Press release

Greens welcome EPA report showing significant cut in carbon emissions

9th July 2024
A sign at a climate change protest reads, "There is No Planet B"
This is the lowest that greenhouse gas emissions have been in three decades. 

The Green Party welcomes today’s EPA report which shows that emissions in 2023 are down 6.8% on the previous year. This is the lowest that greenhouse gas emissions have been in three decades. 

The reduction is an incredible result. It builds on the reduction of almost 2% last year and shows that Ireland is making real progress in terms of hitting national targets. The amount of greenhouse gases we’re producing is at its lowest level in 30 years which is all the more impressive considering how much bigger our economy and our population is compared to back then. 

The reduction is really good news from a climate point of view and it’s also really good news on many other fronts too. It means cleaner air because we’re burning fewer fossil fuels, more jobs because we’re producing our own energy instead of importing it from abroad, and lower fuel bills and warmer homes because we’re insulating our buildings. 

This result is down to the Irish people. They are the ones who are making a real difference - every day 70 families are putting solar panels on their roofs while almost twice that number are retrofitting their homes. Farmers are embracing new ways of working in order to lower their footprint, while more and more people are opting for public transport every year.  

Reacting to the report, Green Party Leader Roderic O’Gorman commented: 

“As we celebrate this milestone, it’s important to recognise the hard work and dedication of everyone involved. Many commentators said that this level of reduction would be impossible - that it would be too unpopular and would require too much hard work to accomplish. This collective achievement demonstrates that with a shared purpose and collective effort, substantial progress in combating climate change is not only possible but is within our grasp. The benefit of this action is being felt on a daily basis, with people saving money on things as diverse as public transport, energy bills and agricultural inputs.” 

Minister for Energy Eamon Ryan added: 

“This is a staggering drop in a single year, at a time of such growth. A combination of factors – more interconnection, renewables ramping up, lower fertiliser use, retrofits being completed across the country – has made a real impact. Looking ahead, it's crucial to maintain this momentum and to ensure that we continue to listen to people and bring communities with us as we continue to make this transition to a greener economy and society. Across the country there are green shoots emerging that are helping to reduce emissions while improving quality of life. We can keep going green with continued investment in renewable energy sources, further enhancements in energy efficiency, and support for sustainable transport.” 

Minister of State for Land Use, Forestry, and Biodiversity Pippa Hackett said: 

“These figures show that under the Greens in Government the tide is turning on greenhouse gas emissions. The reduction in the agriculture emissions in particular, down 4.6%, is really welcome and it’s important to acknowledge the good work being done by farmers right across the country. This is due in large part to reductions in chemical fertiliser, which in turn is a direct result of Green Party policy, incentivising organic farming, multi species swards and red clover silage.” 

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