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Ireland Faces €3,000 Carbon Tax Disaster

The Irish Times & The Irish Independent

Households face annual carbon tax bills of at least €3,000 unless the Government introduces a raft of measures to reduce emissions and tackle climate change.

The stark tax bill figure – which could rise to as much as €4,559 – comes just a week after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pledged to cut taxes worth €3,000 to the average worker if Fine Gael is re-elected to Government.

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has outlined how the carbon tax will have to increase from €20 per tonne today to between €300 by 2024 and €470 by 2030 if Ireland is to meet its legally binding reduction targets and avoid massive fines.

If imposed, the changes will result in hefty increases in home heating bills and motoring costs.

The average emissions per household from energy use stands at 9.7 million tonnes. When the tax is levied at €20 per tonne, the total paid by households is €194. However, if this tax rate is increased to €300, it will total €2,910 – and if it is hiked to €470, the total comes to €4,559. […]

Irish carbon emissions are among the highest in the EU. Most energy use in an average Irish home is for heating, followed by water heating, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) recently found. 

The ESRI suggests that unless a raft of ambitious policies including retrofitted properties, electrifying the transport fleet, achieving mass-scale energy efficiencies and phasing out of fossil fuel use takes place, the hikes will be needed for Ireland to avoid being hit with fines.

Ireland is required to reduce carbon emissions by 20pc over 2005 levels by 2020 to comply with EU rules. It is not expected to reach this target, and the European Commission will likely impose fines or force the State to buy permits to compensate at cost of millions of euro.

More onerous targets are in place for 2030, with a 30pc drop required…..

“We look at what tax would we need to reach the target,” ESRI research officer Kelly de Bruin said.

The analysis suggested that if agriculture reduced emissions at the same rate as the rest of the economy, the carbon tax will have to increase from €20 at present to just under €50 by 2020 and €300 by 2030. This would result in the average household paying €2,910 a year in carbon taxes in 2030, up from less than €200 at present.

If agriculture did not play a role, the tax would need to increase to around €150 by 2020 and €470 by 2030 if the State is to hit its targets. This would increase bills to almost €4,600.

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Green Inhumanity: One In Four Households Living In Energy Poverty In Ireland

Catholic Ireland, 11 July 2018

Almost one third of Irish people living in consistent poverty could not keep their house adequately warm last year, a Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) has revealed.

The survey highlights that 48 per cent of people living in consistent poverty went without heating at some stage in the last 12 months due to cost, and 29 per cent could not afford to keep their house adequately warm.

Both the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) and Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin highlighted the issue this week ahead of planned energy price increases.

“This is a very real issue. The huge poverty in Ireland is energy poverty,” Bishop Nulty told the Sunday Independent. “I know of people who are already trying to pay back huge energy bills after the ‘Beast from the East’ hit and now, with further hikes on top of that, many simply won’t be able to cope.”

Bishop Nulty called on the government to look at the price increases and think about how the poor in society can be supported.

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Irish Taxpayers To Be Hit With €100m Bill For Failure To Act On Climate Change

The Irish Independent, 22 November 2018

The State faces paying a €100m bill in just over two years’ time for failing to meet legally binding climate change targets.

Failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a 2020 deadline is expected to incur a bill ranging from €6m to €13m, while a shortfall in achieving renewable energy targets could cost up to €90m.

Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton last night said the Cabinet had approved plans to buy allowances and credits from countries which would achieve their 2020 targets – but this will come at a cost.

The final bill would depend on progress over the next two years, and taking into account emission reductions achieved during the recession.

“During the recession, when output in the economy collapsed, Ireland was meeting its climate change targets,” he said.

“However, it is clear that we were only meeting our climate targets in those years because of the huge fall in output.

“Once economic growth resumed, the growth in carbon resumed with it, highlighting the very significant structural issues which still exist within the economy in terms of reliance on carbon.”

Ireland had agreed to reduce emissions by 20pc below 2005 levels by 2020, but is likely to be just 1pc below. This means it has produced around 17 million tonnes more carbon than allowed.

To comply, it will have to buy greenhouse gas emission allowances from countries which have achieved their targets at a cost of up to €13m.

Analysis published by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland suggests we will achieve between 12.7pc and 13.9pc of our 16pc renewable energy target by 2020 which in a “worst case” scenario will involved the purchase of renewable credits at a cost of some €90m or more.

The State also risks being hit with fines by the European Commission.

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Ireland’s CO2 Emissions Could Be ‘95% Off Target’, Says Minister

The Irish Times, 22 November 2018

Minister for Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton has revealed likely “compliance costs” facing Ireland for falling short of its 2020 targets for reducing carbon emissions – which could be as much as 95 per cent off target.

As a result, Ireland has to recommence the purchase of greenhouse gas emissions allowances and renewable energy credits.

Latest estimates suggest the cost will be up to €13 million over the next two years, but in the case of missed renewable energy targets it could be “€90 million or significantly more”. Much higher penalties are likely after 2020.

Mr Bruton said: “Ireland had agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent below 2005 levels. While Ireland has jointly the most demanding targets (the EU average is 10 per cent), Ireland is far off course. Current projections suggest we might achieve a 1 per cent reduction, meaning we would be 95 per cent off target.”

During the recession, when output in the economy collapsed, Ireland was meeting its climate targets, he said. However, “once economic growth resumed, growth in carbon resumed, highlighting the very significant structural issues which still exist within the economy in terms of reliance on carbon”.

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