Key Highlights

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  • Ireland's latest provisional Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory estimates total GHG emissions in 2018 are 60.51 Mt CO2eq, down 0.14 Mt CO2eq a 0.2% decrease from 2017.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions decreased in 3 sectors: Energy Industries, Waste and F-Gases while increases were seen in Agriculture, Transport, Residential, Manufacturing Combustion, Industrial Processes, Commercial Services and Public Services sectors in 2018 compared to 2017.
  • In 2018, emissions in the European Union’s Emissions Trading Sector (ETS) sector decreased by 8.2% or 1.38 Mt CO2eq and ESD emissions increased by 2.8% or 1.24 Mt CO2eq compared to 2017.
  • Emissions in the Energy Industries sector show a decrease of 11.7% or 1.38 Mt CO2eq which is attributable to a 44% decrease in coal used in electricity generation and an increase of 13.6% for electricity generated from wind in 2018. 
  • Agriculture emissions increased by 1.9% or 0.38 Mt CO2eq in 2018. The most significant drivers for the increased emissions in 2018 are higher dairy cow numbers (+2.7%) with an increase in milk production of 4.4%. Nitrogen fertiliser use also increased by 10.7% in 2018. 
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from the Transport sector increased by 1.7% or 0.20 Mt CO2eq in 2018. This is the fifth year out of the last six with increased emissions in transport. In road transport in 2018, petrol use continued to decrease by 9.2% while diesel use increased by 4.6% and biofuels use decreased by 4.0%.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from the Residential sector increased 7.9% or 0.46 Mt CO2eq due to a colder winter. 
  • Emissions from the Manufacturing Combustion sector increased by 0.18 Mt CO2eq or 3.9% in 2018 with increases in combustion emissions for all sub sectors including cement which increased by 5.8% in 2018 from 2017 emissions.
  • Both Commercial and Public services sectors increased by 5.3% and 8.2% respectively in 2018 also due to a colder winter.
  • The Industrial Processes sector emissions increased by 2.0% or 0.05 Mt CO2eq, mainly from increased cement production. Cement process emissions increased by 4.2% in 2018 compared to 2017 emissions.
  • Waste emissions decreased by 2.8% or 0.03Mt CO2eq in 2018 compared to 2017 emissions.
  • These provisional figures indicate that Ireland will exceed its 2018 annual limit set under the EU’s Effort Sharing Decision (ESD), 406/2009/EC3 by 5.17 Mt CO2eq.
  • Ireland's latest projections (2019) show total emissions increasing from current levels by 1% and 6% by 2020 and 2030 respectively under the With Existing Measures (WEM) scenario. This scenario assumes that no additional policies and measures beyond those already in place by the end of 2017 (latest national GHG inventory), are implemented.
  • Under the With Additional Measures emissions are estimated to decrease by 0.4% and 10% by 2020 and 2030 respectively. This scenario assumes implementation of the WEM scenario in addition to, based on current progress, further implementation of Government renewable and energy efficiency policies and measures including those set out in the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) and the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) and more recently, Ireland's National Development Plan 2018-2027.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions and projections (WEM) by sector 1990-2030

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                                           Trends in Emissions and Projections (WAM 2019-2030) for largest sectors

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