National Emission Projections

Greenhouse gas emission projections provide a forecast of future emissions and are a valuable analytical tool to inform how Ireland will comply with national and EU targets. The EPA develops national emission projections on an annual basis, in collaboration with relevant State and other bodies. This collaboration ensures consistency with economic projections and with projected activity in sectors including energy, agriculture, and industry.


The National Climate Change Strategy (2007) designated the EPA with responsibility for developing national emission projections for greenhouse gases for all key sectors of the economy. Emission projections serve to inform national policy initiatives and allow Ireland to comply with EU reporting obligations on projections (Monitoring Mechanism Regulation 525/2013). 

Two scenarios are produced showing a different outlook for emission levels depending on the level of policy implementation:

  • With Existing Measures (WEM) scenario assumes that no additional policies and measures, beyond those already in place by the end of 2017, are implemented.
  • The With Additional Measures scenario assumes implementation of the With Existing Measures scenario in addition to, based on current progress, further implementation of Government renewable and energy efficiency policies and measures including those as set out in the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) and the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) and more recently Ireland's National Development Plan 2018-2027.  

The EU's Effort Sharing Decision (Decision No 406/2009/EC) sets targets for the non-Emissions Trading Scheme sector for the EU Members States including Ireland for 2020. Ireland is required to deliver a 20% reduction in non-ETS greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (relative to 2005 levels). In addition, Ireland also has binding annual emission limits for the period 2013-2020 to ensure a gradual move towards the 2020 target. The non-ETS sectors cover those that are outside the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and includes the agriculture, transport, residential, commercial, waste, and non-energy intensive industry.

On 14th May 2018, the European Council adopted a regulation on greenhouse gas emission reductions. The regulation sets out binding emission reduction targets for the Member States in sectors falling outside the scope of the EU emissions trading system for the period 2021-2030. The Regulation (Effort Sharing Regulation) maintains existing flexibilities under the current Effort Sharing Decision (e.g. banking, borrowing and buying and selling between Member States) and provides two new flexibilities (use of ETS allowances and credit from action undertaken in the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector to allow for a fair and cost-efficient achievement of the targets. In terms of 2030 reduction targets, the EU Effort Sharing Regulation requires that Ireland reduce its non-ETS emissions by 30% on 2005 levels by 2030.

As part of the 2019 projections reporting the EPA has produced a summary report which provides an updated assessment of Ireland's total projected greenhouse gas emissions out to 2040, progress towards achieving its EU emission reduction targets and a longer-term assessment based on current projections.

Download the EPA 2019 greenhouse gas emissions projections report

Link to previous reports

Download the EPA 2018 greenhouse gas emissions projections report

If you have any questions or inquiries, please contact the emissions projections team at