THE Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC) has called on the government to launch an immediate campaign to get the public to reduce fossil fuel use.
The independent body advising the government said the move was necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but would also reduce rising energy costs for consumers and reduce the risk of supply shortages.
It made the call after figures released by the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday showed emissions rising at a time when they should be declining significantly year on year
“Fossil fuels used in transport, buildings and electricity account for nearly 50 percent of the emissions that need to be reduced and this, combined with the rising cost of fossil fuels and potential bottlenecks, reinforces the need for sea change in communities across Ireland,” the CCAC said.
“We urgently need to reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels, thereby benefiting society by protecting people from volatile energy prices, increasing our energy security and helping to meet our climate goal.
“There should be a much greater focus on reducing aggregate demand, which saves money and addresses both the energy and climate challenges.”
The government has already launched an energy efficiency promotion campaign, building on demands from the EU and the International Energy Agency.
But CCAC chair Marie Donnelly called for a more concerted effort.
“The figures released today underscore the urgency of the action required to meet our climate goal,” she said.
“Given the challenges families and communities are facing this winter, the government should immediately launch an information campaign to identify ways everyone, including consumers, households and businesses, can reduce demand.
“It is vital that all sectors step up their efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”
Emission figures show that by 2021 the country has already used almost a quarter of its current five-year allowance in greenhouse gases.
“This means that the effort will have to increase significantly over the next four years,” according to the CCAC.
The call comes a day after the European Commission asked member states to reduce their overall gas consumption by 15 percent by next spring.
The move is primarily an attempt to conserve supplies as the Ukraine crisis and power disruption continue, but it would also reduce emissions.
The request from Brussels could become a mandatory measure if rationing becomes necessary.
https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/climate-body-calls-for-government-campaign-to-cut-public-fossil-fuel-use-41858927.html The climate panel calls for a government campaign to reduce public consumption of fossil fuels