Ireland's CO2 emissions third highest in EU

Greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 17% since 2005 but Ireland is the third highest emitter per capita in the EU. The figures are contained in a report on Ireland’s environmental indicators released by the CSO.

The data show that greenhouse gas emissions here have fallen 17% from 70.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2005 to 58.3 million tonnes in 2014. Ireland also experienced the eighth biggest decline in emissions in the EU over the 2005 to 2013 period.

Despite the fall our greenhouse gas emissions per capita were the third highest in the EU in 2013.

Agriculture accounted for a third of greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland in 2014, followed by transport (19%), energy (19%), and industry and commercial (16%).

Transport accounted for 42% of Ireland’s final energy consumption in 2014.

Renewable energy accounted for 6% of Ireland’s total final energy consumption and for 23% of electricity generation in 2014.

Ireland had an imported energy dependency of 85% in 2014, the fourth highest in the EU.

Air quality has improved since 1990 for some indicators such as sulphur dioxide and ammonia. However, emissions of nitrogen oxides and non-methane volatile organic compounds were 15% and 58% above their prescribed National Emissions Ceiling in 2014.

Between 1998 and 2015, the proportion of sites in Ireland with good bathing water quality varied from a high of 92% in 2000 to a low of 67% in 2012. The 2012 figure was due mainly to an extremely wet summer and below average sunshine.

The proportion stood at 83% in 2015. Ireland had the 10th worst bathing water quality in the EU in 2014.

The CSO study revealed that the amount of municipal waste generated in Ireland fell from 800kg per capita in 2006 to 587kg in 2012.

Municipal waste sent to landfill fell by over 48% between 2001 and 2012 — from around 2m tonnes to 1m tonnes.

In 2013, Ireland recovered 189kg of packaging waste per capita, which was the fourth highest rate in the EU after Germany, Luxembourg and Italy.

Ireland has the second lowest amount of land covered by forestry in the EU at just 10.9%.

Although the area farmed organically increased by almost 180% between 1997 and 2014, Ireland also had the second lowest percentage of agricultural land designated as organic in the EU in 2013.

Ireland had the fourth largest cattle herd in the EU in 2015 with 7.2% of total cattle numbers.

Dwelling completions in Ireland peaked in 2006 at 93,400 completions and fell to 8,300 in 2013 before recovering to 11,000 in 2014.

In 2015, there were 2.7 house completions per 1,000 population in Ireland.

Ireland and Spain had the highest levels of dwelling completions per 1,000 population in the EU between 2006 and 2015, despite both countries showing large falls since 2006.

Analysis: 13

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