Ireland could face huge fines if carbon emission targets are not met.

Minister for the Environment Martin Cullen has said that every facet of Irish society will face carbon taxes in two years time. There is no get out of jail card for Ireland as it has signed up to the Kyoto Agreement.

Ireland may have to pay out a billion euro in ten years' time because we'll shortly be emitting three times more carbon dioxide than we signed up to in the Kyoto Agreement.

The green lobby says that the two year delay in announcing these taxes is deeply worrying. Pat Finnegan of Grian says that there is strong resistance from many of the main polluters. However, IBEC, the employer's group, claims that green taxes will have an impact on jobs. Brendan Butler of IBEC thinks that taxation will not change behaviour and will act as a major disincentive to the Irish business community.

Sheila Layden of the Irish Wind Energy Association says that there is a need for a well structured long term plan to fight climate change and offset climate emissions. Paul MacManus of the ESB believes that the minister needs to guarantee carbon trading so that it can offset carbon dioxide emissions in places like Moneypoint by investing in clean energy projects elsewhere. If the carbon trading structure is put in place, Paul MacManus believes that the ESB can meet the deadlines.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 January 2003. The reporter is Paul Cunningham.