Ireland reduces greenhouse gas emissions in 2013

Electricity sector emissions fall 11.5% while food and drink industry gases rise 4%

Greenhouse gas emissions by the electricity  sector fell 11.5 per cent in Ireland last year. Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

Greenhouse gas emissions by the electricity sector fell 11.5 per cent in Ireland last year. Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire


Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissons fell in 2013, largely because of an 11.5 per cent drop in emissions fom the electricity sector, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

It said this decrease may be partly due to extended shutdowns of units at the 1,200-megawatt Moneypoint coal-fired power station on the Shannon estuary coupled with the availability of renewables.

Large energy users covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) cut their contribution by 7 per cent compared to 2012, while cement industry emissions fell by 4 per cent due to lower production.

Almost 100 major industrial installations in Ireland participate in the ETS. These include sites operating in the power generation, cement, lime, oil refining, food and drink, pharmaceuticals and electronics.

Bucking the trend, companies in the food and drink sector reported an overall increase of 4 per cent in their emissions last year, reflecting strong growth in production in this export-led sector.

“Overall, recorded emissions show a welcome downward trend for 2013,” said EPA senior manager Dr Maria Martin. “However, this result does not detract from our awareness of the need to decouple carbon emissions from economic growth.

“We need radical structural reform of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in order to ensure that the price of carbon will be at a level which incentivises real change in how we manage our energy requirements and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions”.

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