods, between 1910 to the 1940s
and from the 1980s onwards, with the rate of warming
since 1980 of 0.42°C per decade. In Ireland, 6 of the 10
warmest years have occurred since 1995, the warmest
year in that period being 1997.
The 2002 report, Climate Change: Indicators for
Ireland,22 shows climate change-associated trends are
evident in the meteorological and ecological records.
These include increasing average temperature, changes
in rainfall patterns and a lengthening of the growing
season.
The 2003 report, Climate Change: Scenarios and Impacts
for Ireland,23 is a major assessment of the possible
impacts of climate change on Ireland. It examines the
possible magnitude and likely impacts over the course
of the 21st century by establishing scenarios for future
Irish climate, based on statistical downscaling of global
climate model projections for the middle and last quarter
of the century, and using projections to assess probable
impacts on key sectors such as agriculture, forestry,
water resources, coastal and marine environments and
on biodiversity.
The report concludes that, in sectors such as agriculture,
some new opportunities may arise through increases in
certain crop yields. In other areas such as water resource
management, long term planning strategies will be
necessary to adapt to adverse impacts. By anticipating
change, it may be possible to implement adaptation
strategies that minimise adverse impacts and maximise
the positive aspects of climate change.
The report posits specific scenarios that suggest
significant climate change can be anticipated in Ireland
over the next half century. These scenarios anticipate that
by 2050 there will an increase in January temperatures
of 1.5°C, winter conditions in Northern Ireland and
the north midlands will be similar to those currently
experienced along the south coast; July temperatures
will increase by approx 2.5°C, and there will be marked
reductions in summer rainfall by 25 – 40%.
Furthermore, the report highlights possible impacts of
these scenarios in key areas such as agriculture, water
supply, marine coastline and the natural environment.
In terms of agriculture, this may result in droughts
and the need for increased irrigation that will affect
farming generally, including the viability of crops such
as potatoes. Other impacts include pressures on the
water supply infrastructure in the greater Dublin area,
the likelihood of increased frequency of flooding in
the West, general effects to the marine environment
as a result of higher water temperatures, threats to the
coastline due to higher sea levels, and general threats to
ecosystems and biodiversity.
A further study published in 2005, Climate Change:
Regional climate model predictions for Ireland, prepared
by the Community Climate Change Consortium for
Ireland (C4I), provides an analysis of future Irish
climate conditions for the period 2021-2060 using a
regional climate model. The study applies data from this
model to assess the impact of climate change on river
discharge and local flooding in the Suir catchment area.
One of the conclusions of applying the model in this
way is that a predicted increase in winter rainfall was
found to increase the risk of future flooding in the area.
Other conclusions from the study include the following
general scenarios:
n
Temperature: general warming with mean monthly
temperature increasing by between 1.25ºC and
1.5ºC. The largest increase will occur in the SouthEast and East, with the greatest warming occurring
in July.
n
Precipitation: most significant changes will occur in
June and December. Rainfall in June will decrease
by about 10% compared to the present while
December values show increases in the range of
10-25%.
n
Storms: increased frequency of severe storms over
the North Atlantic in the vicinity of Ireland by
about 15% compared to current conditions.
The first report from the C4I project confirms and
expands on the findings in Climate Change: Scenarios
and Impacts for Ireland. Established in 2003, C4I
22. Prepared for the Environmental Protection Agency by the Department of Geography, National University of Ireland (Maynooth) and Department of Botany, Trinity College Dublin.
23. Prepared for the Environmental Protection Agency by the National University of Ireland (Maynooth).
45
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
has enabled the development of a regional climate
modelling facility in Met Éireann. The new capacity will
contribute to national efforts in climate change research,
will support the community of environmental scientists
and will assist policy makers in planning to adapt to
climate change.
A recently published report from the Environmental
Research Centre of the EPA, Implications of the EU
Climate Protection Target for Ireland (2006), provides
an assessment of what the EU target to limit global
mean temperatures to not more than 2°C above preindustrial levels may mean for Ireland. The report notes
that Ireland will experience significant climate change
impacts below 2°C, many of which are now unavoidable.
Some short-term benefits may occur in agriculture
and food production if global mean temperatures are
limited to a 1ºC increase above pre-industrial levels.
However, widespread negative effects are projected
for the agricultural and marine environments, for plant
and animal distributions, and for water resources with
higher temperature increases. Sea level rise will also
negatively impact certain coastal areas due to inundation
and erosion.
Adaptation Measures
The 2004 report of the Flood Policy Review Group
recognised the need to devise a clearly defined and
comprehensive policy approach to flooding nationally
and a precise definition of the roles and responsibilities
of the various stakeholders involved. Climate change is
identified as one of the important elements that need
to be addressed when assessing future flood relief
measures in Ireland.
Following the report, the Government appointed the
Office of Public Works as the lead agency to implement
flooding policy in Ireland and the OPW is currently
developing a strategy to manage flood risk in conjunction
with other relevant state agencies.
Local Authorities now have the power to consider
adaptation initiatives in relation to their development
plans. The Planning and Development Act 2000,
empowers planning authorities to provide, in their
development plans, that development in areas at risk
of flooding may be regulated, restricted or controlled.
If development is proposed in a flood-risk area, the
risk of flooding can be carefully evaluated and planning
permission refused, if necessary.
Further analysis of climate scenarios by Met Éireann, the
National University of Ireland (Maynooth), and other
research centres, will examine the impacts for agriculture
and water management, focusing on river basin districts.
Ongoing work includes analysis of river and coastal
flooding (storm surges) as well as analysis of change in
surface wind for the wind energy community.
As part of a comprehensive policy position on climate
change, the Government is committed to developing a
national adaptation strategy over the next two years. This
strategy will provide a framework for the integration of
adaptation issues into decision-making at national and
local level.
Increasing attention is also being given to the occurrence
of extreme events. The impacts of extreme floods,
storms and heat waves have been observed globally in
recent years. They can be more damaging than gradual
or average changes, which are more easily predicted by
climate models.
Ireland has also engaged in an exchange of information
on impacts and adaptation activities through the BritishIrish Council. This initiative has focused on exchanging
data on research projects which have improved the
understanding of climate change impacts at a local
level.
Section 4 - Monitoring and Review
48
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Chapter 12 – Implementation, Reporting and Review
IMPLEMENTATION
The Government has decided to establish a Climate
Change Commission to monitor and assess Ireland’s
progress in addressing climate change and to increase
awareness in all sectors of the opportunities and
challenges presented by the transition to a low-carbon
economy. The Commission will be attached to the
National Economic and Social Development Office
and will report annually to Government through an
appropriate Cabinet Committee.
Overall coordination and implementation of the National
Climate Change Strategy will be the responsibility of
the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local
Government. In general, implementation of measures at
sectoral level will be the responsibility of the relevant
Government Departments and agencies.
The Government has agreed that a new High Level Group
on Climate Change, comprising senior officials from
relevant Government Departments, will be established
to coordinate the implementation of the Strategy. This
will supersede existing inter-Departmental climate
change coordination arrangements. Sub-groups will
be established, as necessary, to secure implementation
of specific measures that require enhanced policy
coordination across sectors and may involve appropriate
expertise from State agencies.
Other existing cross-Departmental arrangements and
structures will also be utilised as appropriate, to secure
the implementation of this Strategy.
The Department of the Environment, Heritage and
Local Government will work closely with Local and
Regional Authorities, through existing coordination
arrangements, to secure implementation of specific
aspects of this Strategy at local level.
The implementation principles set out in chapter 2 will
underpin the implementation of the Strategy.
COSTS
Where possible, the Strategy identifies the Exchequer
costs associated with specific measures but it is
recognised that the overall costs of the Strategy will be
spread across the economy as a whole and indeed are
likely to impact in some way on every household. It
would clearly be impossible to attempt to quantify the
total cost.
However, the measures in the Strategy also present
opportunities for savings across the economy, right
down to the individual household. Energy efficiencies,
in particular, will reduce living costs for households and
improve the profitability of enterprises, competitiveness
and employment opportunities.
More importantly, it is quite certain that, for society as
a whole, the costs of inaction would greatly outweigh
the cost of action. This was the central message of the
Stern report. On a global level, this message concerns
the potentially devastating costs of unchecked climate
change. At a national level, we must assume that
purchasing carbon allowances will become very much
more expensive as deeper reductions are sought in the
post-2012 period. It therefore makes economic sense to
invest now in placing ourselves on a lower-carbon path
for the future.
Guidance will be prepared for Government Departments
and Offices on appraising the costs and benefits of
greenhouse gas mitigation policies. These will be
used in conjunction, where appropriate, with existing
guidelines for Departments and Offices on conducting
Regulatory Impact Analysis.
REPORTING AND REVIEW
A detailed reporting template will be developed to
monitor implementation of the measures in this Strategy.
This will form the basis of an Implementation Status
Report which will be published annually.
The Department of the Environment, Heritage and
Local Government will coordinate the preparation of
this annual report. On completion, the Minister for
the Environment, Heritage and Local Government will
arrange for the report to be laid before both Houses
of the Oireachtas, prior to presenting it to the Joint
Oireachtas Committee on the Environment and Local
Government. The first such report will be prepared in
2008 in respect of 2007.
As discussed in Chapter 2, this Report will also update
emission projections and quantifications of emission
reduction measures and detail the further measures
which have been introduced or which are in the process
of development.
REPORTING IRELAND’S EMISSIONS
Progress towards meeting Ireland’s Kyoto Protocol target
is monitored through various international and domestic
processes. These ensure that Ireland’s progress can be
robustly assessed against international best practice and
transparently compared to other countries. The two main
mechanisms for assessing progress against Ireland’s
targets are the annual greenhouse gas inventory and
the biennial greenhouse gas emissions projections.
International
Each year Ireland reports its greenhouse gas inventory
under both the United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change and the EU Monitoring Mechanism.
These inventories are subject to an annual technical
review. In addition, Ireland is required to submit
periodic national communications to the UNFCCC,
which report on action being taken to address climate
change. UNFCCC parties are currently on the fourth
49
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
cycle of national communications and these will be
assessed by the UNFCCC, including country visits by
review teams.
Information on Ireland’s projections of greenhouse
gas emissions must be reported to the EU every two
years. This report must include quantitative information
on the effects of policies and measures included in
projections. The next report is due in 2007. On the basis
of information submitted by Member States, including
annual updates of recent emissions, the European
Commission publishes an annual report on progress
towards achieving Kyoto targets by the EU and its
Member States.
Data on each year’s emissions in the EU Emissions
Trading Scheme are also published in the first half
of the following year. This information is published
simultaneously by all Member States to ensure that the
release of market-sensitive data is communicated as
transparently as possible.
Domestic
Inventories of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions are
published annually by the EPA in its National Inventory
Report. The national arrangements for preparing
emissions inventories is governed by the National
Atmospheric Inventory System framework24 which
sets out the overall institutional framework for the
preparation of greenhouse gas inventories by the EPA.
The role of each key data provider in this framework
is agreed through memoranda of understanding with
the EPA.
The preparation of emissions projections has, to
date, been undertaken on a consultancy basis for
the Government. Experience has shown that this is
an extremely data-intensive process and involves the
engagement of a range of Government Departments and
agencies as well as various actors in the private sector.
The assumptions underpinning projections are also
subject to regular change as new or amended policies
and measures are adopted by Government. Projections
in the transport sector, particularly in light of reported
emissions in 2005, are considered to require a more
robust basis. The development of a national capacity
to model, inter alia, the environmental impacts of the
Transport 21 investment programme will be initiated in
2007.
24. See www.epa.ie
The Government is committed to the development of
an appropriate and robust structure for the preparation
of greenhouse gas emissions projections to provide
policy-makers with regularly updated information on
projections. The Government has therefore decided
that the Environmental Protection Agency will assume
a new role with responsibility for preparing projections
of greenhouse gas emissions.
The EPA will build on their existing role as inventory
agency and will be tasked with preparing emissions
projections on an annual basis. Projections will be
consistent with macroeconomic forecasts and with
projections of activity in sectors such as energy,
industry, agriculture and forestry. Projections will also
be consistent with policies and measures in place in the
relevant sectors and will include quantitative estimates
of the effect of policies and measures on emissions
consistent with the requirements of the EU Monitoring
Mechanism. The EPA will also prepare the report,
required every two years under the EU Monitoring
Mechanism, on Ireland’s greenhouse gas projections.
The Government is committed to an ongoing
programme of improvement in the quality of projections,
underpinned by relevant sector-specific research, so
that policy-makers can avail of robust projections of
greenhouse gas emissions and are informed of any need
to intensify policies and measures or adopt additional
ones.
Looking Forward
The Government will publish the third National Climate
Change Strategy in good time to ensure that Ireland is
well placed to meet its post-Kyoto commitments.
Annexes
52
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Annex 1 - Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Projections
Inventories
The annual inventory estimate of emissions of the six
greenhouse gases controlled by the Kyoto Protocol
provides the basis for assessing national progress
towards Ireland’s target of limiting emissions to 13%
above those of the base year over the period 2008 to
2012. The base year for Ireland’s commitment is 1990
for carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide
(N2O) and 1995 for the fluorinated or F-gases (HFCs,
PFCs, SF6).
Carbon is sequestered (absorbed) by plants and soils.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, carbon sequestered by
afforestation, reforestation, and deforestation since 1990
may be accounted for and used to offset emissions.
Additional activities (including forest management,
cropland management, grazing land management and
revegetation) will be the subject of further research in
Ireland to determine their potential to act as sinks as
part of any post-Kyoto regime.
To arrive at an overall estimate of national emissions,
estimates of each of the gases are adjusted to reflect
their global warming potential and then aggregated
(expressed as millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide
equivalents or Mt CO2e). The amount of carbon
sequestered resulting from afforestation, reforestation
and deforestation is subtracted to arrive at the overall
net emissions for a particular year.
The inventory is compiled by the Environmental
Protection Agency in collaboration with a range of state
and other bodies with the relevant expertise in each of
the sectors of the economy responsible for greenhouse
gas emissions. The institutional, legal and procedural
arrangements for its compilation are set out in the
National Atmospheric Inventory System25. Provisional
estimates for the previous year but one are reported
to the European Commission in January each year and
final estimates to the UNFCCC by mid April each year.
Energy
1990
1995
The inventory estimate is subject to continual
improvement as, for example, better data sets or
estimation methodologies resulting from national or
other research becomes available. For consistency
any revisions are applied to the full time series of
estimates (1990 to current year). The assigned amount
for Ireland under the Kyoto Protocol is 113% of base
year emissions. This was translated into an absolute
figure in the national Assigned Amount Report, which
was submitted to the UNFCCC in December 2006. This
report is due for review by a UNFCCC review team in
April 2007, a process which will finalise in absolute
units (Mt CO2e) Ireland’s Kyoto target.
Projections
Emissions projections provide a forecast of future
emissions and are a valuable analytical tool to inform
both how Ireland will comply with its Kyoto obligations
and Ireland’s position in post Kyoto negotiations.
The table below sets out Ireland’s inventory of
greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2005,
together with existing projections of emissions to 2020
on a sectoral basis. Projections are based on Determining
the Share of National Greenhouse Gas Emissions for
Emissions Trading in Ireland 2008-2012, prepared for
the Government by ICF Consulting & Byrne Ó Cléirigh
and published in March 2006. As discussed in Chapter
2, these projections have been updated to take account
of revised projections for transport emissions.
An annual average of emissions in each year of the
Kyoto Commitment period 2008-2012 is used here for
consistency with analysis in Chapter 2 on how Ireland
will meet its target for the purposes of the Kyoto
Protocol.
The table shows the effect on projections of additional
quantified measures, listed in Chapter 2, for 2008-2012,
2015 and 2020.
2000
2005
2008-2012
2015
2020
11.85
14.11
16.80
16.32
18.749
19.66
20.52
Transport
5.18
6.32
10.95
13.46
13.992
15.12
16.48
Residential
7.35
6.40
6.55
7.12
6.833
6.59
6.82
Ind/Com/Services
Agriculture
Waste
9.78
10.04
12.79
11.95
14.194
15.55
17.05
19.75
20.81
20.39
19.32
17.644
17.07
17.05
1.46
1.69
1.64
1.78
1.831
1.50
0.85
-2.074
-3.350
-4.65
55.37
59.37
69.13
69.95
71.169
72.14
74.12
66.216
66.447
64.013
Carbon Sinks
Total with existing measures
Total with additional measures
Table 1: Inventories and projections (Mt CO2e) by sector
25. See www.epa.ie
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
To date, emissions projections have been produced
periodically to inform significant policy decisions.
However, with the end of the Kyoto period now less
than six years away, it is important that projections are
produced annually to refine estimates over time and
provide an ex-ante assessment of whether the scope
or range of additional policies and measures will need
to be adjusted to ensure cost-effective compliance with
Kyoto obligations.
The EPA will develop annual national emission
projections, in collaboration with relevant state and
other bodies to ensure consistency with macroeconomic
forecasts, with projections of activity in all sectors
including energy, agriculture, industry and forestry. It is
important that the assumptions for national projections
are consistent with national inventories reflecting
changes as appropriate, such as reducing emission
factors over time as policies and measures continue to
take effect.
The EPA will compile the annual projections to be
consistent with UNFCCC guidelines for the preparation
of National Communications26 and the provisions of
the EU Monitoring Mechanism and its implementing
provisions27 including reporting specific indicators for
projections.
26. UNFCCC Guidelines for the Preparation of National Communications, Pt II. (FCCC/CP/1999/7).
27. European Parliament and Council Decision 280/2004/EC and Commission Decision 2005/166/EC, respectively.
53
54
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Annex 2 – Science and Impacts
The United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization
(WMO) established the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) in 198828. The IPCC provides
comprehensive, objective, open and transparent
assessments of the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of
climate change. The IPCC does not carry out its own
research, nor does it monitor climate related data or other
relevant parameters. Its reports are based on material
that has been published in peer reviewed scientific
literature. IPCC assessment reports are compiled by
three working groups in the areas;
(a) scientific basis of climate change (human and
natural);
conclusions, based on observations and measurements,
include:
n
the concentration of carbon dioxide, methane and
nitrous oxide have increased as a result of human
activities and the concentration of carbon dioxide
and methane in 2005 far exceeds the natural range
over the last 650,000 years;
n
the Earth has warmed by 0.76ºC on average during
the last 100 years with eleven of the last twelve
years (1995-2006) being the warmest on record.
Europe has warmed by almost 1ºC since 1990 and
at a rate faster than the global average;
n
the average temperature of the global ocean has
increased as deep as 3000m. Such warming causes
seawater to expand, contributing to sea level rise;
n
global average sea level rose at an average rate
of 1.8mm per year over the period 1961 to 2003.
Mountain glaciers and snow cover have declined,
contributing to sea level rise. Losses from the
Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets are very likely
to have contributed to sea level rise of 3.1 mm per
year over the period 1993 to 2003;
n
long-term changes have been observed at
continental and regional scales including changes
in Arctic temperatures and ice, precipitation
amounts, ocean salinity and wind patterns;
n
average Arctic temperatures increased at almost
twice the global average rate in the past 100 years,
Arctic sea ice has shrunk by 2.7% per decade and
temperatures at the top of the permafrost layer
have generally increase by up to 3ºC since the
1980s;
n
significantly increased precipitation has been
observed in eastern parts of North and South
America, northern Europe and northern and
central Asia. More intense and longer droughts
have been observed over larger areas since the
1970s, particularly in the tropics and subtropics.
The frequency of heavy precipitation events has
increased and widespread changes in extreme
temperatures have been observed with hot days,
hot nights, and heat waves more frequent; and
n
the equilibrium climate sensitivity, defined as
the global average surface warming following a
doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations (relative
to pre-industrial levels) is likely to be in the range
2ºC - 4.5ºC with a best estimate of about 3ºC.
(b) potential impacts and adaptation options; and
(c) options for mitigation of climate change e.g. by
reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The IPCC also produces Good Practice Guidelines for
compilation of greenhouse gas inventories and special
reports on issues of specific interest for policy makers
e.g. carbon capture and storage.
The IPCC First Assessment Report published in 1990
confirmed the scientific basis for concern about human
induced climate change. It played an important role in
the establishment of the UNFCCC, which was adopted at
the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and entered
into force in 1994. The IPCC Second Assessment Report,
published in 1995 was a key input to the adoption of
the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC in 1997. The Third
Assessment Report (TAR), published in 2001, confirmed
and emphasised the findings of the previous reports. Its
Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) is being published in
stages during 2007.
Fourth Assessment Report
The AR4 Working Group I report The Physical
Science Basis, was released in February 2007. The
Working Group II report on Impacts, Adaptation and
Vulnerability is due to be released in April 2007 and
the Working Group III report on Mitigation of Climate
Change will be released in May 2007. A synthesis report
combining the findings from all of the reports will be
published in November 2007.
The Physical Science Basis
The WG I report confirmed the main findings of the
TAR with many results being better quantified and
with a higher level of confidence. The report finds that
warming of the climate system is unequivocal. This is
evident from observations of increased global average
air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow
and ice, and rising global mean sea level. It attributes
the observed warming with a “very high confidence”
to “the net effect of human activities since 1750”. Key
28. See www.ipcc.ch
The WGI report also provides more advanced and
detailed projections of future climate conditions than
were possible for the TAR. The projections are based
on a series of greenhouse gas emission scenarios. These
do not include analysis of international initiatives to
address climate change.
55
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
The report finds that continued emissions of greenhouse
gases at or above current rates would result in greater
changes to the global climate system over this century
than those observed to date. It finds that if atmospheric
concentrations of greenhouse gas had been stabilised at
2000 levels warming and sea level rise would continue
at least until the end of this century due to the timescales
associated with climate processes and feedback. Key
projections include:
n
a temperature increase of 0.2ºC per decade for the
next two decades with a warming of 1.8–4.0ºC by
2100 (the full uncertainty range is 1.1-6.4ºC). This is
expected to be greatest over land and across most
northern latitudes;
n
global average sea level rise in the ranges 1838cm for the low emissions scenario and 26-59cm
for the high emissions scenario. These may be
underestimates due to the fact that the models do
not include the full effects of changes in ice sheet
flow;
n
sea ice is projected to shrink with summer sea ice
in the Arctic disappearing in some projections by
the end of the century;
n
it is very likely that hot extremes, heat waves, and
heavy precipitation events will continue to become
more frequent and likely that future tropical
cyclones will become more intense;
n
precipitation deceases are likely in most subtropical
regions with increases very likely in high latitudes;
and
n
increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide
concentrations lead to increasing acidification of
the ocean.
Climate Change Impacts
The forthcoming IPCC WG II report is expected to
confirm and strengthen the key messages of the TAR
in relation to impacts and vulnerabilities, including that
physical and biological systems on all continents are
being affected by climate change, particularly through
temperature increases.
The main changes to physical systems are reduced
snow cover, increased ice-melt and thawing of
permafrost, a more intense hydrological cycle, rising
sea-level, and warming of oceans, seas, lakes and
rivers. For biological systems a ‘greening’ of vegetation
in spring and increased net primary production, and
shifts in ranges and changes in algal, plankton and fish
abundance associated with rising water temperatures as
well as related changes in ice cover, salinity, oxygen
levels and circulation are expected.
It attributes observed changes to anthropogenic
emissions of greenhouse gases and provides guidance
to the Parties to the UNFCCC on key vulnerabilities that
could constitute “dangerous anthropogenic interference”
with the climate system and urges actions to alleviate
and avoid key impacts and risks.
Impacts of Climate Change for Ireland
Generally, the Irish climate is experiencing changes
consistent with those occurring at a global scale. Ireland
can expect future temperature changes to also reflect
changes that occur at a global level. Current climate
research in Ireland and a brief synopsis of some recent
outputs is described in Chapter 11.
The EU considers that the objective of the UNFCCC,
to stabilise atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations
at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic
interference with the climate system, can be achieved if
the greenhouse gas stabilisation level limits the global
temperature increase to 2ºC above pre-industrial levels.
The EPA Environmental Research Centre report titled
Implications of the EU Climate Protection Target for
Ireland states that the 2°C target is an appropriate ‘guard
rail’ for avoiding dangerous climate change in relation
to major climate impacts. The report also outlines the
main impacts of climate change for Ireland by sector.
The impacts are both positive and negative, depending
on the magnitude and the rate of global temperature
change. While some benefits can be achieved if global
mean temperatures are limited to a 1°C increase, above
this level there are widespread negative effects. The
table below, taken from the report, is a summary of
the potential impacts and vulnerabilities for Ireland.
Further research on impacts is ongoing under the EPA‘s
research programme and planned under the recently
announced Public Sector Research Fund of the Strategy
for Science, Technology and Innovation.
Up to 1ºC
Up to 2ºC
Longer growing
season
Increased likelihood Sea level rise due to
and magnitude of
thermal expansion of
river flooding
oceans, melting of the
GIS, collapse of the
WAIS
Reduced soil
Loss of coastal
moisture and
habitats due to
grooundwater
inundation and
storage
increased erosion
Water shortages in
Increased incidence of
summe rin the east coastal flooding
which will ipmact
upon reservoirs and
soil management
Increased demand
More intense
for irrigation
cyclonic and extreme
precipitation events
Change in
distribution of plants
and animals, e.g.
decline and possible
extinction of cold
Artic species
Fisheries could
be affected as fish
stocks are sensitive
to small changes in
temperature
Potential for
new crops, e.g.
soybean
Increased
production of
existing cereal
and grass crops
Earlier breeding
of animals and
birds
Heat stress will
have an impact
on animal and
human health
Negative impact
on water quality,
e.g. reduction
in quantity of
water to dilute
pollution
Greater than 2ºC
Increased frequency
of forest fires and
pest infection
Table 1: Summary of potential impacts and vulnerabilities for Ireland29.
29. Source: Implications of the EU Climate Protection Target for Ireland, EPA, 2006.
56
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Annex 3 – National policy for State purchase of Kyoto Units
NATIONAL POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR THE PURCHASE OF KYOTO UNITS BY THE STATE FOR THE
PURPOSE OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE KYOTO PROTOCOL IN THE COMMITMENT PERIOD 2008-2012
Introduction
This document sets out the institutional arrangements
and policy context within which Ireland will purchase
Kyoto Units30 sufficient to enable it to meet its greenhouse
gas emissions limitation target for the purposes of the
Kyoto Protocol in the commitment period 2008-2012.
Background
For the purposes of the Kyoto Protocol, Ireland is
committed to limiting average annual greenhouse gas
emissions in the period 2008-2012 to 13% above 1990
levels.
Joint Implementation (JI): provided for under Article
6 of the Protocol, enables Parties with reduction
commitments or private investors to implement projects
that reduce emissions in other Parties with reduction
commitments, in return for credits. Credits generated
using the JI mechanism can be used by the investing
Party or private entity (particularly within the EU
Emissions Trading Scheme) for compliance purposes.
The tradable unit under the JI mechanism is an Emissions
Reductions Unit (ERU).
The National Climate Change Strategy 2007-2012
provides the national policy framework for addressing
greenhouse gas emission reductions and ensuring that
Ireland meets its target for the purpose of the Kyoto
Protocol.
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM): provided for
under Article 12 of the Protocol, enables Parties with
targets to participate in projects that reduce emissions
or contribute to sequestration in those Parties that do
not have targets under the Protocol. The mechanism is
aimed primarily at developing countries and is intended
to assist them in achieving sustainable development
through, for example, access to cleaner or more energy
efficient technologies. Credits generated using the CDM
mechanism can be used by the investing Party or private
entity for compliance purposes. The tradable unit under
the CDM mechanism is a Certified Emissions Reduction
(CER).
The Government has decided that it will use the Kyoto
Protocol flexible mechanisms to purchase up to 3.607
million Kyoto Units in respect of each year of the
2008-2012 period. This requirement will be revised as
necessary in light of future projections and the impact
of any additional measures to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions.
International Emissions Trading: provided for under
Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol31, enables Parties that
have a greenhouse gas emissions limitation or reduction
target under the Protocol to acquire Kyoto Units from
those Parties that have reduced their emissions beyond
their target under the Protocol. The tradable unit under
emissions trading is an Assigned Amount Unit (AAU).
Kyoto Protocol Flexible Mechanisms
National Focal Point for JI and National Authority for CDM
A key component of the Kyoto Protocol was the
introduction of three flexible mechanisms to reduce the
overall costs of achieving emission reductions for those
Parties with emission reduction or limitation targets.
These mechanisms - Joint Implementation, the Clean
Development Mechanism and International Emissions
Trading – are described in more detail below. The
mechanisms enable Parties to purchase Kyoto Units from
other Parties or to invest in cost-effective opportunities
to reduce emissions or increase sequestration through
projects in other countries. While the cost of reducing
emissions varies considerably between projects and
between countries, the effect for the atmosphere of
limiting emissions is the same irrespective of where the
action occurs.
A requirement of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol is the
designation of a Focal Point and a National Authority for
the purpose of the JI and CDM mechanisms respectively.
Under the Kyoto Protocol (Flexible Mechanisms)
Regulations 2006 (S.I. 244 of 2006), the Minister for
the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has
designated the Environmental Protection Agency as both
the Focal Point and National Authority in Ireland. The
role of the Agency will be to approve participation by
private or public entities in JI or CDM project activities.
The Agency will publish guidelines setting out its
approval procedures for participation by Irish entities in
JI and CDM projects. Decisions made by the Agency on
individual proposals to participate in JI or CDM projects
shall be final. Project approval must also be sought in
the intended host country.
Parties to the Kyoto Protocol may achieve their
individual targets through domestic actions and use of
flexible mechanisms provided for in the Protocol. The
Protocol requires that use of the flexible mechanisms be
supplemental to domestic actions.
30. A credit or allowance, equivalent to one metric tonne of carbon dioxide, issued pursuant to the Kyoto Protocol and the decisions adopted pursuant to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and
to the Protocol. A credit is equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide that has already been removed. An allowance refers to a right to emit the equivalent of one tonne of carbon dioxide at some point in the future.
31. Emissions trading under Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol is distinct from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Operators in the EU Scheme may, however, use credits from the JI or CDM mechanisms for compliance with
their obligations up to a percentage of their allocation, which is to be specified in the National Allocation Plan for the Member State in question.
57
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
Establishment of registry under the Kyoto Protocol
In accordance with decisions adopted by Parties to the
Kyoto Protocol, the 2006 Regulations (S.I. 244 of 2006)
provide for the establishment of a national registry and
the designation of the Environmental Protection Agency
as the national registry administrator. The function of
the national registry is to ensure accurate accounting of
the issuance, holding, transfer, acquisition, cancellation
and retirement of Kyoto Units.
National Purchasing Agent
The National Treasury Management Agency is the
designated purchasing agent for the State and will
administer and manage purchases of Kyoto Units on
behalf of the Government. A dedicated Carbon Fund
has been established for this purpose.
The role of the Agency as purchasing agent is established
on a statutory footing under the Carbon Fund Act 2007.
The Act provides for the purchasing agent to perform all
functions associated with the management of the Carbon
Fund, including appropriate accounting for expenditure
having regard to public financial procedures, subject
to guidelines and/or direction from the Minister for the
Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
Funding of the purchase of Kyoto Units
Funding for the purchase of Kyoto Units will be
provided from the Central Fund to the Carbon Fund,
also established under the 2007 Act. In the course of the
annual estimates process, provision will be made in the
Vote of the Department of the Environment, Heritage
and Local Government to repay the Central Fund.
The Government has designated €270 million for
investment in the flexible mechanisms under the National
Development Plan 2007-2013. This is in addition to an
initial investment of €20m in 2006.
Framework for the purchase of Kyoto Units
The National Treasury Management Agency shall
purchase Kyoto Units on behalf of the State. All
purchases shall be made in accordance with the
following objectives:
n
that they contribute to the ultimate objective of
the United National Framework Convention on
Climate Change, i.e. stabilisation of greenhouse
gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level
that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic
interference with the climate system;
n
that risk is minimised, particularly in relation to the
timely delivery of credits; and
n
that they represent good value for money.
The National Treasury Management Agency may use
the following mechanisms to purchase Kyoto Units:
n
direct purchase of Kyoto Units from other Kyoto
Protocol Annex B Parties;
n
direct investment in joint implementation and clean
development mechanism project activities;
n
investment in managed funds; and
n
direct market purchases of Kyoto Units;
or a combination of some or all of these, subject to
ensuring that, in accordance with decisions adopted by
the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol:
n
any surplus Kyoto Units held by the State at the
end of the 2008-2012 commitment period can be
banked and used in a subsequent commitment
period of the Kyoto Protocol or any successor
treaty; and
n
Ireland does not use emissions reduction units
or certified emissions reductions generated from
nuclear facilities, for the purpose of meeting its
Kyoto Protocol commitments.
The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local
Government may, having regard to the objectives set out
above, enter into bilateral agreements for the purpose
of acquiring Kyoto Units pursuant to Article 17 of the
Protocol. The Minister may direct the National Treasury
Management Agency to purchase Kyoto Units that may
become available on foot of any such agreements.
Subject to further direction from the Minister for the
Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the
Agency may sell Kyoto Units if this is necessary to
ensure compliance with decisions adopted pursuant
to the Kyoto Protocol for the accounting of assigned
amounts under Article 7, paragraph 4 of the Protocol.
All Kyoto Units purchased by the National Treasury
Management Agency shall be registered in the national
registry managed by the Environmental Protection
Agency. Kyoto Units entered into the national
registry will be accounted for by the Environmental
Protection Agency to ensure compliance with Ireland’s
commitments for the purposes of the Kyoto Protocol.
This policy framework constitutes the initial direction
from the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and
Local Government to the National Treasury Management
Agency.
April 2007.
58
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Glossary of Terms
Adaptation (to climate change) The taking of measures
to cope with the effects of climate change, rather than
the action taken to reduce emissions.
COP Conference Of the Parties (to the UNFCCC) ,which
meets annually. The 13th Conference (COP13) is to
meet in Indonesia in December 2007.
Anaerobic decomposition / digestion The breakdown of
organic materials in the absence of air (oxygen). CH4 is
a by-product, either vented to the atmosphere or used
as an energy source.
Demand Side Management In the energy sector, the
management and reduction of energy use through
incentives and other measures to reduce and/or manage
more efficiently customer demand for energy.
Anthropogenic Human induced; as a result of human
actions.
Emissions trading In the context of the EU Emissions
Trading Scheme or the flexible mechanisms of the
Kyoto Protocol, this refers to the buying and selling of
allowances to emit a defined quantity of greenhouse
gases or credits that represent a quantity of greenhouse
gas already reduced.
Base year The year against which commitments under
the Kyoto Protocol are measured. Emissions levels in
1990 set the basis for determining the national limitation
target of 13% (a base year of 1995 will be used for the
industrial gases).
BAT Best Available Techniques under the EU Integrated
Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive
(96/61/EC).
BMW Biodegradable Municipal Waste.
CAP Common Agricultural Policy (of the EU).
ENFO The Environmental Information Service. ENFO
is a public information service on environmental
matters, providing public access to wide-ranging and
authoritative information on the environment. ENFO
was established in September 1990 and is a service of
the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local
Government. Website: http://www.enfo.ie.
CH4 Methane. The second most significant greenhouse
gas. Naturally occurring and also arising from human
activity.
Enteric fermentation That part of the digestive process
in ruminant animals (cows, sheep) where bacteria and
other gut flora convert parts of the grass to a usable
form for the animal. CH4 is a by-product and expelled
from the animal.
CHP Combined Heat and Power. The waste heat from
electricity generation is put to another useful purpose.
EPA Environmental Protection Agency. Website: http://
www.epa.ie.
Climate change The global climate system is subject to
natural variation. In the context of the UNFCCC and
Kyoto Protocol, what is meant is that change in climate
attributable to human activity arising from the release
of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and which is
additional to natural climate variability.
Flexible mechanisms The three flexible measures that
are provided for in the Kyoto Protocol viz. Emissions
Trading, JI (Joint Implementation) and the CDM (Clean
Development Mechanism).
CDM Clean Development Mechanism.
CO2 Carbon Dioxide. The main greenhouse gas arising
from human activities, and also naturally occurring.
Atmospheric concentrations have risen from about
280ppm prior to the industrial revolution to about
380ppm now.
CO2-equivalent (CO2e) Where gases other than CO2
are referred to, for comparison purposes these are
converted to their equivalence in global warming terms
to CO2. Sequestration rates of carbon are quantified in
terms of CO2 removed from the atmosphere. See also,
Global Warming Potential.
COFORD National Council for Forest Research and
Development.
Commitment period The Kyoto Protocol provides that
Parties’ targets are to be achieved over the 5-year period
2008 – 2012 (the “first commitment period”). Targets for
future commitment periods (post 2012) are yet to be
negotiated.
Fossil fuel Peat, coal, fuels derived from crude oil (e.g.
petrol and diesel) and natural gas are called fossil fuels
because they have been formed over long periods of
time from ancient organic matter. All contain varying
amounts of carbon, and in the recovery of energy from
the fuel through combustion in the presence of air, the
carbon combines with the oxygen to form CO2, which
is vented to the atmosphere.
Fuel Bunkering Also known as ‘fuel tourism’ this refers
to fuel that is bought in Ireland by private motorists and
hauliers but consumed outside Ireland.
GDP Gross Domestic Product.
Global Warming Potential (GWP) Greenhouse gases
have different efficiencies in retaining solar energy in
the atmosphere and also have different lifetimes in the
atmosphere, before natural processes remove them. To
compare the different greenhouse gases,emissions are
calculated on the basis of their Global Warming Potential
(GWP) over a normalised time horizon, giving a measure
of their relative heating effect in the atmosphere. The
100 year time horizon (GWP100) is generally used and
that provided for in relation to the Kyoto Protocol. The
59
National Climate Change Strategy 2007 - 2012
IPCC has developed these GWPs; all are expressed as
GWP100:- CO2 is the basic unit. (GWP of 1). CH4 has a
global warming potential equivalent to 21 units of CO2,
i.e. a GWP of 21. N2O has a GWP of 310. Compounds in
the HFC family have GWPs in the range 140 to 11,700.
PFCs have GWPs in the range 6,500 to 9,200. SF6 has a
GWP of 23,900.
Greenhouse gas A gas in the atmosphere that freely
allows radiation from the sun through to the earth’s
surface, but traps the heat radiated back from the
earth’s surface towards space and reradiates it back to
the earth’s surface. The heating effect is analogous to
the manner in which the glass of a greenhouse traps the
sun’s radiation to warm the air inside the greenhouse.
Most greenhouse gases occur naturally and are a
necessary part of the global climate system, but their
concentrations can be increased by human action,
causing climate change.
HFCs Hydrofluorocarbons. See Industrial gases.
Industrial gases The three non-natural greenhouse gases
and gas families.; HFCs (Hydrofluorocarbons), PFCs
(Perfluorocarbons) and SF6 (Sulphur Hexafluoride).
These are more potent than the naturally occurring
greenhouse gases and did not exist in the atmosphere
before the industrial age. There are a number of
individual HFCs and PFCs within these “families” of
gases.
IPPC Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, in the
context of licensing under the Environmental Protection
Agency Act 1992.
IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
This is the authoritative scientific source on human
interference with the global climate system. Website:
http://www.ipcc.ch
JI Joint Implementation
kt Kilotonne (1,000 tonnes). 1,000 kt = 1 Mt
Kyoto Protocol The second international agreement
(1997) on climate change, setting binding limitation
and reduction targets for developed countries. It is a
Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change. Text of Protocol at: http://www.unfccc.int.
Modal shift In the transport sector, move from the
use of one mode of transport to another (e.g. greater
use of public transport, rather than private cars for
commuting).
Mt Million tonnes.
MW Megawatt = 1,000 kilowatts.
NDP National Development Plan 2007 – 2013.
N2O Nitrous Oxide. The third most important greenhouse
gas. Naturally occurring and also arising from human
activity.
PFCs Perfluorocarbons. See Industrial gases.
Ppm Parts per million.
PSO Public Service Obligation. An obligation placed
on utility undertakings (generally in the energy sector)
which takes account of general social, economic and
environmental factors.
REPS Rural Environment Protection Scheme.
Sequestration (of carbon) The removal of CO2 from the
atmosphere and the storage of the carbon, generally
by growing plants (e.g. by the fixing of carbon in the
organic compounds which make up the body of a tree).
It can include storage of carbon in associated soils and
litter. Non-organic mechanisms for carbon sequestration
are not considered by the Strategy.
SEI Sustainable Energy Ireland. The national agency for
energy efficiency and renewable energy information,
advice and support.
SF6 Sulphur Hexafluoride. See Industrial gases.
Sink The reservoir in which sequestered CO2 is stored,
e.g. forestry. There are a number of natural sinks
for CO2 (e.g. the oceans, the natural biosphere) but
sequestration by natural mechanisms is not relevant to
the Kyoto Protocol.
UNFCCC UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change, the first international agreement (1992) on
action to tackle human-induced climate change. Website
of the secretariat and text of the Convention at: http://
www.unfccc.int.
VRT Vehicle Registration Tax.
With measures Projection encompassing, for the
purposes of this Strategy, implemented and adopted
polices and measures at the time of completion of latest
set of projections in March 2006.
With additional measures Projection encompassing
policies and measures adopted since March 2006.
60
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
IRELAND
NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY 2007-2012
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