WIND power helped cut greenhouse gas emissions by almost 10pc last year.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said yesterday that 15.77 million tonnes of the climate-change gases were produced in 2011, compared with 17.36 million tonnes in 2010.
The reduction is due to a decline in emissions from the cement industry and from the power generation sector, the EPA said, adding that the use of renewable energy had helped reduce emissions.
About 15pc of all of Ireland's power is now produced from wind, meaning less fossil fuels are needed to produce electricity which results in a fall in greenhouse gas emissions.
The EPA added that there had been a slight increase of 1pc in emissions from the food and drink sector.
"The emission reduction reflects both the impact of the current recession in terms of reduced energy and cement demand, and the increased availability of wind generation on the grid," Dr Maria Martin of the EPA said.