Irish energy emissions up 6% after 10-year fall

Ireland saw a 6% rise in energy-related emissions in 2015 after 10 years of progress. This was caused by a combination of unusually strong growth and falling energy prices, according to […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Ireland saw a 6% rise in energy-related emissions in 2015 after 10 years of progress.

This was caused by a combination of unusually strong growth and falling energy prices, according to a new report from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). It marks an end to emissions falling by 19% between 2005 and 2015 despite a 40% economy growth through the period.

Strong growth last year meant transport emissions also increased as the two are strongly linked.

Greenhouse gas emissions from power generation grew due to increased electricity demand and power plants using more coal.

There were also increased energy-related emissions in the residential sector due to colder weather and a rise in heating demand.

This could cause concern in a country aiming to reduce its carbon emissions from the energy sector between 80% and 95% by 2050.

Dr Eimear Cotter, SEAI Head of Low Carbon Technologies said: “There is a clear need now to accelerate action in the context of renewed economic growth. This is true for all sectors and in particular the transport sector which has shown a 14% increase in emissions in the last three years.

“Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions per capita in Ireland are above the European average which shows that we still have some way to go to decarbonise our energy system.”

Emissions and sustainability will be part of the discussions at the Energy Live 2016 conference in London this Thursday. Join in the debate using #EL2016.