I am satisfied that full implementation of the national climate change strategy over the remainder of the decade, together with any additional measures to be identified in the current review of its implementation, will ensure Ireland's compliance with the Kyoto protocol. In this regard, I refer to the Government's decision, which I announced on 5 February 2004. Among other matters, this makes an indicative allocation of 110.1 million emission allowances available to Irish participants in the EU emissions trading scheme in the period 2008-2012 (the Kyoto phase) inclusive, an average of 22 million per year; it also indicates the Government's intent to purchase allowances on the international market to ensure that Ireland is in possession of sufficient allowances to comply with Kyoto commitments for those sectors of the economy not directly engaged in emissions trading, with the possibility for the purchases to be funded from the CO2 tax to be explored in the consideration of this tax. A total quantity of 18.5 million allowances or 3.7 million per annum is estimated to be sufficient for this purpose, i.e. in respect of emissions reductions in non-trading sectors where the cost of reductions is expected to be significantly above the price of CO2 on the emissions trading markets.
I also indicated that further decisions to be taken by Government in relation to the Kyoto phase will be subject to an evaluation of the operation of EU emissions trading, and its impacts, prior to the finalisation, in June 2006, of the national allocation plan for the Kyoto commitment period.