Greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland in 2017 were down from 2016, a decrease of 0.9%.
This was due in part to emissions from the Transport sector having decreased by 2.4%, while household and power generation emissions also witnessed decreases, by 5.0% and 6.9% respectively. Although mostly positive results, Agricultural emissions had increased in 2017, an increase of +2.9%.
This led to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warning that Ireland remains off track to meet EU 2020 targets.
Current State -
According to the EP, Ireland’s emissions are currently nearly 3 million tonnes Mt CO2 eq over the pathway required to meet EU 2020 targets.
They said that urgent action is needed across all sectors, to move to a low-carbon economy and ensure achievement of commitments in relation to 2020, 2030 and 2050. Greenhouse gas emissions figures released today, December 5th, by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that Ireland’s emissions decreased slightly in 2017. Today’s figures show that greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland in 2017 averaged at 60.75 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2 eq). This represents a 0.9 per cent (0.53 Mt CO2 eq) from 2016.
Emissions decreased in the transport, power generation and household sectors while increasing in the agriculture sector by nearly 3 per cent (+2.9%). The main reason behind lower transport emissions was a fall in cross-border fuel tourism due to currency fluctuations.
The increase in agriculture emissions was put down to the dramatic rise in dairy cow numbers, an increase of 4% on 2016 numbers. Dairy cow numbers in Ireland have increased by 26% in the last five years, leading to an increase of 10% in emissions from agriculture.
Lower household emissions reflect a warmer year weather-wise in 2017, with less heating required. A “significant increase” in renewable energy in the power generation sector helped reduce emissions, displacing carbon-intensive fuels such as coal and peat.
|Mt CO2 eq||2016||2017||% Change|
Read the full EPA report on Emissions in Ireland in 2017 here.