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Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change
23
presence of warmer latitude
flora and fauna in Ireland and its
surrounding waters (EPA, CCRP,
2009; Marine Institute, 2009).
Projected impacts of climate change
in Ireland include:
n
increasing average temperatures
n
more extreme weather conditions
including rainfall events
n
an increased likelihood of river
and coastal flooding
n
water shortages, particularly in
the east of the country
n
changes in the types and
distribution of species
n
the possible extinction of
vulnerable species.
Drivers and Pressures
Ireland’s GHG emissions and
the Kyoto Protocol
Ireland’s GHG emissions profile
between 1990 and 2010 is shown
in Figure 2.2. Emissions rose
rapidly between 1990 and 2000,
remained relatively stable up to 2008
and then show a sharp decline,
due largely to the effects of the
economic downturn (EPA, 2012a).
Ireland’s Kyoto Protocol limit which
is equivalent to 62.8 Mt of CO
2
equivalents (CO
2
eq) per annum
in the period 2008–2012, is also
shown in this figure. For compliance
purposes the Kyoto Protocol limit is
calculated as the total greenhouse
gas emissions over the period
2008–2012. Ireland is on track to
meet its Kyoto commitment either
taking unused allowances from the
EU Emissions Trading Scheme new
entrants reserve into account,
or by using credits already purchased
by the State.
Figure 2.3 shows that while Ireland’s
per capita aggregate GHG emissions
are the second highest in the EU,
its CO
2
emissions per capita are the
10th highest. This reflects the fact
that non-CO
2
GHGs, mainly methane
and nitrous oxide from agriculture,
make up a significant proportion of
total emissions in Ireland.
Figure 2.2
Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Distance to Ireland’s Kyoto Limit (Source: EPA)
40
45
50
55
60
65
70
75
80
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
Million tonnes CO
2
equivalent
Total National Emissions
Baseline (55.608 Mt)
Kyoto Limit (as 5 year average 2008-2012)
62.837
61.314
Figure 2.3
Total GHG Emissions and CO
2
Emissions as Tonnes CO
2
per Person by Country in 2009 (Source: EEA, 2012)
0
5
10
15
20
25
United
Kingdom
Italy
France
Spain
Slovakia
Bulgaria
Portugal
Liechtenstein
Malta
Switzerland
Hungary
Sweden
Lithuania
Romania
Turkey
Latvia
Luxembourg
Iceland
Ireland
Czech Republic
Estonia
Finland
Netherlands
Cyprus
Belgium
Germany
Denmark
Greece
Norway
Poland
Austria
Slovenia
Carbon dioxide equivalent (tonnes)
CO
2
All GHGs
EPA