Wednesday, 2 June 2021
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Peatlands are considered “Managed Wetlands” and are currently reported in Ireland’s national greenhouse gas emission inventory submissions to the EU and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. While no specific targets for emissions and removals from land use currently exist, this will change with the application of a new EU land-use accounting system, under the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry Regulation (LULUCF).
Under this Regulation, emissions and removals will be assessed over two consecutive accounting periods, the first from 2021 to 2025, and the second from 2026 to 2030. The LULUCF Regulation requires EU Member States to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions from the land use sector are offset by at least an equivalent removal of CO₂ from the sector for the period 2021 to 2030, based on defined benchmarks. This commitment is referred to as the "no debit rule".
Should Ireland satisfy the “no debit rule” as outlined above, Ireland can avail of credits through additional removals in the LULUCF sectors that may be transferred to assist in meeting the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR), which sets binding annual greenhouse gas emissions targets for Member States for the period 2021-2030. These targets concern sectors outside of the EU Emissions Trading System, such as agriculture, transport, buildings and waste. The ESR sets Ireland a target of 30% reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. In meeting this target, a credit/flexibility of up to 26.8Mt CO2eq is available to Ireland under the LULUCF Regulation. As emissions and removals from peatlands, under Managed Wetlands, form a part of the LULUCF sector, their improved management could help Ireland achieve this flexibility.