Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture overtake those from industry

Greenhouse gases from the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector have overtaken the emissions from industry, according to the latest statistics from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The figures for 2013, which are the latest available, show that emissions by the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector constituted 33.7% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

This compares to greenhouse gas emissions from the industry sector which stood at 32.7% of total emissions for the year.

While emissions by the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector decreased overall from 2004, falling to 19.1m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2011, they increased by 3.0% in 2012 and by a further 0.7% in 2013, the figures show.

Meanwhile, greenhouse gas emissions by the industry sector fell in 2013, reverting to the trend of decreasing emissions since 2005.

According to the CSO, this trend was interrupted by a 4.8% annual increase in 2012 which was mainly due to higher consumption of solid fuels for energy production that year.

Total greenhouse gas emissions fell by 1.3% to 58.8m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from 2012 to 2013.

Looking at a breakdown of the emissions, in 2013 carbon dioxide emissions formed 63.1% of total greenhouse gas emissions, methane contributed 22.5%, nitrous oxide made up 12.1% and fluorinated gas emissions were 2.3% of total emissions measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

emissions ag cso

Meanwhile, earlier this week Ireland committed to reducing greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2030, by signing the Paris Agreement on climate change in New York.

The Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly, signed the agreement on behalf of Ireland which was adopted by all 196 nations of the UN in Paris in December last year.

He said the Paris Agreement sends an unequivocal message to business, stakeholders and citizens that all Governments are committed to playing their part in addressing the challenges posed by climate change.

The nations also agreed to work together to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, but also to pursue efforts for a 1.5 degrees target.