Enterprise and the business community will play a pivotal role in our ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and meet our 2030 and 2050 targets. It shapes the way materials are managed, from raw states to final consumption and disposal. It manages large transport flows. It builds and uses a large share of our buildings and it influences a vast supply chain.
Emissions from enterprise (those associated with the production process) were 13.4% of Ireland’s total emissions, which is less than the EU average of 20%. Of this, 68% falls within the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) which works on the 'cap and trade' principle.
A cap is set on the total amount of certain greenhouse gases that can be emitted by installations covered by the system. The cap is reduced over time so that total emissions fall. Within the cap, companies receive or buy emission allowances which they can trade with one another as needed. They can also buy limited amounts of international credits from emission-saving projects around the world. The limit on the total number of allowances available ensures that they have a value.
After each year a company must surrender enough allowances to cover all its emissions, otherwise heavy fines are imposed. If a company reduces its emissions, it can keep the spare allowances to cover its future needs or else sell them to another company that is short of allowances. The EU ETS covers around 45% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. Further information on the EU ETS is available from the EU Commission .
Transition to a low carbon economy will require the transformation of specific sectors, workplaces, enterprises and labour markets. The move to a low-carbon economy will radically change important sectors of our economy, but it will also present new opportunities to those firms on the cutting edge of this transition.
The Climate Action Plan emphasises the importance of activating enterprises in spearheading the transition to a low carbon economy and the improvement of the supports available to firms planning to introduce lower carbon technology into their processes.
This sector is being tasked with reducing GHG emissions by 10%-15% by 2030. The Climate Action Plan identifies that the largest reductions in GHG emissions can be realised in the Cement and Food & Beverage sectors.
Enterprises will also contribute to the more ambitious targets for buildings (40-45% reduction by 2030) and transport (45-50% reduction by 2030) through actions such as improvements to building energy performance and replacement of fleets with electric vehicles, over time.
Actions under the Climate Action Plan include:
The first progress report highlighted actions delivered in Q2 and Q3 2019. In addition, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and its agencies such as Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland , have been laying the groundwork for delivery of subsequent actions for this sector.
Actions delivered in Q2 and Q3 2019 include:
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