The latest projections (March 2022) indicate that Ireland can achieve overall Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) compliance over the period 2021 to 2030 assuming full implementation of the 2021 Climate Action Plan and the use of the flexibilities available. In terms of the 2030 targets, the ESR provides two flexibilities (use of ETS allowances and credit from action undertaken in the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector) to allow for a fair and cost-efficient achievement of the targets. The latest LULUCF data are substantially revised compared to previous year's projections and this impacts the projected flexibility available to be used, but has not affected compliance. The Projected Non ETS emissions and targets (AR5 GWP) with and without flexibilities under the ESR 2021-2030 graph below shows Ireland's ESR emissions and targets.
The ESR targets are defined under the IPCC's 5th Assessment Report (AR5) Global warming potentials (GWP), therefore, the graph below shows the latest Projected WEM and WAM Non ETS emissions using AR5 GWPs. Projections indicate that Ireland can achieve overall ESR compliance over the period 2021 to 2030 assuming full implementation of the Climate Action Plan 2021 and the use of the flexibilities available. In terms of the 2030 targets, the ESR provides two flexibilities (use of ETS allowances and credit from action undertaken in the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector) to allow for a fair and cost-efficient achievement of the targets.
In order to achieve Ireland's commitment to realising a climate neutral economy by 2050 the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 provides for the establishment of carbon budgets as interim milestones on this trajectory. The 51% target is the primary constraint on carbon budgets over the course of the first two budget periods ending on 31 December 2030, relative to 2018 emissions.
Ireland’s Climate Act ambition of a 51% emissions reduction by 2030, including LULUCF (compared to 2018) is not projected to be achieved. ‘Existing’ policies and measures can deliver a 9.3% reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 compared to the 2018 level, with ‘Additional’ policies and measures, including from the 2021 Climate Action Plan, projected to deliver up to 28 per cent (3 per cent per annum) emissions reduction over the same period.
The gap between the ‘Existing Measures’ and higher ambition scenarios in these projections highlights that the current pace of implementation will not achieve the change required to meet the Climate Act targets. Faster implementation of ‘Additional Measures’ is needed to close this gap.