The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reported on an updated assessment of Ireland’s total projected greenhouse gas emissions out to 2030, progress towards achieving its emission reduction targets set under the EU Effort Sharing Decision up to 2020 and a longer-term assessment based on current projections.
Ireland is not projected to meet 2020 emissions reduction targets and is not on the right trajectory to meet longer term EU and national emission reduction commitments.
The latest EPA greenhouse gas emissions projections indicate an overall increase in greenhouse gas emissions from most sectors. The projected growth in emissions is largely underpinned by projected strong economic growth and relatively low fuel prices leading to increasing energy demand over the period.
The positive impact on emissions of existing and planned policies and measures is tempered by the strong economic outlook and associated increase in energy demand.
Fossil fuels such as coal and peat continue to be key contributors to emissions from the power generation sector and the extent of their use will be a key determinant in influencing future emissions trends from this sector.
A strong growth in emissions projections from the transport sector is attributed to a rise in fuel consumption particularly for diesel cars and diesel freight up to 2025. A projected accelerated deployment of electric vehicles between 2025 and 2030 does however result in a projected decline in emissions during this period.
Agriculture emissions are projected to continue to grow steadily over the period. This is based on an updated outlook which sees an increase in animal numbers particularly for the dairy herd.
The gap between the two scenarios – With Existing Measures and With Additional Measures – is narrowing over the period to 2020 indicating that mitigation options in the short-term are largely established.
These projections do not consider the impact of policies and measures that form part of the recently announced National Development Plan or the full impact of policies and measures included in the National Mitigation Plan. It is anticipated that additional impact will be provided to the EPA by relevant Government Departments and Agencies and included in the 2019 Emissions Projections.
The full report can be downloaded from the EPA website here.