— Ireland not on pathway to climate neutral economy, won’t meet 2020 targets.
Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions decreased 4.5% between 2018 and 2019, but transport emissions only decreased 0.3% in the same timeframe, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Thursday.
The EPA said that despite the overall 4.5% decrease, Ireland is still not on the pathway required to meet future targets and a climate neutral economy.
In the short-term, the EPA said: “…the figures indicate that Ireland will exceed its 2019 annual EU emissions allocation by 6.98Mt which makes it highly unlikely that Ireland will meet its overall 2020 targets, even taking the impact of COVID-19 on emissions in 2020 into account.”
On transport, the EPA said: “Greenhouse gas emissions from the Transport sector decreased slightly, by 0.3 per cent (0.04 Mt CO2eq), in 2019. An increased demand for transport largely offset more biofuel use which was up 21.9% in 2019. Reducing transport emissions requires a blend of measures such as more cycling and walking as well as new technologies such as electric vehicles and biofuels.”
The EPA continues to recommend that people reduce their transport carbon footprint by making use of alternatives to the private car such as public transport, cycling and walking.
Laura Burke, Director General, EPA said: “This much needed [overall] reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is a welcome step in the right direction. The figures show that emissions reductions can be achieved and in 2019 there have been reductions in power generation, agriculture and residential sectors. However, if the 2020s are to be the decade of climate action, this level of emission reductions, at a minimum, will be required annually. Therefore, these reductions need to be built on to achieve continual, substantial, year-on-year emissions reductions. It will take the implementation of effective measures, including all those committed to in the Climate Action Plan, to put Ireland on the pathway to a climate neutral future.”
NOTE: Below data excludes international aviation.
Emissions counted under the EU Effort Sharing Decision framework: