Ireland's greenhouse gases fall - but not fast enough for EU
Published 16/12/2015 | 02:30
Greenhouse gases from energy, transport, agriculture and buildings continue to fall - but not at a fast enough rate to meet EU targets to decarbonise the economy.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that some 58.2 million tonnes were released in 2014, down 0.7pc, and while the overall reduction is welcome, the picture in individual sectors is mixed.
The sharpest drop is in residential emissions, down 10.4pc, largely due to a milder winter which resulted in less fuel being used. Emissions also dropped in energy (down 1.9pc) and agriculture (1.1pc). However, they increased in industry (up 2.8pc) - and by 31.4pc in the cement industry - and by 2.5pc in transport.
EPA director general Laura Burke said that while Ireland would meet its 2014 emissions targets, based on current trends the targets for 2018, 2019 and 2020 remained at risk.
"Significant effort is required if we are to maintain this compliance over the next five years," she said, adding we could not rely on the "luck of a mild winter" to ensure compliance, and that targeted measures across the economy were needed.