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Snowfalls caused severe disruption in March 2018. Eamonn Farrell/

Ireland misses greenhouse gas emissions targets with Status Red snowfalls putting pressure on home heating

The EPA says there are challenges in dealing with extreme weather events in a sustainable way.

IRELAND HAS MISSED its greenhouse gas emissions targets for the third year running.

New figures from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed that Ireland marginally reduced its greenhouse gas emissions (by 0.2%) last year, but not enough to reach our target set out in the EU emissions budget.

Ireland produced 60.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent last year, five million tonnes above the target.

The agriculture sector produced by far the most greenhouse gases again last year at 20.6 million tonnes, over one-third of all emissions.

The transport sector was second at 12.2 million tonnes with both sectors producing more greenhouse gases than in 2017.

The increases in both sectors are influenced by increased activity and economic growth.

Household emissions also increased last year with the EPA saying that a colder winter upped demand for home heating. The 7.9% increase in household emissions was among the largest percentage increase across any sector.

Ireland was gripped by significant snowfalls and icy weather during Storm Emma and the so-called ‘Beast from the East’ in March 2018

PastedImage-19097 EPA EPA

The EPA said that with oil heating still the predominant heating fuel there is a significant challenge in dealing with extreme weather events in a sustainable way.

“At a time of global urgency to address climate change this is a national trend that we must reverse,” the EPA’s Dr. Eimear Cotter said today.

“It is time for businesses and communities to support and be supported in taking action to reduce emissions. Ireland must implement the ambitious commitments in the 2019 Climate Action Plan to play its role in averting the worst impacts of climate change.”

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