Under the 2009 Effort Sharing Decision, which put in place binding annual emissions targets for each year between 2013 and 2020 for sectors outside the EU Emissions Trading System, Ireland must achieve a reduction of 20% relative to 2005 levels of emissions. The latest projections, published in May 2018 by the EPA, indicate that emissions from those sectors of the economy covered by the Effort Sharing Decision could be only between 0% and 1% below 2005 levels by 2020. The EU system does not fix separate targets for different sectors. The Effort Sharing Decision allows Member States to meet their targets using unused emissions allowances from earlier years, or through purchasing allowances from other Member States or on international markets. Ireland has certain accumulated credits already acquired. However, I am advised that Ireland will need to purchase allowances to meet projected shortfalls in 2019 and 2020. My Department currently estimates the costs of this requirement to be in the region of €6m to €13m, depending on the price and final quantity of allowances required.
I have recently secured Government approval to prepare an All-of-Government Plan which will set out the actions to be taken to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change, including how Ireland will, at the very least, meet its targets for the period to 2030.