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Eamon Ryan says impact on emissions from Covid lockdown was ‘relatively minor.’ 

Minister Eamon Ryan has said that the decrease in Ireland’s 2020 greenhouse gas emissions was ‘relatively minor,’ demonstrating the scale of the challenge that lies ahead for Ireland.  

The Green Party Minister was speaking following the publication of a statement from the Environmental Protection Agency which has found that the states emissions in 2020 have decreased by 3.6% compared with 2019 levels.

Ryan, who is Minister, for the Environment, Climate and Communications went on to say that while the events of 2020 “disrupted the economies and societies of billions of people globally,” the drop in total emissions can only be seen as “a step in the right direction” because Ireland still exceeded its emissions budget for 2020.

He went on to state that despite the 3.6% drop, Ireland is still unlikely to meet overall EU 2020 targets:

“Further transformative measures will be needed to meet our national climate ambitions. In recognition of these challenges the Government has stepped up its ambition,” he said.

According to the statement issued by the Minister, government is obliged to reach a legally-binding target of net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, and a cut of 51% by 2030 (compared to 2018 levels).

The statement went on to note that The Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC), which is an independent body, will shortly propose carbon budgets, and this will legally obligate all sectors of the economy to set out the practical measures that will be needed in order to meet Ireland’s climate targets.

Minister Ryan concluded: “This will be challenging and will require fundamental changes in many parts of Irish life, but it is also an opportunity to create a cleaner, greener economy and society. In making these changes, we will improve the health, welfare and security of all our people, as well as our environment.”

Recent polling has shown that the public is firmly opposed to many of the Climate measures being pushed by the Greens and backed by the political parties.

82% opposed higher taxes on fuel and energy, while 72% opposed making it more expensive to buy petrol and diesel cars.

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