New targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction

Minister Gormley has announced new targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction: 2020 emissions are to be 10% below 1990 levels (29% below 2005 levels) , 2030 emissions 40% below 1990, and 2050 emissions 80% below 1990.

EU legislation has that Ireland should cut 2020 emissions by some 20% below 2005. The EU has committed itself to 30% if there is a meaningful global agreement on emission reduction (which is as unlikely as ever). The Environment Council has repeatedly tried to remove the conditionality of the 30%, but has been rebuffed by the European Council. The government now argues that Ireland should unilaterally adopt the 30% (well, 29%) target.

It will be hard enough to meet the EU target, as illustrated here (after Devitt et al., 2010). According to the low growth scenario, Ireland will fall short some 5.5 mln tonnes of CO2 equivalent of the EU target — and 13.5 mln tonnes of the new government target. Today’s permit price is 14 euro/tCO2. Under the EU target, Ireland would need to spend 80 million euro per year on importing permits (the model imposes a carbon tax equal to the permit price, so buying permits is cheaper than increasing domestic emission reduction). Under the new government target, this would by 190 mln euro.

The new government target is less stringent than that proposed by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security.

4 replies on “New targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction”

The EUA price may be c.€14, but the CER price is just below €12. CERs are deliverable in respect of national obligations, though not deliverable by private companies. Use of CERs would bring the national bill down by a bit, provided the price differential between the two remains around these levels (which in fact it has, over the last few years).

Our neighbours across the small pond have launched a major initiative in this area that overturns decades of dogma and practice:

The penny seems to have dropped that if you encourage and incentivise suppliers (and consumers), via the roll-out of full retail competition, to have such short time-horizons relative to those of generators and providers of delivery infrastructure the market will not provide the investment required.

However, rather than confronting this problem head on, HMG has decided to opt for a plethora of government/centrally directed mechanisms such as a carbon price support, feed-in-tariffs with CfDs, an emission peformance standard (to stop dirty fuels sneaking in) and a targeted capacity mechanism (with all sorts of definitional problems and auction-gaming options).

Expect a feast of lobbying, subsidy-chasing and rent-gouging over the next decade. The French nuclear sector is already smacking its lips in anticipation.

I dunno: His Lordship Stern wanted $60/tCO2 or so and the International Energy Agency’s executive director said the carbon price should be $180/tCO2 by 2030.

They mentioned their greenhouse. Something about 6°C or whatever. I vaguely remember a handful of loud people used to drone on about such things.

I think An Garda Síochána should investigate these Oireachtas people whoever they are (is it the Gaelic word for Greenpeace?). They’re clearly subversives campaigning to sabotage the interests of the Republic by promoting such hare-brained nonsense.

Luckily we live in a democracy and the majority of people believe that Man-Made Global Climate Disruption is a scam. Our politicians will, of course, legislate accordingly.

Again, factually incorrect. EU legislation has that Ireland should cut 2020 emissions by some 20% below 2005 on the effort sharing side (ESD Directive) – ag, trans, domestic. We also participate in a Europe wide cap on the ETS sector – primarily energy. The target is a 2.5% per annum annual average from 2008 accross both sectors.

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