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HomeFarming NewsCarbon budgets: Have your say as public consultation launched  
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
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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Carbon budgets: Have your say as public consultation launched  

Today (Wednesday, December 22nd), Minister Eamon Ryan launched a public consultation on proposed carbon budgets.

The Climate Change Advisory Council published Ireland’s first carbon budget programme on Monday, October 25th, 2021.

This is the first time Ireland will set limits on greenhouse gas emissions for set periods.

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

The council’s carbon budgets set out a path to slash Ireland’s GHG emissions by 51% by 2030 across all sectors.

The carbon budgets are part of a roadmap of actions set out in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021.

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The act, which was signed into law in July of this year, commits Ireland to reach a legally-binding target of net-zero emissions no later than 2050 and a cut of 51% by 2030 (compared to 2018 levels).

Carbon budgets public consultation 

The CCAC has proposed a programme of three successive 5-year carbon budgets to the minister to achieve these targets.

The proposed budgets specify a cap on the total amount of greenhouse gases that may be emitted in the state during each 5 years.

The emissions caps are measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent and include all greenhouse gases.

The first carbon budget programme comprises carbon budgets for the following periods:

  • 2021-2025;
  • 2026-2030;
  • 2031-2035.

The average annual reduction proposed:

  • over the first five years is 4.8%;
  • A 8.3% average for the second period;
  • 3.5% for the final period between 2031 and 2035.

In considering the proposed budgets, the minister must consult with other relevant ministers and the public.

Following consultation, the minister may amend the proposed carbon budget before presenting the budgets to the government.

Sectoral emissions celling

In consultation with other relevant ministers, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications will develop a sectoral emissions ceiling for each relevant sector within each 5-year budget once the overall carbon budget is adopted.

A sectoral emissions ceiling is the maximum amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are permitted in a sector of the economy during each 5-year carbon budget.

Minister Ryan said the first carbon budgets are a “key” milestone in our “collective, national effort” to combat climate change.

“This consultation provides an opportunity for the public and all stakeholders to input into this vitally important process,” he concluded.

Voice your opinion

The minister is now seeking input from the public on the proposed carbon budget programme to inform his recommendation on carbon budgets for government approval.

The consultation invites the public and interested parties to provide observations and comments on the CCAC’s carbon budget letter to Minister Ryan and/or the associated CCAC Carbon Budget Technical Report published on October 25th, 2021.

The consultation will be open until the close of business on February 8th, 2022.

You can view/download both documents via this website

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