As an EU member, Ireland must aim to keep within demanding limits for future greenhouse gas emissions. This system of national ceilings has been criticised by economists since it first emerged in the 1990s – they argue that the planet has just one atmosphere and that some form of universal carbon charging would be more efficient. Best to focus on demand rather than production, since costs of carbon reduction vary across countries.

Production of carbon-intensive products and services should find the best location, avoiding the arbitrary imposition of country-by-country ceilings with the risk of carbon displacement.