Ireland is on track to miss its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction target by 12.2mt co2 equivalent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The country will need to use credits or buy surplus annual emission allocations from other EU member states to become compliant.
Ireland can still meets its current EU 2021-2030 target by fully implementing the measures in the 2019 Climate Action Plan.
However, the higher targets set by the European Climate Law and Ireland's Climate Bill will require what EPA director Laura Burke described as “a significant and immediate increase in the scale and pace of greenhouse gas emission reductions”.
She said the minimum requirement to meet the current 2030 targets is a cut of 2% in greenhouse gas emissions per year.
This would require full implementation of the current sectoral policies and plans, which include:
A reduction of at least 16.5Mt co2 equivalent between 2021 and 2030, by accelerated uptake of measures such as low emission slurry spreading and switching to stabilised urea fertilisers for crops and pasture.
Almost 1m electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030, including 840,000 passenger EVs and 95,000 electric vans and trucks, to achieve a projected additional emission saving from the sector of 13.2mt CO2 equivalent over the period 2021 to 2030.
Renewable energy providing 70% of Irish electricity is projected to lead to a 25% reduction in the sector's emissions by 2030, requiring both on- and off-shore wind energy projects.
The installation of 600,000 heat pumps and the retrofitting of 500,000 homes for improved energy efficiency by 2030 is projected to reduce the energy used for space and water heating in homes by 44% by 2030.