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EU Matters.ie - Information about Ireland's membership of the EU

Environment & Climate Change

Thanks to the EU, Ireland has some of the highest
environment standards in the world. The main priorities include combating climate change, reducing health problems from pollution, protecting wildlife and using natural resources more responsibly.

Protecting Ireland's environment through imaginative solutions fosters the type of  innovation that can sustain our economic future.

The EU has taken a leading role in the global fight against climate change. Together, we can influence other countries to commit to reducing emissions. As our own reserves of oil and gas decrease, we need to work together to secure our energy supply and improve our energy infrastructure.

In the area of Energy Security the EU already depends on just three countries, Russia, Norway and Algeria, for nearly half of our supplies of gas. Without radical action in the short term, our dependence on imported oil will rise from 50% at present to 70%. So it’s in the interest of the EU to reduce our dependence on a small number of suppliers, and to deepen relations with the biggest ones.

Ireland has done some stuff worth a mention. Stuff that other member states think has been very innovative.

The European Commission has called the establishment of the EPA's Office of Environmental Enforcement a very positive step. The Commission also said it could act as a model for other Member States to better enforce environmental law. Click here for more information.

The plastic bag levy went down well too. Ireland introduced it on the 4 March 2002 and it has been an outstanding success. This initiative won the widespread support of the public and caught the imagination of people in many countries in the EU and around the world.