Domestic Offsetting - Scoping Study for Ireland

Published: 01/04/2011

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 it is required to reduce its emissions from sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (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.

Against this background, the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commissioned Ecofys with a scoping study to identify what potential domestic offsetting might have and the options for possible implementation in Ireland to incentivise emissions reductions in non-ETS sectorsThe study concludes that domestic offsetting merits further consideration as a mitigation measure and identifies potential options for implementation. It details the barriers likely to inhibit progress, and how they might be overcome. The study also contains a high-level assessment of the environmental and economic costs and benefits of the different options.