The Irish government has pledged to curb the GHG emissions by setting caps along multiple sectors to reduce the overall emissions by 51% compared to the 2018 levels heading towards the end of this decade. The government has agreed to put Sectoral Emissions Ceilings along sectors like electricity, buildings, transport, agriculture etc. ensuring that the country plays a pivotal role in dealing with climate change.
This step will ensure that the country attains its net zero targets well in time by 2050 considering the precision of ceilings the government has set. The ceilings for these sectors range from 17.5 MtCO2eq to as low as 1 MtCO2eq. For the electricity domain, the ceiling is set to 3 MtCO2eq reflecting a reduction by 75% from 2018 emissions. Similarly transportation, real estate and agriculture sectors ceilings are set to 6, 4 and 17.25 MtCO2eq respectively.
Additionally, this agreement aims to provide additional resources for solar, projecting a production of 5,500 MW, similarly for off-shore wind, the plan estimates the targets to move from 5,000 MW to 7,000 MW, moreover, for green hydrogen, an additional 2,000 MW and for agroforestry the targets are predicted up to 5.7 TWh of biomethane in order to further accelerate the reduction of overall emissions.
Briefing about the decision, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, said:
"The targets that have been set today are going to be challenging for all sectors but they are also fair, appropriate and, importantly, based on what is achievable. We have also agreed additional resources and commitments to scale up and speed up our progress on solar, off-shore wind, anaerobic digestion for nature, and agroforestry. I have every faith that we will, together, reduce our overall economy-wide carbon emissions, year by year. This is not just the right thing to do for our environment and our planet; this is also the smart thing to do for our economy, and to protect ourselves against the high cost of fossil fuels.”
The dynamics in the agriculture sector will be quite vital as farmers will have a huge part to play considering the sector ceilings. The government has also promised that there would be financial incentives in return for their efforts with additional financial assistance in the upcoming budget of 2023.