Ireland's Current International Status on Climate Performance
According to EPA projections, Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions are set to increase, with the best outcome resulting in Ireland being the only country in the EU to achieve a mere 1% reduction in emissions by 2020 compared to the target set at 20%. These projections also note that Ireland is not on the right course to meeting 2030 or 2050 targets (European Commission, 2019). This makes Ireland currently the worst performing country in the EU (CCPI, 2019).
The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) results for 2019, ranked Ireland at no 48 out of 60 countries evaluated on their performance for climate action. This gives Ireland a “very low” overall rating for performance especially in the GHG Emissions category and the Energy Use category. Ireland did however, rate medium in the renewable energy category due to efforts made in the expansion of the renewable energy industry over the last five years alongside forthcoming support schemes for renewable heat and electricity that acknowledges the value of community and citizen participation (CCPI, 2019).
The Irish Parliament has also been commended by national experts for passing the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill which made it the first of its kind in the world. This bill in addition with the innovative Citizens’ Assembly process, that produced some of Ireland's most progressive climate action policy proposals to date, has brought the country to a medium performance rating with regards to international climate policy. Nevertheless, the minister of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has stated that it may cost Ireland up to €150 million to pay for carbon credits in compensation for failing to meet 2020 targets. Furthermore, the Irish state may face the threat of multi-billion fines from the EU if it fails to meet its 2030 emissions targets.T o view Ireland's performance compared to other countries, please click here.
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