Greenhouse gas emissions from Ireland’s cement sector increased in 2014, EPA reports

Date released: Apr 13 2015

Greenhouse gas emissions from Ireland’s cement sector increased in 2014, EPA reports
“The need to decouple economic recovery from increased CO2 emissions is evident” says EPA

  • Emissions of greenhouse gases from Irish companies in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2014 increased by 1.7 per cent overall compared to 2013. Across the EU as a whole ETS emissions fell by approximately 4%.
  • Emissions from the Power generation sector fell by 1.7 per cent.
  • Cement industry emissions increased by 31 per cent.

Participants in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme based in Ireland reported 1.7 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions in 2014 than in 2013. This is compared to a fall of approximately 4% across the EU in Emission Trading Scheme emissions. The increase is largely due to increased emissions from the cement sector (an increase of 31 per cent overall from the four Irish plants) and reflects increased production due to a rising demand for cement.

Almost 100 major industrial and institutional sites in Ireland 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. Companies participating in the scheme are required to report their emissions to the EPA by 31 March each year.

Dr Maria Martin, EPA Senior Manager, said, 

"The overall increase in emissions is disappointing and points to the fact that economic growth needs to be decoupled from emissions growth. The current price of carbon at €7 per tonne is clearly not a sufficient incentive under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to encourage investment in cleaner technologies across all sectors. We look forward to reform of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in order to drive CO2 reductions in the industrial sector more effectively.”

Details of the verified emissions of greenhouse gas emissions in 2014 are available on the EU’s website.

Further details on Emissions Trading  can be accessed from the EPA website and further information on Ireland’s total greenhouse gas emissions is available on the National Emissions Inventories webpage.

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

Notes to Editor:

Participants in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) based in Ireland reported 15.95 Mtonnes CO2 for 2014 in contrast to the 15.68 Mtonnes CO2 seen in 2013.

Emissions Trading Scheme Verified Emissions 2005-2014: For comparative purposes Ireland's verified ETS emissions since 2005 were as follows (keep in mind that from year to year the scope of the scheme can change somewhat as some installations close and new ones open):

Verified Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Mtonnes CO2)

Emissions 22.43 21.7 21.25 20.38 17.22 17.36 15.77 16.89 15.68 15.95

Emissions Trading: Emissions trading is a “Cap and Trade” scheme where an EU wide limit or cap is set for participating installations. The cap is reduced over time so that total emissions fall. Within that limit “allowances” for emissions are auctioned or allocated for free (outside the power generation sector). Individual installations must report their CO2 emissions each year and surrender sufficient allowances to cover their emissions. If their available allowances are exceeded an installation must purchase allowances. If an installation has succeeded in reducing its emissions, it can sell its leftover allowances.  The system is designed to bring about reductions in emissions at least cost, and is envisaged to play an increasingly important role in assisting European industry implement the type of reductions envisaged in the EU Commission’s limit of at least an overall 20 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 2020.

The Environmental Protection Agency is the competent authority for implementation of the Emissions Trading Scheme in Ireland including the administering of accounts on Ireland’s domain in the Union Registry.