Ireland still off target despite slight fall in greenhouse gas emissions

Ireland still off target despite slight fall in greenhouse gas emissions

Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions fell slightly last year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

New figures show they were 0.9% lower in 2017 when compared to the previous year.

Power generation and Transport emissions were among those to go down - they decreased by 6.9% and 2.4% respectively. Household emissions fell by 5%.

Despite the fall, the EPA is warning that Ireland is still off track to meet its EU 2020 targets.

Dr Eimear Cotter, Director of the Office of Environmental Sustainability, said: “A decrease in our greenhouse gas emissions is welcome, particularly in the context of a growing economy. However, some of the underlying drivers of this decrease point to circumstance rather than deliberate action – a fall in cross-border refuelling and warmer weather played a role this year.

"This would raise questions about the longevity and enduring nature of these decreases in future years.

The figures published today indicate that Ireland will exceed its 2017 annual limit by nearly 3 million tonnes Mt CO2 eq.

"This gives a measure of the gap between where Ireland is currently in terms of the 2020 pathway and where we need to be and indicates the scale of the challenge facing the country in terms of meeting our long-term decarbonisation ambitions.”

Stephen Treacy, Senior Manager in the Office of Environmental Sustainability said: “Ireland’s National Policy position is to have reduced CO2 emissions in 2050 by 80% on 1990 levels across the energy generation, built environment and transport sectors, with a goal of climate neutrality in the agriculture and land-use sector.

"While our figures show a decrease in 2017 energy and transport emissions, underlying demand and output growth threatens Ireland’s long-term goals.”

- Digital Desk

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