Good for Climate, fair for Ireland – EU Council agreement

In Energy, Environment, News by Denis Naughten

The agreement reached which was reached today in Luxembourg between European Environment Ministers is a fair deal for Ireland, and a good deal for climate.

I believe that the overall agreement reached means that a 40% committed reduction will be a reduction across the EU, in real terms. But importantly, the agreement also takes into account the practical ability for countries, like Ireland, to contribute to this overall objective”. Ireland remains fully committed to supporting the overall EU trajectory towards 2030, and ensuring that 40% for the EU means 40%.

It is worth recalling that the 40% target agreed to in Paris by the EU, is to be delivered collectively by the EU in the most cost-effective manner possible, with all Member States participating in this effort, balancing considerations of fairness and solidarity.

Our negotiations to date in the Council have resulted in a compromise text before us which protects the ambition agreed in October 2014 by our Heads of State and Government.

It is a balanced proposal which is achievable in the context of our respective situations and resources and recognises the variety of measures we will need to take to achieve our targets.

As I have outlined before, Ireland’s target, combined with the other elements of the compromise presented to us, represents an upper limit of what is likely to be achievable for us between now and 2030. I reiterate that it is essential that the key elements of the Commission’s proposal, in particular on the starting point and on flexibility options, be maintained.

Ireland is intent on investing to drive down our emissions between now and 2030. But we will not be able to do this if, rather than funding productive mitigation investment in Ireland, we are forced to divert scarce resources to purchasing compliance, because of an unsuitable starting point.   In fact, such an approach will retard Ireland’s capacity to decarbonise.