Delaying tackling climate change will cost more in the long-run - ESRI
06 September 2018 | Mitigation
Delaying taking action on tackling climate change, or exempting any sector from reducing emissions, will cost Ireland more in the long-run, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute.
The think tank's director, Professor Alan Barrett, told the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Change that exempting one sector of the economy will only put a great onus on others, and this would ultimately lead to a higher cost.
He also warned that he did not see any significant decoupling between Irish economic growth and an increase in our greenhouse gas emissions, adding the graph appeared to move in "the exact same way".
Dr John Curtis, also from the ESRI, said that buying carbon credits as means of being in compliance with Ireland's European Union obligations was just another form of delay and would cost Ireland more.
Prof Barrett said that "financial incentives work" when it comes to changing household behaviour in becoming more green - such as improving energy efficiency in homes.
However, he predicted that doubling the carbon tax from €20 to €40 per tonne would probably only lead to a decrease in Ireland's annual greenhouse gas emissions.