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Irish Climate Targets ‘Extremely’ Challenging After Modest 2022 Fall, Watchdog Says

DUBLIN, July 14 (Reuters) – Ireland faces an extremely difficult challenge in meeting legally binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions after they fell by just 1.9% year-on-year in 2022, the country’s environmental watchdog said on Friday.

The government last year set out reduction targets for key parts of the economy it said were needed to reduce emissions by 51% by 2030, handing each sector a “carbon budget” initially out to 2025 that they must stick to.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the modest reduction last year meant that Ireland will need to reduce its emissions by 12.4% each year between now and 2025 to stay within budget.

Provisional figures showed that 47% of the carbon budget for the five-year period to 2025 was used up in 2021 and 2022.

The data for 2022 showed that emissions decreases in energy industries (-1.8%), agriculture (-1.2%) and residential buildings (-12.7%) outweighed a 6% increase in transport, where emissions are close to returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Agriculture remains by far the largest contributor to overall emissions at 38% of the total. The decrease in the sector was driven by a 14% fall in fertiliser nitrogen use and was partially offset by an increase in livestock numbers.

“The overall emissions reduction, while welcome, falls short of the reductions required to achieve national and new EU targets,” the EPA said.

“To stay within our budget, we’re facing extremely challenging annual reductions.”

Source : Reuters