The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has published its Energy- Related CO₂ Emissions in Ireland report. The report shows that energy-related CO₂ emissions declined slightly in 2018, even as energy use increased. This was due to changes in the mix of fuels used, particularly for electricity generation, where more renewable energy and less coal was used. However, the overall reduction was not enough to keep Ireland on track to meet long term decarbonisation goals.
Energy is commonly split into three sectors: transport, heat and electricity. In 2018, transport was the biggest emitter of energy-related CO₂ emissions accounting for 40%. Energy used for heat was the next biggest at 33% and electricity generation was responsible for 27%.
In the heat sector, fossil fuels used to heat homes were the largest source of CO₂ emissions at 47%, up 8% on the previous year. Industry had the next largest share at 21%. Even with an increase in the amount of renewable energy used for heat, Ireland has the second lowest share of renewable energy used for heat in the EU.
The 2018 energy results underline the need to swiftly implement the Climate Action Plan, which sets out over 180 actions to tackle the climate crisis across all sectors of the economy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 36%.