Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions from EU Emissions Trading Scheme participants decrease for first time since 2013

eu trading emissions

Overall emissions of greenhouse gases from Irish power generation and industrial companies in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme decreased by 4.8 per cent in 2017. This is the first overall decrease in emissions levels from these companies since 2013.

Emissions from the Power generation sector decreased by 8.2 per cent, largely driven by the use of less coal and peat and a greater use of renewable energy.

Cement industry emissions increased by 2.1 per cent.

Food and Drink industry emissions increased by 2.5 per cent.

Ireland’s emissions from the 103 stationary facilities in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme were down by 4.8 per cent in 2017 compared to 2016. This is compared to an increase of approximately 0.3 per cent across Europe. Emissions from the Irish power generation sector, down by 8.2 per cent, contributed the major share of the decrease in emission levels.  Emissions from the cement sector rose by 2.1 per cent and from the food and drink industry sector rose by 2.5 per cent.

 David Flynn, EPA Programme Manager, said:

 “This is the first time since 2013 that Ireland’s Emissions Trading Scheme emissions have shown a decrease.  The decrease is principally due to a welcome reduction in the use of carbon-intensive fossil fuels in power generation and an increase in the use of renewable energy.  These changes demonstrate a move in the right direction for the necessary transformation in Ireland’s energy system.
“Although it is positive to see reducing carbon intensity in electricity generation, other sectors recorded higher emission levels.  It is important that investment in low carbon technologies is made attractive for industry. A higher price for carbon will help to drive such investment. It is encouraging to see the carbon price is now above €10 per tonne following recent amendments to the Emissions Trading Scheme Directive for the period 2021-2030.”

In Ireland, 103 major industrial and institutional sites participate in the Emissions Trading Scheme. These include sites operating in the power generation, cement, lime, and oil refining sectors. Also included are large companies in sectors such as food & drink, pharmaceuticals and semi-conductors.

All companies participating in the scheme are required to report their emissions to the EPA by 31 March each year.

Details of the verified emissions of greenhouse gases in 2017 are available on the EU’s website. The data are not complete for all Member states.

Further details about Emissions Trading  are available on the EPA website. Further information aboutIreland’s total greenhouse gas emissions is also available on the EPA website.

The EPA has developed a useful Infographic entitled The Simple Guide to Ireland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at


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