The EPA's Role in addressing climate change

The EPA’s role in addressing climate change challenges includes collating national greenhouse gas emissions and projections; regulating emissions from industrial sectors; supporting climate science research; supporting behavioural change and facilitating the National Dialogue on Climate Action.  Note: These pages present provisional 1990-2023 Inventory data (updated July 2024) and the EPA's latest 2023-2030 projections estimates (updated May 2024) 

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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Greenhouse gas emissions Ireland

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Key messages

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Ireland decreased in 2023

Change in emissions since 2022


Emissions decreases were driven by the reductions in the Electricity generation, Residential sector, Agriculture and Industry. The overall emissions reduction, while welcome, falls short of reductions required to achieve National and new EU targets.

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Latest emissions estimates

Ireland’s latest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 1990-2023 are provisional figures based on the SEAI’s energy balance released in June 2024.

Latest emissions data

55.01 Mt CO2eq

Ireland’s GHG emissions are estimated to be 55.01 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2eq)

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Energy industries

Greenhouse gas emissions decreased in 2023 due to the reduction in coal, oil and peat use and an increase in renewable energy for electricity generation

Emissions mainly from electricity generation


Decreases in coal 44.2%, oil 78.2% and natural gas 7.2% used in electricity generation in 2023

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Residential/household sector was responsible for 9.7% of Ireland's GHG emissions in 2023

Residential emissions


Compared to 2022, the reduction was driven by high fuel prices, a milder winter and a shift away from emission intensive fuel such as coal and peat, to oil and natural gas

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Transport emissions

Emissions increased by 0.3% in 2023 following a 6% increase in 2022



At the end of 2023, there were almost 110,000 electric vehicles in Ireland, approximately 56% of the Climate Action Plan target for 2025.

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Decreased emissions in 2023, driven by decreased nitrogen fertiliser use (-18% in 2023), dairy cows (+0.6%), other cattle (-1.1%) and sheep (-1.2%)

Agriculture emissions


Overall decrease in agriculture emissions

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Emissions from the Waste sector decreased by 4.0% in 2023, due to a decrease in emissions of methane from landfills by 6.3%.

Waste sector emissions


Waste sector emissions decreased by 0.04Mt CO2eq

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Commercial and Public services

The Commercial/Public services sector estimates emissions from fuel combustion for space and hot water heating in commercial and public buildings in Ireland.

Commercial/Public combined share of emissions


Emissions from Commercial Services and Public Services decreased by 2.5% and 2.7% respectively in 2023.

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Manufacturing combustion

Emissions from combustion of fuels in manufacturing industry. It also includes combustion for combined heat and power for own use in these industries.

Manufacturing combustion emissions decreased


This sector was responsible for 7.5% of Ireland's total GHG emissions in 2023.

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Industrial processes

In 2023 the industrial processes sector was responsible for 3.9% and F-gases 1.3% of Ireland's total GHG emissions

Industrial processes


Cement sector process emissions decreased by 6.5% in 2023 following a 7.4% decrease in 2022

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Forest land, Cropland, Grassland, Wetlands, Settlements, Other land and Harvested Wood products are included in LULUCF

Data for 2023 shows that land use, land use change and forestry activity emit

5.6 Mt CO2eq

This sector is a net source of carbon in all years. A dedicated Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) publication summarising recent changes is in preparation.

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Assessment of compliance

The provisional estimates of greenhouse gas emissions indicate that Ireland exceeds its 2023 annual limit, without the use of flexibilities, set under the EU’s Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) by 2.27 Mt CO2eq.

Compliance with national target requires a reduction of


by 2030 compared to 2018. National total emissions (including LULUCF) for 2021 and 2022 and provisional 2023 have used 63.9% of the 295 Mt CO2eq Carbon Budget for the five-year period 2021-2025.

FAQs on greenhouse gas (GHG)

in: Climate Change

Ireland's GHG emissions inventory

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol provide the basis for international action to address climate change. The objective of the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human-induced interference with the climate system. The ability of the international community to achieve this objective is dependent on an accurate knowledge of emissions trends, and on our collective ability to alter these trends. Reliable GHG inventories are essential, both at national and international level. Parties to the convention and its Kyoto Protocol are committed to developing and publishing the national emission inventories of GHGs which is a key element of assessing progress towards meeting commitments and targets.

The EPA has overall responsibility for the national greenhouse gas inventory in Ireland's national system and compiles Ireland's national greenhouse gas emission inventory on an annual basis. 

Emissions data for the following gases is reported on an annual basis: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perflurocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). 

Ireland's GHG emissions projections

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 and UN reporting obligations on emissions projections. The EPA produces national greenhouse gas emission projections on an annual basis.

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Popular FAQs

  • What urease inhibitor products are currently in the greenhouse gas and air pollutant inventories and projections?

    Environmentally, there are two key benefits to using urease inhibited (or ‘stabilised’) fertiliser products:

    1. the reduction of emissions of ammonia, an important air pollutant, when compared to the use of ‘straight’ urea;
    2. when used as a replacement for Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN), a reduction in nitrous oxide emissions, a potent greenhouse gas.

    As outlined in the international guidelines for national inventories and projections (FAQ: How are national inventories updated with the latest science?), research should be conducted at field scale, covering a range of soil types and environmental conditions so that efficacy of any particular product is demonstrated at field level under the conditions in which it will be used.

    The following fertiliser products have met the criteria for inclusion as urease inhibitor products within the national greenhouse gas and air pollutant Inventories and Projections 1990-2022:

    • N-(n-butyl)-thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT)
    • N-(n-propyl)-thiophosphoric triamide (NPPT)
    • N-(n-butyl)-thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT) + N-(n-propyl)-thiophosphoric triamide (NPPT)
    • N-(2-nitrophenyl) phosphoric triamide (2NPT)

    The most relevant national research demonstrating efficacy at field level (Forrestal et al. 2016 [1]; Harty et al., 2016 [2]; Roche et al., 2016 [3]) provide the evidence base for the inclusion of these products. 2NPT’s mode of action is similar to that of NBPT, however, to date it’s use in Ireland has been minor.

    If/when information is provided on new products that meet the criteria specified these products will be added to the list above. The emission or abatement factor is applied from the time the product was placed on the Irish market and retrospectively across the time series in instances where a product has been on the market prior to provision of supporting evidence. In the absence of robust scientific evidence then the emission factor for straight urea is applied.




  • What is LULUCF?

    Land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF), also referred to as forestry and other land use (FOLU), is defined by the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat as a "greenhouse gas inventory sector that covers emissions and removals of greenhouse gases resulting from direct human-induced land use such as settlements and commercial uses, land-use change, and forestry activities." It covers the following categories forest land, cropland, grassland, wetlands, settlements, other land and harvested wood products.

    Reporting of the LULUCF sector

    The UNFCCC reporting guidelines on annual inventories for Parties included in Annex I to the Convention (Decision 24/CP.19)provide guidance on the estimation and reporting of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol caused by activities relating to land use, land use change and forestry. The guidance stipulates that reporting under the UNFCCC covers all anthropogenic emissions and removals from the lands included in the LULUCF sector (land-based approach). In principle, this approach applies a wall-to-wall comprehensive inventory of anthropogenic sources and sinks of greenhouse gases over the land units subject to activities relating to land use, land use change and forestry.

  • What is Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2eq)?

    Greenhouse gases other than CO(i.e. methane, nitrous oxide and F-gases) may be converted to CO2 equivalent using their global warming potentials (GWPs). The GWP of a gas is a measure of the cumulative warming over a specified time period usually 100 years, by a unit mass of this gas. This is expressed relative to carbon dioxide (CO2) which has a GWP of 1. The mass emission of any gas multiplied by its GWP gives the equivalent emission of the gas as carbon dioxide. This is known as CO2 equivalent. This makes it possible to sum up the emissions and contribution of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) to climate change and determine options to address climate change.

  • What do decarbonisation goals and low carbon economy mean?

    Decarbonisation means reduction of carbon. What is meant is the conversion to an economic system that sustainably reduces and compensates the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). The long-term goal is to create a CO2-free global economy.

    A low-carbon economy, low-fossil-fuel economy, or decarbonised economy is an economy based on low-carbon power sources that therefore has a minimal output of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, specifically carbon dioxide. A low-carbon economy is simply an economy that causes low levels of GHG emissions compared with today's carbon-intensive economy. 'Carbon' refers to carbon dioxide, the GHG, which contributes the most to climate change. The low-carbon economy can be seen as a step in the process towards a zero-carbon economy.

  • What data has been collected for wave 1 of this study?

    Participants were asked a number of baseline questions including gender, age, ethnicity etc. Participants were also asked to respond to a number of climate related questions and statements, which formulated the findings of the CCIM report. For an in depth explanation of the survey wording & questions asked, please visit the following link: Survey Question Wording

    Sensitive variables that comprised < 2% of the sample size were adjusted in order to protect participants. These variables included gender identity, religion, ethnicity etc. This was done by removing direct identifiers and aggregating categories

Latest Climate Change

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Provisional GHG Report 1990-2023 Front Cover
Ireland's Provisional Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1990-2023

Prepared by EPA's Emissions Statistics Team

The EPA has produced provisional estimates of greenhouse gas emissions for the time period 1990-2023. This report provides early insight into the annual greenhouse gas emissions in advance of final data being submitted to the EU and UN in 2025.

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Ireland's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Projections 2024 (2023-2050)

Prepared by EPA's Emissions Statistics Team

This report provides an assessment of Ireland’s total projected greenhouse gas emissions out to 2050 which includes an assessment of progress towards achieving its National ambitions under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 and EU emission reduction targets for 2030 as set under the EU Effort Sharing Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2018/842).

Ireland's Air Pollutant Emissions Cover Page 2024
Ireland's Air Pollutant Emissions 2022 (1990-2030)

Prepared by EPA's Emissions Statistics Team

Latest report (2024) on Ireland's National Emission Reduction Commitment Directive (NECD) emissions. Five main air pollutants, NOx, SO2, NH3, NMVOC and PM2.5

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Ireland's National Inventory Submission 2024

Prepared by EPA's Emissions Statistics Team

Ireland's annual inventory submissions including the National Inventory Report (NIR) and Common Reporting Format (CRF) data files and supplementary information if available. The NIR contains transparent and detailed information on the inventory for years 1990-2022. The CRF tables contain all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals, implied emission factors and activity data..

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Ireland's UNECE Submissions 2024

Prepared by EPA's Emissions Statistics Team

Ireland's submissions under UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) and National Emissions Ceiling Directive (NECD) include the Informative Inventory Report (IIR) and Nomenclature for Reporting (NFR) tables. The IIR and NFR contain detailed information on methodologies, activity data and emission factors and emissions for years 1990-2022.