Manufacturing & industry

In 2020 the manufacturing combustion sector was responsible for 7.8% of Ireland's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions



Current trends

  • GHG emissions decreased by 1.5% in Manufacturing Combustion in 2020
  • The largest reductions have been seen in non-ferrous metals (-1.8%) and non-metallic minerals, which includes cement (-3.7%)


  • The decrease in combustion and process emissions in the cement sector was due to a reduction in cement production with most plants having extended closures due to COVID.
  • There were also decreases in the chemical sector of 2.6%


  • Emissions projected to increase under both scenarios modelled due to increases in production and hence increases in combustion emissions.
  • Emissions may decrease if energy efficiency programmes are further developed.


Manufacturing combustion sector

This section shows emissions from combustin in manufacturing industry. It also includes combustion for combined heat and power for own use in these industries. Emissions from the combustion of fuels in manufacturing decreased by 1.5% or 0.07 Mt CO2eq in 2020 compared to 2019 emissions. There were small increases in combustion emissions for a number of the sub-sectors including food processing (+2.4%) but the larger reductions in the non-ferrous metals (-1.8%) & chemicals (-2.6%) and cement sub-sector (3.7%) meant an overall 1.5% reduction in the manufacturing and construction industry sector was realised.

Under the With Existing Measures scenario, emissions from manufacturing combustion are projected to stay at the same level 4.6 Mt CO2 eq between 2021 and 2030.

Under the With Additional Measures scenario, emissions from manufacturing combustion are projected to increase by 2.1% between 2021 and 2030 to 4.3 Mt CO2 eq. This scenario assumes further rollout of energy efficiency programmes such as SEAI Large Industry Programmes, Accelerated Capital Allowances and the Excellence in Energy Efficiency Design (EXEED) programme.

Industrial processes sector emissions

In 2020 the industrial processes sector was responsible for 3.7% and F-Gases 1.4% of Ireland's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions


Industrial processes sector

The industrial processes sector estimates greenhouse gas emissions occurring from industrial processes, from the use of greenhouse gases in products, and from non-energy uses of fossil fuel carbon.

Emissions from the industrial processes sector decreased by 7.0% (0.16 Mt CO₂eq) in 2020 when compared to 2019. Total process emissions from the mineral products subsector (including cement) decreased by 7.3% in 2020 compared to 2019 emissions.

In 2020, total emissions (combustion1 and process) from the cement sector decreased by 5.7% and amount to 2.68 Mt CO₂eq, or 4.75% of national total emissions. This decrease is due to a reduction in cement production, with most cement plants having extended closures in 2020 due to COVID restrictions. Overall, cement sector emissions have increased by 76.5% since 2011.

Emissions are projected to increase by 14.6% between 2021 and 2030 to 2.6 Mt CO2 eq under the With Existing Measures scenario (this is the only emissions scenario for industrial processes, based on available data). The majority of emissions come from cement and lime industries and the projections

Industrial processes and product use is the only sector for which emissions of HFCs, PFCs, SF6 and NF3 (collectively known as fluorinated gases or F-gases) are reported in greenhouse gas emission inventories. There is no production of fluorinated gases in Ireland, but these substances are used in activities such as Ireland’s electronics industry and for refrigeration and air conditioning. F-gas emissions were down 14.4% from 2019 to 2020, following a decrease of 1.4% in 2019. This is driven by a reduction in refrigeration and air conditioning emissions. Emissions of F-gases (HFCs, PFCs, SF6 and NF3) were 785.48 kt CO₂ eq in 2020 compared to 34.6 kt CO2 eq in 1990, a 23-fold increase over the time series. However, F-gas emissions have risen from a very low base and only accounted for 1.4 % of the national total in 2020.

The main reason behind the more recent decreases in F-gas emissions has been the phasing out of refrigerant and air conditioning gases with high  global warming potentials (GWPs), due to the implementation of the F-Gas Regulation 517/2014. These refrigerant gases are being replaced with products containing a blend of HFCs and hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) with low GWPs in sub category 2.F.1 Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.

Fluorinated-Gas (F-Gas) emissions are projected to decrease by 14.4% to 0.76 Mt CO2 eq between 2021 and 2030 under the With Existing Measures scenario. This is largely due to the move away from mobile air-conditioning systems in vehicles that contain F-Gases with a high global warming potential.

Emissions are projected to reduce by 12.4% between 2021 and 2030 to 0.77 Mt CO2 eq under the With Additional Measures scenario. The key difference between both scenarios is the result of the different future uptake rates in heat pumps in each scenario (i.e. more heat pumps being deployed in the With Additional Measures scenario).

 1 Included in manufacturing combustion sector

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