Manufacturing & industry

Note: These pages present final 1990-2021 Inventory data (updated April 2023) and the EPA's latest 2022-2030 projections estimates (updated June 2023)

In 2021 the manufacturing combustion sector was responsible for 7.4% of Ireland's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions


Current trends

  • GHG emissions increased by 2.5% in Manufacturing Combustion in 2021
  • The largest increase was seen in sub-sector non-metallic minerals (+15.1%) which includes cement


  • The increase in combustion and process emissions in the cement sector was due to growth in cement production with most plants as the covid related closures lifted


  • Emissions projected to decrease 6% and 22% under WEM and WAM scenarios respectively due to increased energy efficiency in manufacturing combustion and an increase in carbon-neutral heating for low and high temperature heat.

Manufacturing combustion sector

This section shows emissions from combustion in the 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 increased by 2.5% or 0.11 Mt CO2eq in 2021 compared to 2020 emissions. 

There were decreases in combustion emissions from major sub sectors including chemical and the food processing, beverages and tobacco sector, i.e. 2.3% and 2.8% respectively. However, combustion emissions from non-metallic minerals (including cement) increased significantly by 15.1% and 0.16 Mt CO2eq. 

Projected emissions

(Latest update June 2023)

Under the With Existing Measures scenario, emissions from manufacturing combustion are projected to decrease 6% from 4.6 to 4.4 Mt CO2eq between 2021 and 2030.

Under the With Additional Measures scenario, emissions from manufacturing combustion are projected to decrease by 22% between 2021 and 2030 to 3.6 Mt CO2 eq. This scenario assumes further rollout of energy efficiency programmes, the use of biomethane for heat and an increase in carbon-neutral heating in low and high temperature heat in manufacturing. 

Industrial processes sector emissions

In 2021 the industrial processes sector was responsible for 4.0% and F-Gases 1.2% 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 increased by 17.5% (0.37 Mt CO₂eq) in 2021 when compared to 2020. Total process emissions from the mineral products subsector (including cement) increased by 18.3% in 2021 compared to 2020 emissions.

In 2021, total emissions (combustion1 and process) from the cement sector increased by 16.8% and amount to 3.13 Mt CO₂eq, or 5.0% of national total emissions. This yearly increase is due to an upturn in cement production levels after a COVID affected year in 2020. Overall, cement sector emissions have increased by 106.2% since 2011.

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 increased by 6.5% from 2020 to 2021, following a decrease of 17.7% in 2020. This is driven by an increase in refrigeration and air conditioning emissions. Emissions of F-gases (HFCs, PFCs, SF6 and NF3) were 0.77 Mt CO₂eq in 2021 compared to 0.04 Mt CO2eq in 1990, a 22-fold increase over the time series. However, F-gas emissions have risen from a very low base and only accounted for 1.2% of the national total in 2021.

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.

 1 Included in manufacturing combustion sector

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Projected emissions

(Latest update June 2023)

For the industrial processes sector emissions are projected to increase by 5% 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 data2). The majority of emissions come from cement and lime industries and the projections are based on growth forecasts from the cement industry in Ireland.

Fluorinated-Gas (F-Gas) emissions are projected to decrease by 16% to 0.6 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.

F-Gas emissions are projected to reduce by 14% between 2021 and 2030 to 0.7 Mt CO2 eq under the With Additional Measures scenario. The results show that in the WAM scenario F-gas emissions are slightly higher than in the WEM scenario by 2030. In the WAM scenario the number of heat pumps being deployed annually is over double the number in the WEM scenario by 2030. The switch to lower Global Warming Potential gas (R32) in and heat pumps and air conditioning units over the projected period in the With Additional Measures scenario means that despite this large increase in heat pump numbers, the increase in GHG emissions is small. 

1 Included in manufacturing combustion sector

 2 This does not include F-gas emissions which have WEM and WAM scenarios discussed separately

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