Transport was responsible for 20.2% of Ireland's Greenhouse Gas emissions in 2018
This section accounts for emissions from the combustion of fuel for all transport activity including Aviation, Road, Railway, Water-borne navigation and other transportation (which includes pipeline transportation). The latest provisional GHG inventory figures estimate transport emissions increased by 1.7% in 2018 or 0.20 Mt CO2eq compared to 2017 emissions. 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%. Looking at the underlying drivers, the number of passenger diesel cars increased by 7.7% in 2018 while the number of passenger petrol cars decreased by 4.5%, commercial vehicle numbers increased by 1.7% and employment grew by 2.3% between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018.
Between 1990 and 2018, Transport shows the greatest overall increase at 137.1%, with road transport increasing by 143.4%. Emissions increased by 1.7% in 2018, the fifth year out of the last six with increased emissions in Transport emissions. Transport emissions have decreased by 15.3% below peak levels in 2007 primarily due to the economic downturn, improving vehicle standards due to the changes in vehicle registration tax, the increase in use of biofuels and significant decreases in fuel tourism in recent years. The increase up to 2007 can be attributed to general economic prosperity, increasing population with a high reliance on private car travel as well as rapidly increasing road freight transport.
At the time of publication in June 2019 the emissions projections figures under the With Existing Measures scenario, which had the baseline inventory as 1990-2017, projected emissions to increase by 11% over the period 2018-2030 to 13.3 Mt CO2eq.
Under the With Additional Measures scenario (shown as the line in the graph below) transport emissions are projected to decrease by 1% over the period 2018-2030 to 11.8 Mt CO2eq.
Transport Emissions and Projections (WEM) 1990-2030
The line graph below also shows a sensitivity assessment performed on the With Existing Measures scenario which is based on lower fuel prices. This has the impact of significantly increasing energy demand and associated emissions from the sector (by approximately 29 Mt CO2eq over the 2018-2030 projected period). This graph shows how changes in external factors such as fuel price may affect Ireland's projected progress towards targets.