The Irish Government holds that, at the very least and without taking account of agricultural emissions, we need to produce the energy we need for electricity, transport and heat in 2050 with no more than 20% of the CO2 and other emissions produced in 1990. It is a huge challenge affecting the way we heat and light our homes and offices, power our industries and fuel our cars.
Government representatives met in Paris at COP21 in December 2015 to decide on the way to meet this challenge. There, they committed to action to limit the increase in global average temperature while recognising the need for worldwide emissions, which are still rising, to peak as soon as possible.
Although some progress has been made, with countries developing national climate action plans and agreeing to co-operate , strenuous efforts will be required to implement the changes required to meet the aspirational 1.5°C limit . According to the International Energy Agency, under a less ambitious 2°C scenario by 2050, the share of renewables in global electricity generation would have to increase from around 20% in 2009 to almost 60% by 2050 (Figure 10).