The Irish government is to look at the implications of the possible creation of systems for trading greenhouse gases, environment minister Noel Dempsey announced yesterday. Mr Dempsey was speaking in Dublin at a consultative conference on Ireland's draft greenhouse gas abatement strategy (ENDS Daily 22 June). He said an advisory group was being established to report on options presented by emissions trading, including possible opportunities for Ireland. Under the EU "bubble" agreement reached in June, Ireland is committed to restraining growth in its greenhouse gas emissions to 13% above 1990 levels by 2008-2012. It is one of just four EU countries permitted to increase rather than required to stabilise or cut emissions. Mr Dempsey described Ireland's target as "ambitious" given the likelihood that by 2010 Ireland would be "among the wealthiest countries in Europe and indeed the world". He went on to warn that further efforts to restrain greenhouse gas emissions would be required after 2008-2012. "My own view," he said, " is that one-off policy choices...will not be sufficient to prepare us for the ongoing challenge. We need systematic changes in the way we do business if environmental sustainability is to be a keystone for development decisions."
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