Ireland on track to miss 2030 climate goals, EPA warns

28 May 2024

Image: © Clara/

The EPA said that even if Ireland adopts all of its planned climate policies and measures, it will still miss its emission reduction goals by a wide margin in 2030.

Ireland looks set to underperform in almost all sectors when it comes to reducing emissions, according to a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA said that Ireland could reduce its emissions by up to 29pc by 2030 compared to 2018 – if all of the country’s planned climate policies and measures are implemented. This would represent an annual reduction of 4pc each year between 2023 and 2030.

However, this result would be significantly short of Ireland’s ambition to reduce emissions by 51pc – the goal listed in Ireland’s Climate Act.

“This is well short of both our European and national emission reduction targets and highlights the scale of effort required to achieve the required reductions across all sectors of our economy,” said EPA director general Laura Burke. “The key priority must be to translate the aspiration in our policies and plans to implementation on the ground.”

The EPA report warns that the agriculture, industry and electricity sectors are projected to be the furthest from their targets by 2030. Though, all sectors except residential buildings are expected to underperform.

Agriculture emissions are projected to decrease by between 1pc and 18pc between the period of 2022 and 2030. This is according to data provided by Teagasc, the agriculture and food development agency.

Other sectors have a more positive projection, even if they still fall short of the 51pc reduction goal. Transport emissions are expected to reduce by 26pc by 2030 if all measures are implemented, while energy sector emissions could drop by 62pc.

“The transition to a low carbon society is building momentum in Ireland,” Burke said. “We see this with more electric vehicles on our roads, renewable electricity powering our homes and adoption of new farm practices. However, we need to speed up and scale up the transition.”

The EPA issued a similar warning last year about Ireland missing its 2030 climate goals by a significant margin, even if all of its climate measures are fully implemented.

Meanwhile, the climate crisis continues to have an impact across the world. A report in April warned that last year saw record-breaking extreme weather events across Europe as a result of human-induced global heating.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic