Meeting Paris Agreement targets would boost EU economy

Published by Shamim Malekmian on

February 15th, 2019

Meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement will help to boost the EU’s economy and increase employment, a new report has found.

The new report published by Eurofound, a Dublin-based EU agency, estimates that the low-carbon economy model of the Paris Agreement would contribute to a one per cent growth in GDP and a 0.5 per cent increase in employment by 2030.

The report emphasises that while various economic forecasts describe a “business as usual” horizon for the future, adopting climate-change-tackling policies would have strong positive outcomes for Europe.

The report estimates that Belgium would receive the biggest employment bump, with Ireland projected to enjoy a moderate boost along with Slovenia and Luxembourg.

According to the report, most new jobs created under the Paris Agreement policies would belong to the energy sector with “lower-educated” employees most likely to fill the new roles.

Jennifer Higgins, a policy advisor with Christian Aid Ireland, welcomed the new findings and called for the implementation of the Paris objectives without further delay.

The recent report, Ms Higgins said, proves that it is possible to achieve a healthy economy while taking tangible action against climate change.

“Adopting the necessary policy measures now will ensure that all of our society can benefit from the move to a low-carbon future,” she said.

“Even though the projected impact for Ireland is moderate compared to some of our European neighbours, it is still positive,” Ms Higgins said.

Natural gas pipeline USA Photo: Bilfinger

Oil and gas exploration

The publication of the report comes almost a year after a majority in the Dáil voted in favour of People Before Profit’s Climate Emergency Measures Bill to strictly limit the issuing of licences for exploration of fossil fuels off Ireland’s coast.

The Bill has recently encountered a roadblock as the Joint Committee tasked with examining it is deadlocked on moving the Bill to the next stage.

The Bill is now caught in a procedural dispute as to whether it needs a majority of the Joint Committee of TDs and Senators to progress it or just a majority of the Select Committee of TDs only. Next Tuesday, the Committees will meet again to try and break this deadlock.

Stop Climate Chaos, a civil society coalition campaigning for the adoption of progressive environmental policies in Ireland, has put together a new briefing outlining five primary reasons why the Bill should swiftly become adopted into law.

The community-organised environmental group has stated scientists’ stark predictions on climate change as outlined in a recent IPCC special report as one of the chief reasons why the Bill should be immediately adopted into law.

Scientists had warned that the EU’s climate change targets do not line up with the urgency of action needed to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Cliona Sharkey, Policy Advisor with Trócaire said that the speed of global warming is rapidly accelerating with the world’s most “vulnerable people” paying the highest price.

“We have all witnessed the impacts in Europe and Ireland in recent years,” she said.

“Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency has told policymakers that extreme weather events linked to climate change over recent years have already seriously tested the capacity of communities and services in Ireland, and the economy to cope.”

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Shamim Malekmian

Shamim is a Senior Reporter at The Green News and a contributing writer to the Irish Examiner, Cork Evening Echo and the Dublin Inquirer.