The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published its greenhouse gas emissions projections for the period 2023-2050.

EPA analysis shows that planned climate policies and measures, if fully implemented, could deliver up to 29% emissions reduction by 2030 compared to 2018, a reduction of 4% each year from 2023 to 2030. This is insufficient to achieve the ambition of 51% emissions reduction in Ireland’s Climate Act.

The first two carbon budgets (2021-2030), which aim to support achievement of the 51% emissions reduction goal, are projected to be exceeded by a significant margin of between 17% and 27%.

Residential buildings

All sectors, except residential buildings, are projected to underperform relative to the sectoral emissions ceilings. Agriculture, industry and electricity sectors are projected to be the furthest from their sectoral ceiling in 2030.

Laura Burke, director general, EPA said: “The EPA’s projections show that full delivery of all climate action plans and policies could deliver a 29% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 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. The key priority must be to translate the aspiration in our policies and plans to implementation on the ground.

“The transition to a low carbon society is building momentum in Ireland. 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."


Total emissions from the agriculture sector are projected to decrease by between 1% and 18% over the period 2022 to 2030. Savings are projected from a variety of measures including limits on nitrogen fertiliser usage, switching to different fertilisers and bovine feed additives. The higher ambition scenario assumes that most of the measures outlined in Climate Action Plan 2024, AgClimatise and Teagasc (MACC) are in place.


Emissions from the sector are projected to reduce by 26% over the period 2022 to 2030 if the measures set out in plans and policies are implemented. These include over 940,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030, increased biofuel blend rates and measures to support more sustainable transport. Road freight is projected to be the biggest source of road transport greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.


Driven by a reduction in fossil fuel usage and increased net importation of electricity from interconnectors, there was a marked drop of almost 24% in emissions from electricity generation between 2022 and 2023. In combination with planned increases in renewable energy generation from wind and solar, energy sector emissions are projected to reduce by 62% and achieve more than 80% renewable electricity generation by 2030.

Land use

Emissions from this sector are projected to increase between 23% to 99%over the period of 2023 to 2030 as our forestry reaches harvesting age and changes from a carbon sink to a carbon source. Planned policies and measures for the sector, such as increased afforestation, water table management on agricultural organic soils and peatland rehabilitation, are projected to reduce the extent of the emissions increase.

Mary Frances Rochford, programme manager, said:“The EPA projections show the importance of accelerating the delivery of renewable technologies to support decarbonised electrification across the economy, adopting known emission reduction technologies while new solutions are developed in agriculture, providing alternatives to car and freight transport, and taking action to reduce emissions from land to reduce Ireland’s emissions. Increasing the pace of implementation will deliver the required emission reductions and create space for adoption of further policies and measures.”

For further detail on these figures, see the EPA report Greenhouse Gas Emission Projections 2023 to 2050 and EPA Greenhouse Gas web resource on the EPA website.