Greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2004 – final figures released

Date released: Mar 29 2006

Following the release earlier in the year of provisional figures for Ireland’s emissions of greenhouse gases up to 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today released its finalised inventory for the period.  Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2004 were up by 0.15 per cent on the 2003 levels, reaching 68.46 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent.  This is a slight reversal of the downward trend in emissions over the previous two years.

In 2004, Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions were 23.1 per cent higher than in 1990.  Ireland is committed under the Kyoto Protocol to limit emissions to 13 per cent above the 1990 level in the period 2008 to 2012.

Ireland’s total allocation of greenhouse gases for that five-year period will be 315 million tonnes CO2 equivalent, i.e., an average of 63 million tonnes per annum over the period.  Emissions in excess of that total would require use of the flexible mechanisms that are provided for under the Kyoto Protocol.

The breakdown of the 2004 figures show that agriculture is the single largest contributor to the overall emissions, at 29 per cent of the total, followed by energy (power generation & oil refining) at just over 23 per cent and transport at 18.4 per cent.

The finalised inventory of Ireland’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions covers the period 1990 – 2004.