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Climate Change

Work of Unit | Role of Unit | Contact the Competitiveness and Climate Change Unit

National Climate Change Strategy

To ensure Ireland meets its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, the Government launched Ireland’s first National Climate Change Strategy in October 2000. The Enterprise Sector, in common with other sectors, must achieve reductions in the amount of greenhouse gases emitted. A range of measures was proposed, including negotiated agreements with certain industry sectors, participation in EU and international Emissions Trading, taxation, participation in the Kyoto Project Mechanisms i.e. Joint Implementation (JI) and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and participation in the negotiations on Fluorinated gases.

Ireland’s second National Climate Change Strategy 2007-2012 was published in April 2007. Its purpose is to build on Ireland’s first National Climate Change Strategy to show clearly the measures by which Ireland will meet its 2008-2012 Kyoto Protocol commitment, to show how those measures position Ireland for the post 2012 period and to identify the areas in which further measures are being researched and developed to enable Ireland to meet its eventual 2020 commitment.

The Competitiveness and Climate Change Unit is actively involved in pursuing the establishment of specific measures to ensure that the enterprise sector can meet its obligations to reduce greenhouse gases at least cost.

Emissions Trading in Ireland

The Government has given the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) responsibility for implementing the Emissions Trading Directive in Ireland.

The EPA, as well as having responsibility to set up systems to monitor emissions and to track trades and holdings of greenhouse gas emission allowances, is responsible for preparation of the National Allocation Plan (NAP), which sets out the allocation of allowances to the participating companies in the various stages of the Emissions Trading Scheme.

• Phase 1, from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2007, was a three-year pilot phase of 'learning by doing' in preparation for phase 2.

• Phase 2, running from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2012, coincides with the 'first commitment period' of the Kyoto Protocol – the five-year period during which the EU and its Member States must comply with their emission targets under the Protocol.

• Phase 3, will run for eight years, from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2020. This longer trading period will contribute to the greater predictability necessary for encouraging long-term investment in emission reductions. The EU ETS will be substantially strengthened and extended from 2013, enabling it to play a central role in the achievement of the EU's climate and energy targets for 2020.

Further information on the operation of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in Ireland can be accessed via the EPA's Emissions Trading webpages.

A link to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme on the EU Commission’s website is available here

Kyoto Protocol Project Mechanisms: Joint Implementation (JI) & the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

Along with emissions trading the Kyoto Protocol envisaged two project-based "flexible mechanisms", Joint Implementation (JI) and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). These mechanisms allow countries with Kyoto targets to gain credits for emission-curbing profits implemented abroad. Joint Implementation refers to projects in countries that also have binding Kyoto targets and CDM refers to projects in developing countries. The rationale behind these mechanisms, and emissions trading, is that greenhouse gas emissions are a global problem and the place where reductions are made is less important.

Further information can be accessed via the EPA’s Kyoto Protocol Project Mechanism webpages.

Action on Climate Change post 2012

The Unit is involved in the Negotiations on post-Kyoto arrangements for tackling climate change which have commenced at international and European level.

More information on the EU's climate change policy can be found on the EU Commission's Climate Change webpages.

Some Useful Links

Last modified: 28/06/2013

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Contact the Competitiveness and Climate Change Unit

Fax: 01 6312801

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23 Kildare St., Dublin 2.

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