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EU Emissions Trading Scheme allocation for Kyoto committment period 2008-2012

"IMPORTANCE OF AGRI-FOOD SECTOR RECOGNISED" - COUGHLAN

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan TD, has welcomed the Government decision setting down the policy on which the Environmental Protection Agency will prepare Ireland's National Allocation Plan (NAP2) on emissions trading for the period 2008-2012.

Minister Coughlan had strongly pressed for recognition of the needs of enterprises in the agri-food sector and has particularly welcomed the element of the Government's decision, which allows closing installations as part of any rationalisation process to retain up to 75% of their intended allocation for future years, subject to a maximum of 25,000 allowances. This is extremely important to certain enterprises in the agri-food sector which by virtue of meeting emerging competitive pressures resulting from a more liberalised international trading environment may have to examine the scope for rationalisation.

Small companies in particular may soon need to face this possibility in order to consolidate and improve market share. It would have been an anomaly for such companies to forfeit their allowances in pursuit of a more competitive business environment only to be obliged to invest in new allowances in the consolidated enterprise.

Minister Coughlan believes that the necessary balance has now been secured between the requirements of the emissions trading scheme and the need to protect the competitiveness of indigenous Irish sectors exposed to global competition in which the competitive gains from rationalisation will be reinvested into the food and drinks sector.

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme is designed to reduce emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in compliance with the Kyoto Protocol. This next phase of the plan obliges each Member State to submit its second NAP to the EU Commission by 30th June 2006.

29 March, 2006

Date Released: 29 March 2006