Thursday 18 December 2014

Where we need to improve

Published 29/05/2014 | 02:30

BETTER air and water quality, higher rates of recycling and an increase in the number of low-emission vehicles on our roads are among the environmental gains achieved in the last two years.

But a new report from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), 'Environmental Indicators 2014', shows we could be doing better in some areas.

We send too much waste to landfill, ranking seventh in a league table of EU member states and we remain heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels to meet our energy needs.

Our reliance on fossil fuels means consumer prices continue to rise, with petrol up 42pc and energy 40pc since 2006.

Other highlights include:

* Air: Quality has improved "considerably" over the last decade.

* Water: Our water quality is good, but major investment is needed.

* Energy: Our demand for oil has fallen from 16.4 million tonnes in 2008, to 13.2 million in 2012. Transport uses 39pc of all energy consumed.

* Waste: Each person generates around 615kg of waste per year, down from 800kg in 2006. We have reduced the amount of waste going to landfill, but it's high in EU terms. We are among the best at recycling electrical waste.

Irish Independent

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