Ireland faces fines for failing to meet obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.
The first penalty period of the treaty covering 2008 to 2012 took effect at midnight.
The environmental lobby group Grian has warned that the government will have to spend over a million euro per year to comply with the treaty.
Grian spokesperson Pat Finnegan has said that the failure to harness our natural resources is going to cost a fortune.
'We will have to buy in imported credits to cover the excess CO2 emissions which are so high in the first place even though they do not need to be' he said.