Belfast Telegraph

Ireland’s carbon tax should increase to 35 euros per tonne of emissions

Further significant rises will be necessary over the coming decade to tackle climate change linked to carbon dioxide, an advisory panel added.

Ireland’s carbon tax should increase to 35 euros per tonne of emissions next year, an influential official report said (Steve Parsons/PA).
Ireland’s carbon tax should increase to 35 euros per tonne of emissions next year, an influential official report said (Steve Parsons/PA).

Ireland’s carbon tax should increase to 35 euros per tonne of emissions next year, an influential official report said.

Further significant rises will be necessary over the coming decade to tackle climate change linked to carbon dioxide, an advisory panel added.

The levy is widely advocated as an important element in tackling global warming.

Money raised from it should help build a low-carbon economy, the Climate Change Advisory Council added.

Council chair Professor John FitzGerald said: “The impacts of climate change often seem distant from everyday life, but we have experienced several extreme weather events in recent years which have exposed the vulnerabilities of our society and economy.

“Despite these events, awareness of the need for adaptation remains low.

“Adaptation is not only a matter for Government but will require a response by households and the business sector.”

A carbon tax is designed to have users of fossil fuels pay for the climate damage caused by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The Council added: “Robust carbon pricing is essential to support action by individuals and businesses to eliminate their greenhouse gas emissions.

“The revenue raised should be used to ensure a just transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable economy and society, protecting those on low incomes.

“The Council recommends that the carbon tax increase to 35 euros per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent in Budget 2020, increasing to at least 80 euros per tonne by 2030.”

Generation of electricity using peat should also cease next year, the annual review said.

The Government was urged to invest in retrofitting local authority buildings as part of an urgent overhaul of the wider building sector.

In recent years, the expansion of the national dairy herd has been the major contributor to increases in agricultural emissions.

The review said: “Reduction of the suckler herd would make an important and cost-effective contribution to mitigation, could support alternative land uses, such as afforestation, raise farm incomes and reduce exposure of the sector to external market shocks.”

The Council recommended that the Government publish the detailed plan to achieve its commitment to end the burning of coal at Moneypoint by 2025.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, said the Council’s advice has had a substantial influence on the development of the recently published Climate Action Plan.

He added: “While the focus of the recently published Plan has been on the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the Advisory Council’s report is a timely reminder that we must also ensure that appropriate consideration is given to embedding robust adaptation measures across the system.

“This feedback will be taken into account as we develop our 2020 Plan.”

PA

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