Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (36)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

36. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if enforcement action has commenced regarding the European Union (Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions, Calculation Methods and Reporting Requirements) Regulations 2017 (as amended) (details supplied); if an application has been made to the High Court, as envisaged; if so, the outcome; if the maximum penalty appears to be fit for purpose when compared with the turnover of oil companies; if steps have been taken to ensure that the national carrier is compliant; the plans in place to increase enforcement, compliance and penalties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8130/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Article 7a of the Fuel Quality Directive placed an onus on transport fuel suppliers to achieve at least a 6% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions in fuel and energy placed on the market by the end of 2020 and in subsequent years, compared to a 2010 baseline. This requirement was transposed into Irish law by the European Union (Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions, Calculation Methods and Reporting Requirements) Regulations 2017 (SI 160 of 2017 ). In line with decisions taken at EU level, SI 160 of 2017 was recently amended by S.I. No. 670/2020 (European Union (Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions, Calculation Methods and Reporting Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations 2020) to ensure the 6% reduction requirement continues past 2020.

Under these regulations, the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) is designated as the competent body responsible for implementation of Article 7a. NORA estimates that an overall carbon intensity reduction of approximately 3% will be achieved for 2020.

The Fuel Quality Directive and the Renewable Energy Directive are currently being reviewed at EU level in terms of aligning transport energy targets with the European Green Deal. With these reviews on-going, and given that compliance under the Fuel Quality Directive will continue beyond 2020, a decision was taken not to impose penalties under the regulations with respect to 2020.

The Department of Transport will continue to assess and review policy and legislative requirements for how we maximise decarbonisation efforts for the transport fuel sector.