It's been a while in the pipeline, but delighted to share this news! Thanks to all the project team, and to the excellent EPA Steering Committee for their help and support.
Big shoutout to: Mike Jones (TCD), Paul Price aka @swimsure (DCU), Alwynne McGeever and Paul Rice who all made huge contributions to bringing this to completion. And to @EPAResearchNews for providing the essential funding support.
In (very!) brief: It is now scientifically understood that effective climate action sets a finite limit on total future net emissions of carbon dioxide (CO₂) from human activities: the "forever" Global Carbon Budget.
Unfortunately, due to delay and procrastination to date, it is now likely (but not inevitable!) that this global budget will be exceeded. *IF* that happens we may need to try to actively *remove* CO₂ from the atmosphere very quickly and at large scale.
This would be such a high risk (and highly unjust!) situation that we should do *everything we can* to avoid or minimise this possibility!
Nonetheless, on a precautionary basis, this research presents the first, preliminary, assessment of the technical feasibility for so-called "negative emissions technologies" to be deployed in Ireland.
Such Negative Emission Technologies or NETs are not a panacea; they vary greatly in maturity, remain
uncertain in feasibility (technical, social, political and
economic) and all have a very significant lead time to
deployment. We need to absolutely minimise dependence on them.
We found the aggregate *technical* potential for accumulated Irish gross CO₂ removals of (up to 2100) to be approximately 600MtCO₂. The corresponding *practical* potential is likely substantially less; a current, prudent, upper policy assumption is suggested as max 200MtCO₂.
The draft new Irish Climate Action Bill proposes the introduction of a rolling 15-year "carbon budget" governance framework. We recommend that this be explicitly grounded in a declared limit to the national "fair share" claim on the remaining global "forever" carbon budget.
This would be specifically facilitated by binding the statutory National Climate Objective (NCO) to making our fair share contribution to meeting the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. (see also:…)
But critically, we should be honest with young people, and climate-vulnerable communities around the world, about the now critical tradeoffs between early, radical, emissions reduction and relatively reckless reliance on speculative future negative emissions technologies.
Video teaser for the IE-NETs report:
Full text report download:…
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More from @autofac

10 Sep
"Energy transition poses challenges and opportunities for energy security. Read latest @SEAI_ie blog by @dineenden and download recent Energy Security in Ireland report."…
Some nuggets (a thread, 1/n)...
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the other two important pillars of energy policy: sustainability and competitiveness." <sigh>…
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24 Feb
@365Ifarm @dcu_ecrn @swimsure We are still working on the seminar materials - but everything presented will certainly be made available afterward.
@365Ifarm @dcu_ecrn @swimsure The project we are reporting on was a small desk-study, reviewing international literature to support @EPAResearchNews scope a possible future larger scale study.
@365Ifarm @dcu_ecrn @swimsure @EPAResearchNews So "proposals" are primarily just about possible scope and methodologies for that future project (if it is indeed progressed).
Read 9 tweets
20 Jan
My take on "extreme" carbon cuts (short thread...):…
Picture a bus travelling at high speed in a snow storm - low visibility, very uncertain emergency stopping distance...
Driver (and passengers) have been advised that bridge over gorge ahead has collapsed. Maybe a km ahead, maybe only a couple of hundred meters. We can't see more clearly.
Read 12 tweets
19 Nov 19
"Minister Bruton Initiates Major Review into Ireland’s Energy Supply"…
Some key questions here about process and terms of reference...
Will it is an open, transparent, process? Will all submissions, inputs, parameters, correspondence etc. be put in the public domain as soon as they are acknowleded? Really important for public credibility and trust...
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25 Oct 19
Hey Irish EV/energy twitter: @ESBecars highlight price advantage of "night rate" home charging, but carefully neglect two important issues...
@ESBecars To access night rate one must have a night rate meter installed - which significantly increases the fixed standing charge - AND choose NightSaver plan which increases the unit rate for ALL "daytime" units. None of this appears to be reflected in their media info?
@ESBecars Secondly: @ESBNetworks is rolling out "smart meters" as we speak. These effectively eliminate the need for night meters. Electricity providers COULD offer arbitrary time-of-day tariffs. And no basis in physical infrastructure for different (higher) standing charge.
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14 Oct 19
FWIW [short thread]: I appeared last week at the Oireachtas [Irish Parliament] Joint Committee on Climate Action to discuss the potential role of LNG importation in Ireland's energy system.
Full meeting video and transcript here:…
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