How green is the green isle?

The Irish Cabinet is to discuss the ramifications of the Kyoto accord (subs required).

The carbon emission cuts for the Republic of Ireland are a significant headache for their government. Targets are based on 1990 emission levels and back then the Celtic tiger was just a cub so Ireland has seen substantial growth in greenhouse gases, 25% between 1990 to 2003. Compliance costs will most likely run into hundreds of millions of euros. Reduction is far from easy as a high proportion of the Republic’s emissions are produced by cattle (although this Scottish project might offer a solution on that) and it is already hitting its renewable energy targets so how much more can be done with that in the short to medium term is questionable.

The Republic of Ireland is not alone in the European Union but the ‘dash for gas’ in the UK in the 1990’s means it is on course to meet its Kyoto targets.

Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats are both seen as pro-business and no party wishes to lose its budget surpluses so they will be reluctant to act. However, is this an opportunity for Fianna Fail to build some bridges with the Green Party?