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Agency calls for more effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions

Words: Roger Milne

Ireland will miss international targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 unless “significant efforts” are made in the coming years, warns the country’s Environmental Protection Agency.

Increasing the use of renewable energy such as wind power is among a number of key measures needed to transform Ireland to a low-carbon economy, stresses the agency.

The EPA said Ireland's European Umion target was to reduce emissions from agriculture, transport, the built environment, waste and non-energy-intensive industry by 20 per cent by 2020.

This compares with emissions generated in 2005.

But the latest projection for emissions is expected to be just 14 per cent below 2005 levels.

The only way to meet the target, according to the EPA, is to ”over-achieve” between 2013 and 2017, but this requires “ambitious policies” to be implemented in full, including cutting energy consumption and increasing the share of renewable fuels in transport and heating.

EPA director general Laura Burke said: “Considerable effort will be needed between now and 2020 to implement key policies and measures in order to deliver projected emissions reductions.

“These include improvements in energy efficiency across the industry, commercial and residential sectors and reducing emissions from transport. This will take considerable planning, investment and time.”