Investigation of the potential impact of the Paris Agreement on national mitigation policies and the risk of carbon leakage; an analysis of the Irish bioenergy industry

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Title: Investigation of the potential impact of the Paris Agreement on national mitigation policies and the risk of carbon leakage; an analysis of the Irish bioenergy industry
Authors: Murphy, Fionnuala
McDonnell, Kevin
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Date: May-2017
Abstract: A criticism of production-based reporting and accounting of greenhouse gas emissions, as implemented under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, is the risk of mitigation measures adoption in one country to reduce national emissions, leading consequentially to the displacement of the source activity to other jurisdictions, thus resulting in an increase in net global emissions referred to as 'carbon leakage'. An important outcome of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) to the 1992 UNFCCC may be 'plugging' of carbon leakage. This study examined the bioenergy industry in Ireland to determine the extent of existing carbon leakage due to national energy policy and to establish if measures identified within the relevant intended nationally determined contributions will result in plugging of carbon leakage. The study focused on co-firing of biomass with peat, the major use of biomass for energy generation in Ireland. The results show that significant levels of carbon leakage occur due to reliance on imported biomass feedstocks to meet co-firing targets under Irish energy policy. In the post-COP21 scenario, one of the three Intended Nationally Determined Contributions analysed contains a measure which has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from imported biomass by 32%, highlighting the potential of the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon leakage.
Funding Details: Environmental Protection Agency
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Journal: Energy Policy
Volume: 104
Start page: 80
End page: 88
Copyright (published version): 2017 Elsevier
Keywords: Carbon leakageGreenhouse gas emissionsParis AgreementLife cycle assessmentBioenergyIreland
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.01.042
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Biosystems and Food Engineering Research Collection
Agriculture and Food Science Research Collection

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