The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten has conceded that the Government’s plan to tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions and adopting renewable energy is not working.
Speaking to The Irish Times, the Minister referred to recent data from the Environmental Protection Agency which shows Ireland is ‘locked into a trend of rising CO2 emissions.’ He also acknowledged that based on current projections Ireland faces ‘huge immediate challenges’ to meet 2020 EU targets and could face substantial fines from the European Commission.
In 2009, Ireland signed up to binding EU targets to reduce emissions and has consistently lagged behind triggering fears the State will face fines of up to €600 million. To date, 11 Member States have reached their 2020 targets.
The Minister said The National Mitigation Plan, which was adopted in 2017, is expected to be radically revised in coming months with the move to ‘reopen’ the strategy to go before the Cabinet shortly with a consultation process to be held shortly afterwards. All European Union member states must submit a draft climate and energy plan to the European Commission by the end of the year.
Minister Naughten pointed to the Government’s commitment to spending €22 billion over the next decade in addressing climate change and a series of recent renewable initiatives as proof they are focused on the addressing the issue.
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