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Ireland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Decrease In 2017

Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions from EU Emissions Trading Scheme participants for first time since 2013.

Overall emissions of greenhouse gases from Irish Power Generation and Industrial Companies in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, decreased by 4.8% in 2017.  This is the first overall decrease in emissions levels from these companies since 2013.
Emissions from the Power generation sector decreased by 8.2%, largely driven by the use of less coal and peat and a greater use of renewable energy.
Cement industry emissions increased by 2.1%.
Food and Drink industry emissions increased by 2.5%.

Ireland’s emissions from the 103 stationary facilities in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme were down by 4.8% in 2017 compared to 2016. This is compared to an increase of approximately 0.3 per cent across Europe. Emissions from the Irish power generation sector, down by 8.2%, contributed the major share of the decrease in emission levels. Emissions from the cement sector rose by 2.1% and from the food and drink industry sector rose by 2.5%.

Mr David Flynn, EPA Programme Manager, stated:
“This is the first time since 2013 that Ireland’s Emissions Trading Scheme emissions have shown a decrease. The decrease is principally due to a welcome reduction in the use of carbon-intensive fossil fuels in power generation and an increase in the use of renewable energy. These changes demonstrate a move in the right direction for the necessary transformation in Ireland’s energy system.
Although it is positive to see reducing carbon intensity in electricity generation, other sectors recorded higher emission levels. It is important that investment in low carbon technologies is made attractive for industry. A higher price for carbon will help to drive such investment. It is encouraging to see the carbon price is now above €10 per tonne following recent amendments to the Emissions Trading Scheme Directive for the period 2021-2030.”

In Ireland, 103 major industrial and institutional sites participate in the Emissions Trading Scheme. These include sites operating in the power generation, cement, lime, and oil refining sectors. Also included are large companies in sectors such as food & drink, pharmaceuticals and semi-conductors.

All companies participating in the scheme are required to report their emissions to the EPA by 31st. March each year.

Details of the verified emissions of greenhouse gases in 2017 are available on the EU’s website. The data are not complete for all Member states.

Further details about Emissions Trading are available on the EPA website. Further information about Ireland’s total greenhouse gas emissions is also available on the EPA website.

The EPA has developed a useful Infographic entitled “The Simple Guide to Ireland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions”.

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