Cuts in emissions and fine particulate matter from transport in Ireland will have to be larger than expected as the Irish government has moved to protect farming at EU-level negotiations. The deeper cuts will also apply to industrial and residential sources.
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that the government secured a lowered ammonia-reduction target of just 5%, down from the original target cut of 10% by 2030. The newspaper said that in return the government agreed to steeper cuts in sulphur dioxide (SO2) and fine particulate matter, and said this was a “neutral” swap.
The change was reported to have been secured at a meeting of ministers of EU member states last week in advance of negotiations with MEPs. The government were looking to treat farming as a “special case” since before the recent United Nations conference on climate change in Paris.
The Times said that because of agricultural expansion, “Ireland is already on track to fall far short of its 2020 EU climate target, risking prosecution and financial penalties.”