The draft greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions report, published yesterday, reveals f-gases have also increased compared to 1990 levels.
Johnstown Castle, where the Irish EPA is headquartered, in Co. Wexford, Ireland.
A draft report published yesterday by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), headquartered in Wexford, estimates that Ireland’s f-gas emissions grew by 10.2% between 2015 and 2016.
Another report, published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), is expected to come out in December 2017 and will cite f-gas figures on 2016 levels across the European Union.
F-gases include HFCs (hydroflurocarbons), PFCs (perfluorcarbons), SF6 (sulphur hexafluoride) and NF3 (nitrogen trifluoride) and are regulated throughout the European Union by the EU F-Gas Regulation.
Since the 1990s these gases, used in refrigeration, air conditioning and manufacturing semiconductors, have steadily increased. The report estimates that in 1990 they made up 0.1% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and now in 2016 make up 2.1% of the country’s emissions.
From an EU-wide perspective, fluorinated gas emissions are estimated to have fallen since the entry into force of the new EU F-Gas Regulation in 2015.
According to a report published by the EEA in 2016, the import, production, export and supply of HFCs fell in 2015 compared to 2014 on average across the European Union.
In Ireland during the same period, emissions of fluorinated gases also went down. In 2014 HFC emissions were 1,182.87 (kilotonnes of CO2 equivalent) compared to 1,142.06 in 2015. But in 2016 they went up to 1,258.27.
Ireland could face emission fines
Overall Ireland’s emissions are up by 3.5% in 2016 compared to 2015, which could result in serious consequences if Ireland fails to meet previously agreed EU targets for reducing emissions by 2020.
“We need to adopt a much greater sense of urgency about reducing our dependence on fossil fuels while radically improving energy efficiency.”
– Dr. Eimear Cotter, Irish EPA
Dr. Paul Deane, a researcher at University College Cork’s (UCC) environmental research institute, estimates Ireland may have to pay a fine of €455 million in 2020 for not meeting emissions and renewable targets under the EU’s climate credits scheme, according to the Irish Times.
“We need to adopt a much greater sense of urgency about reducing our dependence on fossil fuels while radically improving energy efficiency,” Dr. Eimear Cotter, director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Sustainability, said in a press release on the EPA’s website.