Ireland's Environment

Find out about the current state of Ireland's environment. Read about the current trends, causes, what's being done and outlook for each topic. Check out our additional resources and the most recent State of the Environment report: Ireland’s Environment - An Integrated Assessment 2020. Access its key messages and products and its related The Story of Your Stuff competition website. 

What can you do?

Reduce your transport carbon footprint, improve the energy efficiency of your home and avoid food waste - climate actions you can take every day.

Ireland's Environment

Icon of Ireland

State of the Environment report

A clear national policy position for Ireland’s environment is required together with more integrated, coherent and ambitious environmental policy frameworks.

Highlights identified in the State of the Environment report

13

Act on the highlights identified in Ireland’s Environment: An Integrated Assessment 2020. These outline the scale of the challenges to be tackled.

hands around a heart

Environment and wellbeing

Protecting the environment is an investment in our health and wellbeing.

Food crops relying on animal pollination to produce healthy and nutritious foods

75%

Climate disruption, chemical exposure, and underinvestment in drinking water and wastewater treatment infrastructure are risks to our environment and our health.

plant in soil

Land and soil

Promote integrated land-mapping approaches to support decision-making on sustainable land use.

Agriculture is the primary land cover type in Ireland and covers

67.6%

Good spatial planning can optimise economic development opportunities and ecosystem services while reducing social inequities and people's exposure to environmental pressures.

globe

Climate

Ireland’s climate is changing. More urgency is needed to deliver climate mitigation and adaptation actions. The scale and pace of greenhouse gas emissions reductions must accelerate.

Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, energy and transport combined

70%

Systemic change is required for Ireland to become the climate-neutral, climate-resilient society and economy that it aspires to be.

Cloud for air

Air

The WHO has described air pollution as the ‘single biggest environmental health risk’. Ireland’s air quality currently is good, relative to other EU Member States, however local issues exist.

In Ireland, the number of premature deaths attributable to air pollution is estimated at

1,300

Integrating air pollution controls, noise mitigation measures and climate action (for example, in transport management) can bring multiple benefits.

water drop

Water

Ireland’s water resources are an important natural asset. Clean, healthy water is essential for our economy, our aquatic wildlife and for our health and wellbeing.

Overall surface water quality decline since 2015

4.4%

Improve the water environment, tackle water pollution locally at a water catchment level and reduce human-induced pressures on the marine environment.

leaves

Nature

Nature and wild places are at risk in Ireland and need to be better safeguarded, both locally and in protected areas.

Assessed habitats that are of favourable conservation status

15%

Safeguard nature and wild places as a national priority and to leave a legacy for future generations.

Half open waste bin

Waste

We are at a pivotal point in Ireland’s waste policy, legislation and planning.

Tonnes of waste generated in Ireland each year

13 million

Changing our behaviours on resource consumption, waste management and recycling are actions everyone can take to protect the environment.

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Sustainable economy

Move to a less wasteful and circular economy and to the use of clean energy systems. Progress towards a more environmentally-sustainable and carbon-neutral food production system.

Million tonnes of materials used in Ireland each year

100

The transition to a clean energy future for heating, electricity and transport is essential for the protection of human health, the climate and the environment.

Latest Publications

in: Assessment
Field and tractor
Ireland's Environment: An Integrated Assessment 2020

Key Messages Booklet

Learn more about the key message and highlights from the State of the Environment Report 2020

Report cover
Ireland's Environment 2020- An Assessment

Full report

An Integrated Assessment 2020 outling the state of Ireland’s environment at a strategic and national level.

Report cover
Ireland's Environment: An Integrated Assessment 2020

Executive summary

Executive Summary: Ireland’s Environment An Integrated Assessment 2020