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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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CCAC’s carbon budgets aim to reduce emissions by 51%

The Climate Change Advisory Council has proposed Ireland’s first carbon budget programme.

It submitted proposed carbon budgets consistent with a 51% reduction in greenhouse gases in 2030 relative to 2018 yesterday (Monday, October 25th).

Carbon budgets prescribe the maximum amount of greenhouse gases that may be emitted over a specific period of time in the state.

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, will propose carbon budgets to the government and the Oireachtas.

Once the Oireachtas adopt them, the minister will use each carbon budget to prepare sectoral emissions ceilings for relevant sectors of the economy.

The programme is broken down into three five-year carbon budgets.

The first two carbon budgets in the programme provide for the 51% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the state by 2030 relative to 2018 as set out in the Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development (Amendment) Act.

Carbon budget 

The following table sets out the proposed carbon budget programme:

  2021 – 2025


2026 – 2030


2031 – 2015 (provisional)


  All Gases
Carbon Budget (MtCO2 eq.) 295 200 151
Annual Average Percentage Change in Emissions -4.8% -8.3% -3.5%
The above figures are consistent with emissions in 2018 of 68.3Mt CO2eq reducing to 33.5Mt CO2eq in 2030 thus allowing compliance with the 51% emission reduction target.


Make decisions and investments 

In a statement, a spokesperson for the council said: “The first carbon budget has built in the implications of the time-lag between making decisions and investments on the one hand, and on the other hand, seeing the emissions reductions come into effect.”

“It should also be recalled that the first year of the first carbon budget period is almost over.”

“Therefore, the council does not believe that a 7% per annum reduction in the first carbon budget period is appropriate.”

However, the council stresses that the carbon budget programme for the decade requires immediate action and investment in the first period to deliver the accelerated reductions in the second carbon budget period required to meet the 2030 target of a 51% reduction relative to 2018.

Act on climate change 

Commenting on the programme, Marie Donnelly, chair of the council said:

“The proposed carbon budgets will have an impact on society and the economy but allow us to act on climate change in a planned and organised way.”

She said the budget is based on the “best available” science and defines an “appropriate” and “necessary” path to addressing the climate challenge.

Many of the changes required now will only have a real impact on emissions in the second period.”

“Now is the time to put policies and supports in place that will help those people, communities and businesses that will be impacted by the significant changes we need to make to how we live, work and travel.”

“The carbon budgets provide a framework, but what is urgently required is transformative change which is led by all of the government on a sustained basis, supported by all sectors of the economy and all members of society. This will require significant investment across the economy.”

More to follow…

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