For the second session of the Leitrim Cróga Climate Dialogue, GEAI researchers prepared mitigation scenarios targeting the top three emitting sectors of activity in Leitrim. Mitigation scenarios are pathways to bring down climate-forcing emissions in a particular area or economic sector, in a given time horizon. The three main emitting sectors in County Leitrim are Housing, Transport and Agriculture, 20%, 22% and 43% of the total, respectively.
Leitrim mitigation scenarios were developed by applying the National Climate Action Plan reduction targets to the current levels of emissions described in the Leitrim Cróga Baseline Report. The pathways proposed are tentative and not ground-tested, but constitute explorative, what-if? scenarios, and can be a base on which to track future progress and initiatives. The open question now is – are these the best possible scenarios for Leitrim?
Jules Portier presented the baseline figures of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions for the Transport and Residential (Housing) sectors, as well as mitigation scenarios.
- For the Residential sector, the national Climate Action Plan target sets a reduction in GHGs emissions of 31% by 2030.
- This can possibly be achieved in Leitrim by upgrading 2,800 old houses to Building Energy Rate B (280 p.a. deep retrofit).
- For the Transport sector, the national Climate Action Plan target sets a reduction in GHGs emissions of 38% by 2030.
- This can possibly be achieved in Leitrim by switching all new car purchases to electric while improving public transport.
Nicoló Tria presented the baseline figures for the Agriculture sector and sketched out a mitigation scenario to reduce methane and nitrous dioxide emissions.
- For the Agriculture sector, the national Climate Action Plan reduction target sets a reduction in GHGs emissions of 10% by 2030.
- This could be achieved by Leitrim farms by adopting a combination of measures proposed by Teagasc in their MACC analysis (Marginal Abatement Cost Curve). The measures that arguably best fit Leitrim low-intensity farming system are improved animal health and genetics and substitution of conventional fertilisers with low-emissions alternatives, like biochar. Assuming animal stocks remain stable.
Leitrim mitigation scenarios
Cumulatively, applying the emissions reduction targets set by the national Climate Action Plan, Leitrim top three emitting sectors could see their emissions shrink by about 82,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030.