EU energy update a key landmark towards 2020 climate targets
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, said today’s State of the Energy Union update by European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefcovic is an important landmark in assessing the progress of Member States in meeting key 2020 energy and climate targets.
The update, published today in Brussels, maps out the EU’s plan to reduce emissions, increase renewable technologies and drive down energy demand. It also sets out how the Commission plans to measure and monitor efforts to meet 2030 targets.
Its policy conclusions for Ireland highlight the need to use the flexibilities allowed under the Effort Sharing Decision to meet 2020 greenhouse gas emissions targets. These flexibilities include purchasing compliance from other countries that over achieve their targets. They also highlight the low energy intensity of Ireland compared to other Member States. The nature of the Irish economy and the relatively unusual structure of Irish emissions, with just over 50% stemming from agriculture and transport, reinforce the scale of our challenge relative to more industrialised EU neighbours with greater mitigation potential.
Commenting on this phase of the Energy Union, Managing Director of Food Services, Aramark and Chair of Energy Policy Committee Frank Gleeson said: “We’re still at the very early stages of the Energy Union and decisions have yet to be reached on many aspects of how it will function. Ibec will continue to highlight some of the potential pressure points for Irish industry. In particular, electricity market design should remain a matter of national policy so as to take account of the niche characteristics of a relatively isolated system. The low mitigation potential of transport emissions will make national climate targets one of the most challenging elements of the Energy Union for Ireland. Ireland received a disproportionately high target for 2020, we cannot afford a repeat when national climate targets are being decided for 2030. The policy conclusions show just how important the flexibilities will be for Ireland in meeting these targets.”