Domestic Offsetting Scoping Study for Ireland

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Resource or Project Abstract

In this increasingly climate-conscious world, Ireland is subject to a number of different greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions objectives. Under the Kyoto Protocol, Ireland is required to limit emissions growth to no more than 13% relative to 1990 emissions. Under the EU Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) it is required to reduce its emissions from sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) (e.g. agriculture, the built environment, transport and waste) by -20% by 2020. However, no specific mechanism is provided to facilitate emissions reductions in these sectors, and Member States are expected to instigate their own initiatives to realise reductions. Currently, Irish GHG emissions significantly exceed their Kyoto target. For 2008 and 2009 combined emissions were reported as 6210 kt CO2eq (carbon dioxide equivalent) higher than target levels.1 In the European context it is notable that Irish per capita GHG emissions remain among the highest. Agriculture is the largest source of emissions, representing 29.1% of total national emissions in 2009, and approximately 40% of non- ETS emissions in 2020. Currently, Ireland?s emissions are projected to be approximately 7.6 Mt CO2eq higher in 2020 than the ESD target for that year.2 This means that Ireland will be required to purchase Kyoto-type units from the international market in order to ensure compliance in 2020. One possible approach to stimulate reductions in the non-ETS sectors is to implement a domestic offset (DO) scheme, driven either by legislation or voluntary commitments. A DO represents an emissions reduction that has taken place outside the boundaries of the entity that pays for the reduction. A DO scheme might be set up in order to provide finance for emissions reductions in a particular project host sector, or to allow for obligated parties to meet their targets through investing in sectors where emissions reductions may be cheaper to realise than on their own. Similar mechanisms are used at the international level for countries and companies with Kyoto obligations. Using these offset mechanisms, obligated parties can pay for emissions reductions to take place in locations where they will incur less cost than abating internally. These mechanisms are known as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI).

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Siobhan O'Keeffe
Ecofys UK
Environmental Consultant
1 Alie St, London, E1 8DE, London, England
Telephone: +44 (0) 207 4230993
e-mail: S.OKeeffe@ecofys.com

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Offline Print Quality Version    CCRP_6_OKeeffe_Offsetting_prn.pdf  (1.64 Mb)
Project Report Optimised For Online Viewing    CCRP_6_OKeeffe_Offsetting_web.pdf  (1.09 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)O'Keeffe, S.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationDomestic Offsetting Scoping Study for Ireland
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=1edcb365-4161-102f-8c70-b53a025bc1b8
Unique Identifier1edcb365-4161-102f-8c70-b53a025bc1b8
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2017-10-22

An example of this citation in proper usage:

O'Keeffe, S.   "Domestic Offsetting Scoping Study for Ireland". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=1edcb365-4161-102f-8c70-b53a025bc1b8 (Last Accessed: 2017-10-22)

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=235
Resource KeywordsDomestic offsetting kyoto ireland climate
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project CodeCCRP_6
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeClimate Change
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Public-Open
Limitations on the use of this ResourceAny attached datasets, data files, or information objects can be downloaded for further use in scientific applications under the condition that the source is properly quoted and cited in published papers, journals, websites, presentations, books, etc. Before downloading, users must agree to the "Conditions of Download and Access" from SAFER-Data. These appear before download. Users of the data should also communicate with the original authors/owners of this resource if they are uncertain about any aspect of the data or information provided before further usage.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 2
Project Start Date Friday 1st January 2010 (01-01-2010)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Friday 1st January 2010 (01-01-2010)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Thursday 1st September 2011 (01-09-2011)
Published on SAFERThursday 6th October 2011 (06-10-2011)
Date of Last EditThursday 6th October 2011 at 12:47:08 (06-10-2011)
Datasets or Files Updated On Thursday 6th October 2011 at 12:47:08 (06-10-2011)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
This scoping study was a desk-based study for Ireland. It did not specially look at locations or regions within the Island of Ireland.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
Ireland must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Kyoto Protocol Ireland's, emissions in 2012 are limited to no more than 13% increase relative to a 1990 baseline. This Kyoto target will be met by a combination of emissions reductions and carbon sinks in Ireland, supplemented, as necessary, by the purchase of carbon credits. Further legally binding reductions, to be achieved in steps by 2020, are now required under the EU Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) for emissions from sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, that is the non-ETS sectors (e.g. agriculture, space heating, transport and waste). Emissions from these sectors must be reduced each year, starting in 2013 until a total reduction of 20% by 2020 is achieved. the EPA decided to commission a Scoping Study to identify what potential, if any, domestic offsetting might have for this country and the options for possible implementation in Ireland, with a particular focus on the non-ETS sectors. The study, which included a public consultation and analysis of submissions, has attempted to: ? Identify potential options for implementation of domestic offsetting in Ireland; ? Detail the barriers likely to inhibit progress, and how they might be overcome; and ? Carry out a high-level assessment of the environmental and economic costs and benefits of the different options.
Supplementary Information
In conclusion, a carefully-designed Irish DO scheme could facilitate the uptake of best practice and the creation of new employment/export opportunities, and could also assist Ireland in the In summary, an Irish DO scheme has the potential to make a highly positive contribution to Ireland?s national and international climate-policy objectives, provide impetus for the development of an innovative cleantechnology sector with highly exportable intellectual property, and support the implementation of best practice measures across the range of non-ETS sectors. However, the design of the DO scheme would require careful consideration of the interaction with other objectives in other policy areas and the potential for future European-wide DO initiatives, although the benefit of early action should not be ignored. The complexity of the final scheme design, and the wide distribution and scale of potential transaction costs could prove onerous if not sufficiently prepared for.
Links To Other Related Resources
  http://www.epa.ie/downloads/pubs/air/airemissions/name,30829,en.html (Opens in a new window)
  http://www.epa.ie/downloads/pubs/air/airemissions/EPA_GHG_Emission_Projections_2010.pdf (Opens in a new window)

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