The Climate Change Challenge: Strategic Issues, Options and Implications for Ireland
29 September 2008
This report brings together the latest cutting-edge research on the science and economics of climate change within the context of groundbreaking EU and international policy developments. It argues that Ireland faces an enormous strategic challenge in responding to climate change, not least because on current the country will face an enormous potential “distance to [emissions] target” by 2020. This position is untenable.
The publication argues that the magnitude of the challenge is unprecedented in recent Irish history and only through a radical reappraisal of how we organise and sustain economic activity can it be met.
Three long-term strategic options from which the Irish Government can choose in responding to this daunting challenge are proposed and the various components of these options are evaluated. The options are:
Business as Usual: the key aspects of this strategy are minimum compliance with binding targets and buying compliance on the international and European carbon markets to the greatest extent permissible.
Proactive Compliance: the key aspect of this strategy is the adoption of a moderate long-term national emissions reduction target (60 to 70 per cent by 2050) along with a corresponding comprehensive package of domestic measures, beginning with the immediate introduction of a carbon levy.
Carbon Neutrality: would involve Ireland joining the leading “clean, green and rich” countries. It would require the adoption of a challenging long-term emissions target for 2050 of an 80 per cent reduction on 1990 levels and raising the bar on all corresponding intermediate targets and measures, as well as the consideration of several radical additional measures.
Part I, The Policy Context, contains a detailed evaluation of the current international, EU and national policy environment for climate change. Part II, Working Groups’ Analysis, contains four submissions by our working groups. An appendix contains four substantiating expert contributions on the science and economics of climate change.
Edited by Peter Brennan and Joseph Curtin, this report is a result of a consultation hosted in the Institute throughout 2007 to which over sixty experts and stakeholders contributed.1
According to Dr Pachauri, Nobel Peace Prize winner 2007, “this unique publication is a ‘road map’ in what Ireland can do to emerge as a leader in the fight against climate change”.
Price: € 35 (Hard copy)