Ireland won't meet its 2020 target for emission reductions: EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency says transport sector emissions increased in each of the last three years;

Ireland won't meet its 2020 target for emission reductions: EPA

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said there's been "little evidence of decoupling" as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

Significant increases were recorded across all the main sectors in 2015, particularly within energy industries, transport, agriculture and residential.

Transport sector emissions increased by 4.2% in 2015 alone, marking an increase every year within the last three years. Low fuel prices and a colder winter saw reversals in the residential sector, with emissions growth at 5.1% due to low fuel prices and a colder winter.

Agriculture remains the single largest contributor to the overall emissions at 33% of the total. Transport and Energy Industries are the second and third largest contributors at 19.8% and 19.7% respectively.

EPA Director General Laura Burke said: “The EPA’s most recent greenhouse gas emission projections published in March this year, projected that Ireland would not meet its 2020 target, with emission reductions likely to be in the range of 6-11% below 2005 levels. The greenhouse gas emission increases for 2015 in this report, suggest that achieving reductions, even at the lower end of that range, will be difficult.”

The Paris Agreement, in which member states of the European Union agreed to share a commitment to cut emissions by at least 40% by 2030, came into force on November 4th.

The report comes following the EPA's figures said earlier this month that more than 1,000 people in Ireland die prematurely each year as a result of air pollution.