The European Union deal was confirmed in December, this delays climate action in the rise of Ireland’s greenhouse emissions on behalf of “business as usual vested interests”. Ireland, along with other EU member states have a target to reduce emissions by 20% by 2020. However, in recent years Irelands emissions have been rising due to growth in the economy and agricultural industry.
The biggest growth in emissions has been from the energy industry with a 6.1% increase due to a higher demand in electricity and gas supply, which is centred around Ireland’s business growth and the need for more gas and electricity to power business. There has also been a significant increase in transport emissions (also linked to economic growth) as employment figures rise, and show no sign of declining in the short term.
Flexibility on targets
The plans to expand milk production across Ireland has also seen the emissions created by agriculture rise by 2.7%. There is a strong correlation between the increase in dairy cow numbers to the rise in emissions, over the last four years dairy cows have increased by 22%, while greenhouse gas emissions increased by 8% over that time.
As part of the European Union deal, Ireland has gained ‘flexibility’ on targets for reducing emissions, this was partly due to the carbon stored in soils and forests. However, the targets for 2021 to 2030 will look to ensure that overall emissions are reduced. At present, things are unknown, but many businesses are expecting the government to introduce a reduction programme to combat the trend for the increase in emissions.
Utillitywise energy reduction services
At Utilitywise we are passionate about helping Irish businesses to become more green. We offer a range of renewable energy contracts, plus services to help businesses to become more energy efficient, including Carbon Footprinting.
In Ireland, electricity from renewable sources and reducing agricultural emissions was mainly promoted through a feed-in-tariff scheme (REFIT) that operated as a floor price. As of January 2016, there is no support scheme available for renewable energies, pending the introduction of a new support scheme, which is expected to be introduced in 2018. On 23 March 2017, the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment (DCCAE) published an option’s paper that summarizes the proposals concerning the transition of the existing renewable energy support schemes from the Single Electricity Market to Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM). As a group, Utilitywise will be monitoring the changes and options that come to light following the introduction of I-SEM, and feeding this back to our clients in all sectors.