The Paris Climate Agreement was ratified by most countries worldwide. Its purpose is to achieve a limit to global warming substantially below 2°C above preindustrial levels and to endeavour to limit the increase to 1.5°.

State parties are to prepare and notify intended nationally determined contributions every five years. They should reflect the state’s highest possible ambition, reflecting its common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

The White Paper “Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future 2015-2030” “set out the government’s objectives in relation to energy. Greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector are to be reduced by between 80 and 95 tent relative to 1990 levels by 2050 and to 0 by 2100

Ireland’s target was a 16% share of renewable energy consumption supported by 40% of electricity supply 12% of heating and 10% of transport. There would be a shift from carbon fuels such as peat and coal to lower carbon fuels such as natural gas in the medium term. In the longer term fossil fuels would be replaced by renewable energy sources. Oil and natural gas would remain a significant basis of energy supply until 2035. Whitegate would operate on a commercial basis to underpin energy security.

Consumers will be incentivised to use less energy and adopt lower carbon options for heating and transport . Smart home technology’s investment would be encouraged. Consumers would be engaged in energy initiatives .This will include facilitating access to the National Grid for certain renewable electricity projects developing mechanisms for communities to receive payment for electricity.

There would be a new support scheme for renewable electricity and a framework will be developed as to how communities that share in the benefits of new infrastructure in their area with a register of community benefit payments.

By 2030 the Better Energy Programme administered by SEAI comprising a number of schemes will provide grants to support household energy upgrades with a view to delivering energy efficiency for a low carbon future. The government will increase SEAI programs to support community energy projects and facilitate community networks.

The new affordable energy strategy is to be published in particular to assess persons vulnerable to energy poverty to update the energy efficiency obligation scheme (obliging reduction by suppliers of .75% of annual sales). Scheme would be expanded to apply to the transmission and distribution system.

The existing all island electricity market will be reformed to implement the integrated single energy market. The cost of energy transition would be funded primarily by commercial and household investment and charges on energy use supported by government initiative and EU funding.

The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 provides for the national framework for achieving low carbon environmentally sustainable economy by 2050. The legislation was enacted in line with commitments under the Paris climate change agreement 2015.

The legislation provided for
A national mitigation plan
National and sectoral adaptation plans
Climate change advisory body
Ministerial directions to public bodies

There was an obligation on the Minister to submit a national mitigation plan to the Cabinet within 18 months and a national adaptation framework within 24 months. The government is to request Ministers to prepare sectoral adaptation plans in accordance with it. Account is to be taken of the following

• the need to have regard to—
o any existing obligation of the State under the law of the European Union or any international agreement referred to in section 2, and
o any future adaptation commitments of the State;
• the need to promote sustainable development;
• the need to achieve the objectives of a national adaptation framework at the least cost to the national economy and adopt measures that are cost-effective and do not impose an unreasonable burden on the Exchequer;
• relevant scientific or technical advice;
• the findings of any relevant research on the effectiveness of mitigation measures and adaptation measures;
• where sectoral adaptation plans have been approved by the Government under section 6, the most recent approved sectoral adaptation plans;
• where a national adaptation framework has been approved by the Government under section 5, the most recent approved national adaptation framework; and
• any recommendations or advice of the Advisory Council.”

Sectoral plans are to be submitted by cabinet members to the government. On foot of these a draft national mitigation plan is to be presented for consultation with the public and the advisory council. Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, consider submissions . The draft national mitigation plan is submitted to the government
which can approve it with or without modification. It is then placed before both Houses of the Oireachtas.

Ireland’s First National Mitigation Plan was launched in 2017 under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Plan. It provided for climate policy framework, decarbonising electrical generation, decarbonising the built environment, decarbonising transport2 and approach to carbon neutrality for agriculture forest and land use sectors.

Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action obliges states to submit their integrated energy and climate plans by the end of 2018 and thereafter every 10 years. The plans must set out how the states intend to increase the share of energy from renewable sources. They are to include

• An overview of the process followed for establishing the plan description of public consultation and involvement of stakeholders and results and of regional cooperation with other states

• Description of national objectives targets and contributions relative to the dimensions of the energy union

• Description of planned policies and measures in relation to the objectives targets and contributions
• Description of the current status of the five dimensions of the Energy Union in particular with reference to energy system greenhouse gas emissions and removals as well as projections in relation to objectives
• A description of the regulatory and non-regulatory barriers and hurdles to delivering the objectives
• An assessment of the impact of the policies and measures including their consistency with long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction objectives under the Paris agreement
• An annex setting out the latest methodologies and policy measures for achieving energy savings requirements

Ireland’s draft plan 2021 to 2030 was submitted in 2018. Ireland has failed to meet its targets. It failed to meet the 15% share of renewable energy consumption by 2015 achieving 14.3%. the targeted 20% reduction in agriculture transport waste and non-energy intensive industry fell substantially short of reaching 5 to 6%.
This has made achievement of the 2030 target more difficult and leave Ireland vulnerable to fines and sanctions.

Pursuant to the submission of the draft NECP Ireland was requested to increase its objectives to reduce greenhouse gas and sectors outside the emissions trading scheme and improve energy efficiency.

Regulation (EU) 2018/842 , labelled the Effort Sharing Regulation supplements the climate and energy plans. It provides for binding emission reduction targets for states between 2021 and 2030. Ireland is required to reduce emissions by 30%.

States may use a number of ETS allowances and credit taken from action in land use change and forestry sectors for non-ETS sectors. States may use a limited amount of emission removals in land use sectors to meet the targets. The maximum amount of may be transferred as 4% of the ETS emissions.

European Union (National Emission Ceilings) Regulations 2018 implementDirective (EU) 2016/2284on national emission ceilings relating to 5 air pollutants

• Sulphur dioxide (SO2), which is associated with the acidification of soils and surface waters and the accelerated corrosion of buildings and monuments. Emissions of SO2 are derived from the sulphur in fossil fuels such as coal and oil used in combustion activities.
• Nitrogen oxides (NOx) which can contribute to acidification of soils and surface waters, tropospheric ozone formation and nitrogen saturation in terrestrial ecosystems. Power generation plants and motor vehicles are the principal sources of nitrogen oxides, through high-temperature combustion.
• Non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) which are emitted as gases by a wide array of products including paints, paint strippers, glues, cleaning agents and adhesives. They also arise as a product of incomplete combustion of fuels, from the storage and handling of animal manure and fertilisers in agriculture and from spirit production.
• Ammonia (NH3) emissions, which are associated with acid deposition and the formation of secondary particulate matter. The agriculture sector accounts for all (99 per cent) of ammonia emissions in Ireland.
• Fine particulate matter (such as dust) of diameter less than 2.5µm is termed PM2.5. Sources include vehicle exhaust emissions, soil and road surfaces, construction works and industrial emissions and agriculture. Particulate matter can be formed from reactions between different pollutant gases and is responsible for significant negative impacts on human health.
There are emission reduction commitments for each country to be obtained by 2030.


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Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

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