— 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:
Hello Reader... IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.
There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for IrishCycle.com, it just needs enough people like you to believe!
Monthly subscriptions will give IrishCycle.com's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year IrishCycle.com had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.
I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.
The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!
But currently, it's only around 1.6% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via ko-fi.com/irishcycle/tiers