Review of Climate Change Policy in Ireland


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Owen Ryan, DECLG - A presentation outlining the changes to climate change policy in Ireland

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Review of Climate Change Policy in Ireland

  1. 1. EPAState of the Environment Report ’12 Review of Climate Policy in IrelandOwen RyanClimate PolicyDepartment of the Environment, Community& Local Government
  2. 2. Climate Change Agenda• International agenda – UN Convention (1992) and Kyoto Protocol (1997). – Copenhagen Accord (2009) and Cancun Agreements (2010). – Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (2011). – IPCC – 4th scientific assessment report (2007).• EU agenda – Climate and Energy Package Dec’08. – Proposed Roadmap to a competitive, low-carbon economy in 2050.• National agenda – National Climate Change Strategy 2007-2012. – Ongoing Review of National Climate Policy. – Programme for development of national climate policy and legislation.
  3. 3. Existing EU policy for 2020• Unilateral EU target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. – underpinned by Climate and Energy legislative package adopted in Dec’08.• Conditional offer to step up to 30% as part of a global & comprehensive international agreement for the post-2012 period. – Under 2011 Durban Platform for Enhance Action, real prospect for a new international agreement by 2015 and implementation from 2020.
  4. 4. EU Policy Development• Roadmap for moving to a competitive low- carbon economy in 2050: – setting a long-term vision on cost-effective transition with key mitigation milestones in 2020, 2030 and 2040.• Roadmap foresees: – overachievement (up to 25%) with full implementation of current policies; and – possible need to recalibrate ETS allowances to push progress on energy efficiency.• Recent proposal from the Commission on land use, land use change, and forestry.
  5. 5. Ireland’s current 2020 target• In 2013-20 period: – emissions covered by EU-ETS to be reduced by 21% compared to 2005; and – other (non-ETS) emissions by 20%.• Non-ETS target: – downward trajectory with annual targets from 2013; – current distance to target 4.1 to 7.8MtCO2e; – flexibilities in EU legislation provide an important safety net but come at a price and do not contribute to domestic transition; and – non-compliance is not an option – key issue is the most effective approach to compliance.
  6. 6. Policy approach to 2020• NCCS 2007-2012: – participation by Irish installations in EU-ETS; – mitigation across the remainder of the economy, based on a least-cost approach; and – domestic action supplemented, as necessary, by purchased carbon units.• What approach for post-2012? – key issue for ongoing climate policy review; – importance of longer-term transition to a low-carbon future, particularly on the opportunity side; and – important to get capital investment right – clean technology.
  7. 7. Climate Policy Review• Released 3rd November 2011.• Important stock-taking exercise.• On course for Kyoto Protocol compliance.• 2020 target (EU law) must be addressed in longer-term context of transition to competitive, low-carbon economy.• National policy must be in place before legislating can be introduced; legislation must underpin policy.
  8. 8. Response to Climate Policy Review• “Putting balanced and progressive policies in place to progress effective national transition without undermining the competitiveness of the economy is where the real policy development challenge lies.”• 3-pronged approached to achieve the necessary policy mix: – independent analysis by the Secretariat to NESC, to inform the policy development process; – a public consultation; and – ongoing work through the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change and the Green Economy.
  9. 9. Programme for Policy & Legislation• Issued by Minister on 18th January 2012.• Central role foreseen for Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Transport, Culture & Gaeltacht.• Key elements of Programme: – Independent analysis by NESC Secretariat – interim report by end June ’12 and final report by end year; and – public consultation – March/April ’12.
  10. 10. Programme for Policy and Legislation Next Steps• NESC Secretariat interim report by end June ’12.• Quarter 3 – Minister to release interim report and seek views of Oireachtas Committee.• Quarter 4 – Minister to announce: – Government response to interim report; and – issue heads of climate bill for consideration by Oireachtas Committee and stakeholders.• Full Programme available on
  11. 11. Facts for post-2012 policy• Current GHG mitigation targets for 2020 are binding under EU law: – infringement proceedings in the event of non-compliance.• Targets likely to strengthen as EU policy develops, either in line with or ahead of international policy.• Ireland’s somewhat unique GHG profile within EU; – relatively low proportion of emissions fall within scope of EU-ETS where abatement options tend to be less costly; and – agriculture emissions at approximately 40% of non-ETS in 2009.• New potential for growth in dairy sector from 2015.• Treatment of LULUCF category still something of a policy unknown – major issue for Ireland.
  12. 12. Considerations for post-2012 policy• Future growth must be sustainable on economic and environmental grounds.• Transition to a low-carbon future inevitable.• Emerging global green economy now a major influence on transition; competitiveness is a key factor.• Need for a new focus on challenges and opportunities.• Investment critical – clean technology.• Post 2012 – simple compliance-based policy response to targets no longer adequate.• “In meeting our future GHG mitigation commitments, national policy development must aim to position Ireland among the progressive leading countries in the low-carbon global economy of tomorrow” Minister Hogan, on releasing the review of national policy, November 11.