Irish Greenhouse gas emissions from companies in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme increased in 2016

7th April 2017

The EPA has warned that Greenhouse gas emissions from Irish companies have increased under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2016. According to the EPA, Ireland needs a stronger incentive to move away from fossil fuel use.

The key findings include:

  • Emissions rose 5.4% under the emissions trading scheme from the year 2014 to the year 2015
  • Emissions from the power generation sector increased by 6.6%
  • Cement industry emissions increased by 6.8%
  • Aviation emissions increased by 23%

The recorded increase in Irish EU emissions is underscored by the performance of our neighboring countries where the average change was -2.7%

The largest increase was found in the aviation sector, this increase was mainly due to increased traffic. However, there were also some changes in the attribution of flights to Ireland previously reported to another country.

In Ireland, 100 major industrial and institutional sites in Ireland participate in the Emissions Trading Scheme, these include sites operating sites 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.

Aviation emissions have been included since 2012. Participating companies are required to report their emissions to the EPA by 31 March each year.

Dr. Tom Ryan EPA programme manager said that emissions from the emissions trading sector have been increasing each year since 2013 and in 2016 were the highest in eight years. This trend would seem to indicate that the price of carbon remains too low for the trading system to have the desired impact.

For the time being, Ireland is not on track to meet it’s long-term goals which would be to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80% compared to 1990 levels by 2050 across the electricity generation, built environment and transport sectors while achieving carbon neutrality in agriculture and land use sectors.

The EPA has developed a useful infographic:

The Simple Guide to Ireland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions
About the Author

David Hayden

David is a contributor to the Green News. He has a Bachelor's Degree in International Business and French from UCD as well as a Master's Degrees in French literature and New Media from the University of California at San Diego and the Johns Hopkins University.

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