Ireland's energy-related carbon emissions rose by 5.4% last year, figures show

Ireland's Energy-Related Carbon Emissions Rose By 5.4% Last Year, Figures Show
Photo: PA Images
Share this article
Fiachra Gallagher

Ireland's production of energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 5.4 per cent in 2021, new figures show.

Analysis from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) show that emissions are returning to pre-Covid levels, with further increases — around 6 per cent — anticipated in 2022. SEAI is the state's national energy authority, tasked with overseeing Ireland's "transition to a clean energy future".


SEAI said that a rebound in car use as the economy returned following multiple lockdowns — as well as a general increase in the use of coal and oil —was a significant driver in the increase in emissions.

The country's transition to renewable energy sources and an elimination of fossil fuels use was "not at the rate required to achieve our climate ambitions", the authority said.

SEAI said that there was an urgent need to implement new measures to reduce carbon emissions, including the development of onshore and offshore wind and solar energy production infrastructure, more energy storage and electricity interconnection, and replace petrol and diesel vehicles with electric vehicles.

Director of research and policy insights at SEAI Margie McCarthy said that the country "cannot afford to lose focus" in reaching targets set in annual carbon budgets.


"[SEAI's] findings show we are heading in the wrong direction, with our carbon budgets requiring a 4.8 per cent decrease in emissions, yet in 2021 we have an increase in energy emissions of 5.4 per cent.

"We must urgently move to renewables and use less oil, gas, coal and peat for our energy needs today to avoid making our future years even more challenging.

"Preliminary data for 2022 suggests that energy-related emissions have increased further, putting us even more behind our targets than anticipated.

SEAI offers a range of advice and Government funded supports for householders, businesses, and communities who want to reduce their use and make the switch to renewables.

"These supports include grants for home energy upgrades, electric vehicles, energy upgrades to businesses and community buildings, and a range of supports for sustainable energy communities.

Ms McCarthy urged individuals to take action, thanking those who "have started their journey to decarbonisation".

The figures come ahead of an update to the government's Climate Action Plan, due to be unveiled by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications next week.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by