Between 1990 and 2023, Transport shows the greatest overall increase of GHG emissions at 129.2%, from 5,143.3 kt CO2 eq in 1990 to 11,790.8 kt CO2 eq in 2023, with road transport increasing by 133.6%. Fuel combustion emissions from Transport accounted for 9.3% and 21.4% of total national greenhouse gas emissions in 1990 and 2023, respectively. The increase in emissions up to 2007 can be attributed to general economic prosperity and increasing population, with a high reliance on private car travel as well as rapidly increasing road freight transport. Over the time series passenger car numbers increased by 191% and commercial vehicles increased by 177%. Both the increase in transport emissions up to 2007 and the subsequent fall during the financial crisis highlight that transport emissions have not yet been effectively decoupled from economic activity through sustainable planning or electrification. 

Note: These pages present provisional 1990-2023 Inventory data (updated July 2024) and the EPA's latest 2023-2030 projections estimates (updated May 2024) 

In 2023 the transport sector was responsible for 21.4% of Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions 

Transport sector

This sector accounts for emissions from the combustion of fuel for all transport activity including aviation, road, railway, water-borne navigation and other transportation (which includes gas pipeline transportation). The provisional GHG inventory figures indicate an increase in the sector of 0.3% in 2023 or 0.03Mt CO₂eq compared to 2022 emissions.

Emissions from road transport were relatively stable for the period 2015-2019, at an average 11.6 Mt CO2eq but reduced to 9.8 Mt CO2eq in 2020. However, with the easing and ending of travel restrictions in 2021/22, road transport emissions rebounded to 10.4 Mt CO2eq and 11.1 Mt CO2eq respectively.  In 2023 emissions are still below pre-COVID levels at 11.2 Mt CO2eq. Total energy consumption in road transport increased by 2.3% in 2023; petrol, +6.6%, diesel +1.2%, bioethanol +41.0% and biodiesel +29.5%.

At the end of 2023, there were 110,000 battery electric (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEVs) vehicles in Ireland, approximately 56% (compared to 37% in 2022) of the 2025 policy target of 195,400 or <12% of the 2030 policy target of 944,600 vehicles. 

Back to Greenhouse Gas Home 



Projected emissions

(Latest update May 2024)

Under the With Existing Measures scenario, transport emissions are projected to decrease by 5% over the period 2022 to 2030 to 11.2 Mt CO2 eq.

Emissions are projected to decrease by 26% over the period 2022 to 2030 to 8.7 Mt CO2 eq  under the With Additional Measures scenario (shown as the line in the graph below), which assumes 945,000 electric vehicles will be on the road by 2030, biofuel blends for petrol (10%) and diesel (20%) by 2030 and a reduction in total vehicle kilometres to be achieved by behavioural and sustainable transport measures by 2030.