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Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 25 October 2005

Tuesday, 25 October 2005

Ceisteanna (23, 24, 25, 26, 27)

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

106 Mr. Bruton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he has estimated the potential impact on the Exchequer of the purchase of carbon credits under Kyoto commitments. [26665/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Martin Ferris

Ceist:

114 Mr. Ferris asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will make a statement to Dáil Éireann regarding the predictions by consultants engaged to review the State’s greenhouse gas emissions that they will face a bill of more than €100 million for failure to reduce emissions output in line with Kyoto commitments and the fact that the Government’s failure to take the action necessary to curb greenhouse emissions has brought about this situation. [30322/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Olivia Mitchell

Ceist:

126 Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the level of fines Ireland will be forced to pay for failure to meet obligations under the Kyoto Agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30341/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gay Mitchell

Ceist:

152 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on the recent report on the Kyoto Protocol conducted by companies (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30339/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Olivia Mitchell

Ceist:

160 Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the amount he projects will need to be spent on emissions trading to meet obligations under the Kyoto Agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30340/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 106, 114, 126, 152 and 160 together.

On 11 October 2005, my Department made available a report by consultants that sets out preliminary updated projections of national greenhouse gas emissions during the Kyoto Protocol commitment period 2008-2012. These projections are part of Government preparations for the second phase of the EU emissions trading scheme, which covers the same period, and have been published to facilitate public consultation with stakeholders. As such, they should not yet be regarded as definitive projections of emissions for the period in question. The public consultation will inform ongoing work by the consultants and I expect to publish their final report early in 2006.

The preliminary projections suggest that Ireland must achieve emissions reductions of 8.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over the period 2008 to 2012 to meet its target for the purpose of the Kyoto Protocol. This figure is more than a million tonnes less than earlier projections of 9.2 million tonnes.

A proportion of this 8.1 million tonnes gap will be allocated to Irish participants in the EU emissions trading scheme and the remainder will be addressed through a combination of emission reductions in line with the national climate change strategy and the purchase by the State of carbon credits through the mechanisms provided for under the Kyoto Protocol.

The purchase of carbon credits is one of the options under the Kyoto Protocol to achieve emission reductions on a least-cost basis. The Government has already signalled its intent to use the Kyoto Protocol flexible mechanisms to purchase up to 3.7 million allowances for each year of the Kyoto Protocol commitment period. On the basis of an assessed average price of €15 per carbon allowance during the period 2008 to 2012, the total annual cost to the Exchequer would be €55.5 million.

In the commitment period 2008 to 2012, Ireland's target is to limit emissions of greenhouse gases at not more than 13% above 1990 levels. Data compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency show overall emissions in 2003 at approximately 25% above 1990 levels, down from approximately 29% in 2002 and 31% in 2001. These show significant progress towards our 13% target. Ireland has no reason to contemplate fines or penalties under the Kyoto Protocol and the focus of Government policy and action is to achieve our emission limitation target.

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