Date released: June 06, 2019
Ireland faces significant challenges in meeting EU 2030 reduction targets for Greenhouse Gases. Progress in achieving targets is dependent on the level of implementation of current and future plans.
The Environmental Protection Agency, as the competent authority for reporting Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions projections, has today published its updated Greenhouse Gas Projections for the period 2018-2040. The figures continue to highlight a significant gap to meeting Ireland’s EU Effort Sharing targets, regarding 2020 and 2030 commitment periods.
Commenting on the figures Laura Burke, Director General, EPA said:
“Our projections show that, in the long-term, there is a projected decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, as a result of climate mitigation policies and measures in the National Development Plan. However, to meet its EU targets for 2030 and achieve National policy ambitions, Ireland will need full implementation of those measures, plus additional measures in future plans.”
At a sectoral level, emissions from agriculture are projected to increase steadily over the projected period which is mainly because of projected increases in animal numbers, particularly for the dairy herd. Implementation of potential greenhouse gas mitigation measures identified by Teagasc research, but not included in the projections will be important for the sector.
Growth in emissions from the transport sector continues to be projected until at least 2022, even with relatively high fuel prices and electric vehicle uptake as proposed in the National Development Plan. Should fuel prices remain at a relatively low level for an extended time then transport emissions could continue to increase steadily until 2030.
The EPA’s projections highlight the sensitivity of Ireland’s energy demand, and consequently emissions, to future fuel prices and the threat this could pose to achieving Ireland’s climate change mitigation ambition. This is particularly evident in transport emissions, but also a factor for all energy consuming sectors. The projections highlight the emissions reductions achievable by ending coal fired power generation and moving to higher levels of renewable penetration as proposed in the National Development Plan.
See full details in the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Projections 2018 to 2040 report on the EPA website.
Notes to Editor:
EU greenhouse gas emission targets and reduction obligations for Ireland are split into two broad categories. The first category covers the large energy and power (i.e. energy intensive) industry which have their emissions controlled under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. The second category (and the main subject of this press release) deals with the non-Emissions Trading Scheme sectors such as agriculture, transport, residential, commercial, waste and non-energy intensive industry.
The Environmental Protection Agency is the competent authority responsible for producing greenhouse gas emission projections on an annual basis for all sectors of the economy in collaboration with relevant State and other bodies. The following are key underlying data that underpin this year’s greenhouse gas emission projections:
The EU’s Effort Sharing Decision (Decision No 406/2009/EC) sets targets for the non-Emissions Trading Scheme sector for EU Member States including Ireland for 2020. Ireland’s 2020 target is to achieve a 20% reduction of non-Emissions Trading Scheme sector emissions on 2005 levels with annual binding limits set for each year over the period 2013-2020.
On 14th May 2018, the European Council adopted a regulation on greenhouse gas emission reductions. The regulation sets out binding emission reduction targets for 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 to allow for a fair and cost-efficient achievement of the targets:
Greenhouse gas emissions are projected to the year 2040 using two scenarios:
An overview of total projected emissions by sectors (which include ETS and non-ETS emissions) under the With Additional Measures is presented in Table 1 and Figure 1.
Table 1. Projected greenhouse gas emissions to 2030 under the With Additional Measures Scenario
|Mt CO2 eq||2017||2020||2025||2030||Growth 2018-2030|
|Commercial and Public Services||1.97||1.31||1.15||0.97||-50.9%|
Figure 1. Projected sectoral share of total greenhouse gas emissions (includng ETS and non ETS emissions) in 2030 in the With Additional Measures scenario
Units: 1 Mt = 1,000 kilotonnes
CO2 Equivalent: greenhouse gases other than CO2 (i.e. methane, nitrous oxide and so-called F-gases) may be converted to CO2 equivalent using their global warming potentials.
F-gases: These gases comprise HFCs (Hydrofluorocarbons), PFCs (Perfluorocarbons), SF6 (Sulphur Hexafluoride) and NF3 (Nitrogen Trifluoride). They are much more potent than the naturally occurring greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide).
Ireland’s GHG Sectors: include the following nine sectors for analysis;