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EPA Greenhouse Gas Projections

On June 1st 2022, the EPA released GHG emissions data projections from 2021 to 2040. The Agency projections data have indicated that there is a need for urgent policy implementation in order to comply with the 2030 emissions reduction targets set out by the European Union.

The data projections show that:

• Total GHG emissions have increased by 6% in 2021.

• Planned policies and measures, if fully implemented, could deliver up to 28% (4% per annum) emissions reduction up to 2030.

• Should all measures be delivered and implemented as planned, Ireland can comply with its 2030 EU emissions reduction targets.

• All sectors need to do significantly more to meet their National emissions reduction targets by 2030.

• The major challenge lies in the agricultural sector. Methane emissions will need to reduce by up to 30% to meet the lower range of its 2021 Climate Action Plan target.

• Urgent implementation of all current climate plans and policies, as well as further measures in the future, are necessary for Ireland to meet the 51% emissions reduction target to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

The EPA’s GHG emissions projection is an estimate of what emissions levels are likely to be in the future. These projections are based on key factors and assumptions such as economic growth, fuel prices and Government policy.

The projections above indicate that Ireland has returned to pre-pandemic levels of activity. This is seen particularly in the transport sector, with a rise in associated emissions noted. The data shows that the implementation of planned climate policies and measures will give rise to a decrease in GHG emissions from 2023 onwards. The impact of these planned measures and policies on a sectoral basis is described below:


A methane reduction of almost 30% is required in order to achieve a 22% reduction in agriculture emissions compared to 2018 figures, as Ireland has committed to in its Climate Action Plan. It must be clearly set out in the sector as to how this will be achieved in order to address the uncertainty with regards to the sector’s ability to deliver on its 2030 commitments.


It is estimated that there will be an increase of 18-19% from 2020 to 2022 in associated emissions from transport as a result of the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions. The EPA projections indicate that emissions from the sector will decrease by 39% from 2018 levels by 2030 if planned climate policies and measures are implemented effectively. It is estimated that there will be 940,000 electric vehicles (EVs) on Irish roads by 2030 as well as increased biofuel blend rates and measures to support more sustainable transport.


There has been an increase in the use of coal from 2021 due to the unavailability of sufficient gas-fired generation to meet growing energy demand followed by changes in relative fuel price. This poses a great threat to the good practice over recent years and have a negative impact on progress towards National targets, particularly for the first carbon budget period. However, according to the projections, increased renewable energy generation, if delivered and implemented as planned, can reduce energy emissions by 10% each year from 2021-2030. This would result in achieving up to 78% renewable energy generation by 2030.

Home Heating

There has been an increase in people spending more time at home as a result of the rise in remote/hybrid working. This, coupled with the increasing cost of fossil fuels has highlighted the need for the implementation of improvements in home heating efficiency and better insulation. With the current policies and measures that have previously been implemented, it is estimated that there will be a 24% reduction in associated emissions from this sector by 2030. This indicates that there is a need for additional policies and measures such as those set out in the Climate Action Plan. Included in the Climate Action Plan is the installation of 680,000 heat-pumps by 2030 as well as retrofitting 500,000 homes. These measures are expected to achieve a 41.5% reduction in associated residential emissions by 2030 compared to 2018 figures.

To access the full EPA Greenhouse Gas Emission Projections from 2021-2040 click here. To access the EPA Greenhouse Gas web resource click here.

August 2022