Emissions plan 'best forgotten'

Thu, Dec 20, 2007, 00:00

Climate:The Republic's estimated economic growth will be reduced by up to 20 per cent a year as a result of the Government's planned reductions in carbon emissions, according to a special article in the ESRI's latest quarterly commentary.

The Government's climate change policy, which demands CO2 emission reductions of 3 per cent a year to 2012, would require "draconian measures" across all sectors of the economy, and should be abandoned, says ESRI senior researcher Richard Tol.

He recommends that carbon taxes be introduced, but only on emissions from sectors not already covered by the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme - the power generation, iron and steel, glass and cement industries.

H e argues that a fixed emissions target would be "best forgotten".

The 3 per cent annual reduction "can only be achieved by drastic measures on the demand side, such as a rapid reduction in the number of cattle or people".The economy is projected to grow by 2.9 per cent, but if the limits on industry imposed by the climate policy were implemented, this would reduce growth to 2.5 to 2.6 per cent