Dáil Éireann - Volume 470 - 22 October, 1996

Written Answers. - Climate Change Policy.

153. Mr. Ellis asked the Minister for the Environment the greenhouse gas emission reductions target the Government intends to propose for industrialised countries in general and for the EU as a whole in view of the forthcoming framework UN Convention on Climate Change; and the target for this country. [19298/96]

154. Mr. Ellis asked the Minister for the Environment if he intends to urge the partners within the European Council to present a full and credible package of co-ordinated national and EU-level measures for a credible climate policy before the third conference of parties takes place in October 1997. [19299/96]

[868] Minister for the Environment (Mr. Howlin): I propose to take Questions Nos. 153 and 154 together.

The strengthening of the commitments of the Framework Convention on Climate Change is currently the subject of international negotiations on the basis of the Berlin Mandate. The objectives to be proposed by the EU in these negotiations for significant overall reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in the post 2000 period, are being urgently considered and will be discussed at the December Environment Council. Ireland's objectives for the limitation of greenhouse gas emissions in the post 2000 period will be determined in the context of these ongoing EU discussions.

Ireland, on behalf of the European Community and its member states, has already presented a series of papers to the Convention Secretariat in July 1996 which address policies and measures in the following areas: renewable energies; energy efficiency standards, labelling and other product related measures; CO 2 emissions from the transportation sector; economic instruments in the field of climate change; energy policies; industrial sector emissions, including voluntary agreements; agriculture; emissions from waste; fluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride; municipal actions; and the potential for the protection and enhancement of greenhouse gas sinks and reservoirs, including forests.

The Irish Presidency has also submitted draft elements for a Protocol to the Framework Convention on Climate Change.