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Seeing the bigger picture? Looking across to Ireland’s net zero ambition

Neil Mearns Senior Writer

With several important UK energy documents taking centre stage in Energy Spectrum, we turn to the publication of the Irish government’s recent Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2020 (the Bill), which formalises its intention to pursue net zero by 2050. The Irish government said the legislation “sends a clear signal to businesses, to farmers and to communities that climate action is good for the economy”, and its contents are interesting to compare to similar UK government energy policy messaging. Fresh pair of eyes A new Irish government was formed this year, consisting of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party. Under the coalition agreement, the three parties committed to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an average 7% per year, adding up to 51% by 2030. The Bill makes significant changes to the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015, which provided for the establishment of a national framework with the aim of achieving a low carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050. Key elements of the Bill are shown in Figure 1. The 2050 emissions target has been formally named as the ‘National 2050 Climate Objective’. Out of sight In contrast to sectors in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) which are regulated at EU level, Ireland is responsible for national policies and measures to limit emissions from the sectors covered by Effort Sharing legislation, which sets targets for non-EU ETS sectors. The Bill introduces a system of successive five-year, economy-wide ...

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