Greenhouse gas emissions lower in 2008 for Ireland’s Emissions Trading companies

Date released: Apr 06 2009

Data supplied to the EU Commission by the Environmental Protection Agency show that Verified Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in 2008 for companies in Ireland covered by the Emissions Trading Scheme are lower than the previous year. This continues a well-established downward trend in our recorded emissions since the Emissions Trading Scheme commenced in 2005. Verified Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) have reduced from a high of 22.43Mtonnes in 2005, to the 20.38Mtonnes reported for 2008.

Emissions Trading is a cap and trade scheme where participating installations are given a fixed allocation each year and must either abate CO2 emissions to that level or purchase allowances to meet any exceedance.  The Emissions Trading Scheme covers over 100 major industrial and institutional sites in Ireland.  These include power generation, other combustion, cement, lime, glass and ceramic plants and oil refining. Also included are large companies in areas such as food & drink, pharmaceuticals and semi-conductors.

In total, Ireland’s Emissions Trading Scheme companies emitted 20.38 Mtonnes CO2e in 2008. This compares to a free allocation under Ireland’s National Allocation Plan to these installations in 2008 of 19.97 Mtonnes CO2e. Therefore there was an under allocation to these companies of 0.41Mtonnes.

Commenting on the release of the emissions figures, Dr Mary Kelly, Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency stated,

“The Emissions Trading Scheme is designed to bring about reductions in emissions at least cost, and is seen to play an increasingly important role in assisting European industry implement the type of reductions envisaged in the EU Commission’s recent decisions on an overall 20% reduction of GHG emissions in the EU by 2020. The results released by the EPA show how the Emissions Trading Scheme has been successful in reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions. While no doubt some of the reduction reflects the economic downturn which began to have significant impact during 2008, nonetheless the overall picture is one of progressive annual GHG emission reductions."

Details of the verified emissions of greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 are available on the EU’s website at: