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Climate action in Ireland: Latest state of play

29 April 2021


The EU binding climate and energy legislation for 2030 requires Member States to adopt national energy and climate plans (NECPs) covering the period 2021 to 2030. In October 2020, the European Commission published an assessment for each NECP. Ireland submitted its NECP in mid-2019. Ireland generates 1.7 % of the EU's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and has reduced emissions at a slower pace than the EU average since 2005. With a low share of energy-intensive industry, Ireland's carbon intensity, relative to GDP, is among the lowest in the Union, with a higher than average decrease. Currently, the agricultural sector accounts for the majority of Ireland's emissions at 31 %, a 4.3 % increase since 2005. Whereas energy industries, manufacturing and industrial processes traditionally account for the majority of countries' emissions, in Ireland they account for only 28 % combined and have together reduced their emissions by 33 % since 2005. Ireland exceeded its allocations under EU effort-sharing legislation for 2020 and also for 2019 (by 15 %). Ireland intends to use effort sharing flexibilities to reach the 2030 target of a 30 % reduction relative to 2005. Ireland achieved a 12 % share of renewable energy sources (RES) in 2019. The country's 2030 target of a 34 % share is focused mainly on wind, with some solar and biomass, with a renewable energy (RE) in electricity target of 70 % by 2030. Energy efficiency measures centre on building stock, smart metering and support measures for low carbon heating and energy retrofits for industry and households. This briefing is one in a series covering all EU Member States.