Ireland's failure to meet its Kyoto Agreement target on carbon emissions is being seen as an economic opportunity.
From midnight, the Kyoto Protocol's penalty period took effect and will remain in force for the next four years.
The Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan says Ireland could become a global front runner in its response to the penalty period.
Mr Ryan says Ireland can be part of the solution, creating economic opportunities to deal with this new phase of the Kyoto Agreement.
It's expected to cost Ireland half a billion euros.