Laura Burke, Director General of the EPA presentation to Smurfit Business School Sustainability Club on 17th October 2012
UCD Micheal Smurfit Business SchoolSustainability Club Seminar Ireland becoming a low carbon competitive economy Laura Burke Director General EPA 17th October 2012
Contents Need for a low carbon economy Ireland Greenhouse Gas Emissions Models for a low carbon economy Plans and challenges for Ireland Behavioural Change
Need for a low carbon economy Climate Change Primary environmental and societal challenge High dependence on fossil fuels Agriculture, land use and land use changes Global Actions UNFCCC and Kyoto, adopted 2C goal under a shared vision 2009/10 Emissions to peak before 2020 and reduced by 50% by 2050 EU Action Leader on global actions Advocate for the 2C goal, since 1997 20%-30% reduction by 2020, 80% reduction 2050* *Based on IPCC 4th Assessment Report, 2007
A Profile of EU greenhouse gasemissions – 80% below 1990 levels
A Profile of what Ireland’s greenhouse gasemissions might look like to 2050 140% 140% 120% 120% Energy 100% 100% Residential 80% 80% Industry & Commercial 60% 60% Transport 40% 40% Agriculture Waste 20% 20% 0% 0% 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050
Sweden Climate Bill 2008/9 An emissions- neutral country by 2050 Swedish Environmental Protection Agency drawing up scenarios and policy instrument proposals Minister for the Environment appointing a reference group with representatives of environmental organisations, the business sector and the research community, among others an active dialogue and collaboration - regional and municipal level, the business sector and the research community.
Norway Adoption of a carbon tax in 1991. 70% of GHG emissions covered by economic instruments Carbon Neutral by 2030 30% reduction by 2020 One of three largest buyers of carbon credits in world Purchase of carbon credits to supplement domestic efforts Aim to be a catalyst for market development
EPA – Low Carbon Economy National Framework Needs actions that have a long term perspective Focus should be on domestic action All sectors must contribute Cost effective mitigation solutions available SEAI and Teagasc MACC curves Need to understand drivers of action and inaction Transport and Agriculture
Legal Basis National Climate Strategy 2000 and 2007 2011- Development of national climate policy Independent Study by NESC Policy options 2020- June 2012 Transition to a low carbon future by 2050- Dec 2012 Public consultation Consideration by Oireachtas Committee and stakeholders Climate Change Legislation likely Head of Bill likely in late 2012 or early in 2013 Bill by the end of 2013 Implementation will be critical
Irish Challenges and Opportunities Unique Greenhouse Gas Profile within the EU Transport and Agriculture 50% of total emissions 2011 71% of non EU- ETS emissions Agriculture Unique profile in the EU Are there opportunities? Land use, bio-energy, others Not-unique globally: New Zealand and most developing countries
Putting a price on carbon – emissions trading 25 -9% -16% 20 +1% -9% Mtonnes, CO2eq 15 10 5 0 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 201130% drop in emissions from the Emissions Trading Sector between 2005 and 2011
Putting a price on carbon - carbon tax The carbon tax was first applied in 2010 to mainly, the non-traded sectors, transport and heat in buildings In transport – emissions have fallen by 22% since peak in 2007 Recession and other policy influences at play but carbon tax has also played a role? Carbon tax has yet to be applied to coal and peat, the most carbon intensive of all fossil fuels
Incentives- CO2 emissions of new cars 180 167.7 167.2 166.7 167.9 170 166.1 166.1 164.0 161.7 158.2 160 150 144.0CO2 g/km 140 Change in VRT and Motor Tax 132.8 for new cars 128.0 130 125.8 120 110 100 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source : SEAI (2012).
Resource Efficiency Global population 9 billion by 2050 3 billion more middle class consumers Increases in demand for resources OECD Resource Use at existing level a barrier to future economic growth Resource Efficiency
Resources Efficiency programme for hotels, catering companies & restaurantsResources use mapping (waste, water, & energy)Certification & Award scheme, 270 members o 140 of which are hotels o Representing >16% of Irish HotelsIn 2011: o 6,400t waste reduction (equivalent to >6,000 households) o 352 million litres water saved o 39M kWh energy savedIn 2011 €5.6M saved by members (recurring saving too!)
Partnership Resource Efficiency programme with Health ServicesExecutiveResources use mapping (waste, water, & energy)Concentration on Food Waste30 healthcare facilities participating - 50% of national Acute beds in Ireland (~8,000 beds) - ~800 Community care beds1,700t food wastage identified, costing €3.7M/annum (for purchase, prepare& dispose)~800t non-risk waste in Risk Waste Bins, costing ~€700,000 per annum2,000 t recyclable waste in Residuals bins, costing €220,000 per annum
Conclusions Now is the time to set both the right level of ambition and the right pace of transition to a low-carbon economy Choice is not between growth and non-growth – it is between high-carbon growth and low-carbon growth Deployment requires clear, consistent and effective policies and incentives Changes in lifestyle and behaviour barriers need to be addressed - potential for wide ranging, long-term impact
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