Ireland’s Draft National Energy & Climate Plan requires urgent revision

25th February 2019
Press Release

Ireland’s Draft National Energy & Climate Plan (NECP) requires urgent revision by the end of this year to ensure that the finalised Plan includes ambitious plans for substantial and sustained reductions in annual GHG emissions, according to a hard-hitting submission by An Taisce, Ireland’s National Trust [1].

Crucially, the Draft NECP fails to deliver energy or agriculture emission reduction, or any coherent climate action aligned with Ireland’s commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The Draft Plan shows the Irish government has failed to grasp the overarching imperative to sharply and permanently cut greenhouse gases (GHGs) from every part of our economy, the An Taisce Submission points out.

All four Draft Scenarios presented in the NECP only show a ‘flat-lining’ of total annual fossil fuel CO₂ emissions between 2015-2040. This misses the point completely, as ‘flat-lining’ means continuing to pump ever more emissions into the atmosphere when we need instead to be urgently cutting these emissions, year by year, all the way to net zero by mid-century if we are to act in line with what the science demands.

Further, the Draft even fails to show scenarios coherent with Ireland’s existing climate policy, widely understood as a linear annual reduction in CO₂ to at least an 80% reduction in 2050 compared to 1990, according to An Taisce.

Worse, the Draft NECP’s data projections show no reduction in annual GHG emissions from agriculture and land use to 2035. This means that there is effectively not approach to carbon neutrality in the agriculture sector, the single largest source of non-ETS emissions in Ireland.

An Taisce points out that while the Draft NECP points towards a move to lower carbon fossil energy usage in the grid, in reality, this is just a shift from coal and peat to gas, with little change in oil use. Rapid decarbonisation in line with our Paris Agreement commitment requires urgent reductions in aggregate emissions from all fossil fuel sources. Simply switching from one fossil fuel to another does not and cannot achieve this objective.

An Taisce regrets that the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change have not been taken into account in the Draft NECP and urge that the will of the Irish public, as clearly expressed through the Assembly, be reflected in the final document.

ENDS

For further information, contact:
John Gibbons, An Taisce Climate Change Committee: +353 87 233 2689
Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce. Tel: +353 87 241 1995
email: publicaffairs@antaisce.org
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland

Notes

  1. An Taisce's submission on draft NECP http://www.antaisce.org/sites/antaisce.org/files/an_taisce_submission_on_draft_necp.pdf

About An Taisce

An Taisce is a charity that works to preserve and protect Ireland's natural and built heritage. We are an independent charitable voice for the environment and for heritage issues. We are not a government body, semi-state or agency. Founded in 1948, we are one of Ireland’s oldest and largest environmental organisations.