The EPA compiles Ireland's annual greenhouse gas emission inventories and projections. This allows the Government to assess progress in terms of meeting our greenhouse gas emissions targets, and also to inform policy development in terms of developing appropriate mitigation measures.
A greenhouse gas emission inventory is a compilation of historical greenhouse gas emissions from sources, such as transport, power generation, industry and agriculture, from 1990 to the most recent year for which data is available.
A greenhouse gas emission projection is an estimate of what emission levels are likely to be in the future based key assumptions such as economic growth, fuel price and Government policy.
According to the latest provisional GHG inventory published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (November 2016), emissions for 2015 are estimated at 59.84 Mt CO2eq, which is 3.7% higher than emissions in 2014. These figures indicate that Ireland will be in compliance with its 2015 annual limit under the Effort Sharing Decision (ESD), but the latest projections indicate that Ireland will exceed its annual targets in 2016 or 2017 and over the remainder of the period to 2020.
According to the latest projections produced by the EPA (March 2016), projected emissions for 2020 indicate that Ireland's emissions at that stage could be in the range of 6-11% below 2005 levels. The likely outcome will be closer to 6%, representing a significant shortfall in terms of reaching the 20% reduction in 2020. This reflects both our reduced investment capacity over the period of the economic downturn, as well as the fact that the target itself was misinformed and not consistent with what was achievable on an EU wide cost-effective basis.
For more detailed and up to date information on Irelands greenhouse gas emissions please see the inventories and projections page on the EPA website.