Role of EPA in Managing Climate Change Dr. Ken Macken Programme Manager Climate Change Unit April 4, 2008 Outline Background to Climate Change issue International actions (UN and EU) Ireland’s position National Policy EPA Climate Change Programme Warming of the climate system is unequivocal a) Increasing global air and ocean temperatures b) Rising global average sea level c) Reductions in snow and ice cover CLIMATE CHANGE There are currently six Greenhouse Gases recognised by the UNFCCC: Carbon dioxide (CO2) – 67.2% (as CO2 equivalents) in 2005 Methane (CH4 ) - 18.9% (as CO2 equivalents) in 2005 Nitrous oxide (N2O) – 12.7% (as CO2 equivalents) in 2005 Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) Under the Kyoto Protocol, the EU committed itself to reducing its overall greenhouse gases emissions by 8% from1990 levels during the first commitment period from 2008 to 2012. Under the EU Burden Sharing Agreement, Ireland was actually permitted a 13% increase on 1990 levels, giving us an average Kyoto target for the 2008-12 period of 63 Mt/a. GLOBAL WARMING POTENTIAL GWP is the ratio of the warming effect of one kilogamme of a greenhouse gas to that of one kilogramme of carbon dioxide over a set period of time (usually 100 years). GAS Carbon Dioxide Methane Nitrous Oxide HFC-134a HFC-23 HFC-152a HCF-125 PFCs* SF6 GWP 1996 1 21 310 1,300 11,700 140 2,800 7,850 23,900 *This figure is an average GWP for the two PFCs, CF4 and C2F6. Changes in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) concentrations over last 10,000 years: a) Carbon dioxide b) Methane c) Nitrous oxide GHG Concentration changes Greenfacts – where we are now The warming of global climate is now unequivocal. More specifically, eleven of the last twelve years (1995-2006) rank among the 12 warmest years ever recorded since global surface temperatures are measured (1850). Over the last 100 years (1906–2005), global temperature has increased by 0.74°C. Global sea level has risen by 17 cm during the 20th century, in part because of the melting of snow and ice from many mountains and in the polar regions. More regional changes have also been observed, including changes in Arctic temperatures and ice, ocean salinity, wind patterns, droughts, precipitations, frequency of heat waves and intensity of tropical cyclones. The temperatures of the last half century are unusual in comparison with those of at least the previous 1300 years. The last time that the polar regions remained significantly warmer than now for a very extended period (125,000 years ago), the sea level rose by 4 to 6 meters. Most of the increase in global temperature observed over the past fifty years is very likely due to human emissions of greenhouse gases. Greenfacts – where we are heading The global average temperature is expected to increase by about 0.2°C per decade over the next two decades. Continuing greenhouse gas emissions at or above current rates would cause a further increase in global temperatures and many other climatic changes during the 21st century. The best estimates for projected global temperature increases from the 1980s to the end of the 21st century range from 1.8°C (1.1 - 2.9°C) to 4°C (2.4 - 6.4°C) for the IPCC scenarios that do not consider additional mitigation measures apart from those already in place in 2000. Global average sea level is expected to rise by 18 to 59 cm by the end of the 21st century. Warming is expected to be greatest over land and at high northern latitudes and smallest over the Southern Ocean and parts of the North Atlantic Ocean. Other projected changes include acidification of the oceans, reduced snow cover and sea ice, more frequent heat waves and heavy precipitation, more intense tropical cyclones, and slower oceanic currents. Warming and sea level rise caused by human activities will continue for centuries, even if greenhouse gas concentrations were to be stabilised. If warming persists over many centuries, it could lead to a complete melting of the Greenland Ice sheet, increasing global sea levels by about 7m. No one lives at the global average! Medium (A1B) scenario (2090-2099): Global mean warming 2.8oC Much of land area warms by ~3.5oC Arctic warms by ~6oC. Projected changes in the Arctic by 2090-2100 Climate Change - International Framework United Nations Economic Council for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) Oldest convention (1979) addressing issues of transboundary air pollution on a regional basis. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Established in 1988, by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) The UNFCCC and its Subsidiary Bodies The IPCC First Assessment Report in 1990 lead to the establishment of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992. The Kyoto Protocol Agreed in 1997 following the publication of the IPCC Second Assessment Report Present Position Following publication in 2007 of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) and the agreement on a Bali roadmap in December 2007, the UNFCCC is attempting to ensure a follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol can be agreed by end 2009. Climate Change - European Framework EU and UNFCCC EU is a key supporter of the UNFCCC through the COP/MOP and SBSTA. EU Emissions Trading Scheme ETS is the main EU policy instrument to assist in achieving reductions in GHG at least cost. European Climate Change Programme ECCP is the main EC instrument for further development of the EU's climate policy. ECCP consists of several working groups addressing: ECCP I review (transport, energy supply, energy demand, non-CO2 gases, agriculture) Aviation; CO2 and cars; Carbon capture and storage; Adaptation; EU Emission Trading Scheme review. Climate Change – EU Proposals to 2020 Starting point is a 20% overall reduction compared to 1990 (equivalent to a 14% reduction compared to 2005). This will become a 30% reduction in the event of a follow-on international agreement. In order to minimise the overall reduction cost, the 20% is to be apportioned as: A 21% reduction in EU ETS sector emissions by 2020 compared to 2005; An average reduction of around 10% compared to 2005 for the sectors that are not covered by the EU ETS. This varies for MS from +20% to –20% depending on GDP with Ireland facing –20%. Package comprises Proposal amending the EU Emissions Trading Directive (EU ETS); Proposal relating on effort sharing for sectors not covered by the EU emissions trading system (such as transport, buildings, services, smaller industrial installations, agriculture and waste); Proposal for a Directive promoting renewable energy (including possible trading between MS of any over-achievement of the renewables’ target); Proposal for a legal framework on carbon capture and storage; and New guidelines for environmental state aid. NCCS 2007 - 2012 Energy Supply Transport Residential Industry, Commercial and Services Agriculture, Land-use and Forestry Waste Public Sector Cross-sectoral Adaptation Ireland 2007 (McElwain & Sweeney,NUIM) Ireland is now on average 0.7°C warmer than a century ago. Our climate is warming at a rate of 0.42°C per decade since 1980. Six of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 1995. We now have fewer frost days, and a shorter frost season. The rain in the north and west is now heavier and more persistent, ‘precipitation events’ bringing over 10mm of rain are now more common and, as a result, conditions there are wetter. Conditions in the south and east of the country are on average drier than in the past. EPA Climate Change Programme EPA are responsible for: Implementation of Emissions Trading Directive Including National Registry and Kyoto Project Mechanisms Reporting and Review of National Inventories (for Greenhouse gases and for Acid Gases); Preparation of National Emissions Projections (for Greenhouse Gases and for Acid Gases); Co-ordination of Climate Change Research (in particular the IDC- SSTI research programme); Air and Climate Science (including Acid Gases and Earth Observations). Ireland’s GHG Emissions by Sector 1990-2006 80,000 Waste Killotonnes of CO 2 Equivalent 70,000 Annual Target for Period 2008-2012 Transport 60,000 50,000 Agriculture 40,000 Industry & Commercial 30,000 Residential 20,000 10,000 Energy 0 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Trends in GHG Emissions by Sector 1990-2006 25,000 Energy 20,000 kilotonnes CO2 eq. Residential 15,000 Industry & Commercial 10,000 Agriculture Transport 5,000 Waste 0 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Climate Change - National Context Ireland is a Party to the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol. Ireland is also a member of the IPCC. Kyoto Protocol target (through EU Burden Sharing Agreement) of 113% of 1990 (63 Mt/a). The DEHLG develops the national policy response to climate change. Recently published the revised National Climate Change Strategy (2007). Relevant targets include: electricity from renewables (15% by 2010 – 33% by 2020); Biofuels requirement (5.75% by 2010 and 10% by 2020); Main Government Departments involved in Climate Change: Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; Communications, Energy and Natural Resources ; and Transport & the Marine. Main Agencies involved in Climate Change: EPA; Met Eireann; Teagasc; Council for Forest research (COFORD); Marine Institute (MI); Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI); Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI). Programme for Government National target of 3%/pa reductions in actual GHG emissions; Carbon Budget to form part of annual budget debate EU committed to 20% (30%?) reductions post 2012 – new “Target Sharing” agreement due.