Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Have you noticed a change in your finances in the last year? Tell us how the cost of living impacts you https://link.cso.ie/pulse-our-money/

Extra information
For more information on this release:
E-mail: environment@cso.ie Clare O'Hara Berna Lawlor Cian Rushe
For general information on CSO statistics:
information@cso.ie (+353) 21 453 5000 On-line ISSN 2009-7840
CSO statistical release, , 11am

Environmental Accounts Air Emissions

2019

Table A: Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector
Million tonnes CO2 equivalent Change% change
NACE Sector20152016201720182019 2019/20182019/2018
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing20.120.621.322.121.3 -0.9-4%
Industry20.221.320.819.818.4 -1.3-7%
Services16.619.822.223.624.0 0.42%
Households13.313.313.113.513.0 -0.5-4%
         
Total Residence Principle Emissions70.175.077.479.076.7 -2.3-3%
         
+ Non-resident Activity in Ireland1.81.50.80.91.1 0.221%
- Irish Resident Activity Abroad11.514.116.117.418.0 0.64%
         
Total Territorial Principle Emissions60.462.562.162.559.8 -2.7-4%

Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Resident Units decreased 3% in 2019

EAAE2019FIG1
go to full release
  • Greenhouse gas emissions by resident units fell 3% to 76.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from 2018 to 2019 (see Table A)
  • Territorial greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 4% to 59.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from 2018 to 2019 (see Table A)
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from Industry fell 7% in 2019; emissions from Services increased 2% (see Table A and Figure 1)
  • Emissions of all air pollutants fell in 2019 (see Tables 6-12)

Residence Principle and Territorial Principle

National accounts record the economic activities of resident units of Ireland while air emissions accounts record greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions by resident units. Residence principle emissions can therefore be directly related to the economic indicators recorded in national accounts.

Territorial emissions are emissions produced on the territory of Ireland. They are reported annually by the Environmental Protection Agency and are used to determine whether Ireland has met its legally binding emissions targets.

Residence principle emissions are obtained by removing transport emissions emitted by non-resident units on the territory of Ireland from total territorial principle emissions, and by adding transport emissions emitted by Irish resident units abroad.

Non-resident emissions include road transport emissions from fuel sales to owners of non-Irish registered vehicles. Resident emissions abroad include carbon dioxide emissions from flights by Irish airlines originating in countries other than Ireland. See Table 13 and the Background Notes for further information.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions by NACE Sector

The Services sector, which includes road and air transport, produced 31% of greenhouse gas emissions by resident units in 2019. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector produced 28% of emissions, while the Industry sector accounted for 24% of the total. The remaining 17% of greenhouse gas emissions were emitted by Households.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

Greenhouse gas emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing were at their highest of the period 2013-2019 in 2018 at 22.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Emissions from the sector increased in each year from 2015 to 2018 inclusive, then fell by 4% in 2019. The trend can be observed in Figure 1 and Table 1.

Industry

The Industry sector showed a decrease of 7% in emissions in 2019, when emissions fell to 18.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This was the lowest of the period 2013-2019. Having risen in 2014, 2015 and 2016, emissions from Industry fell in 2017, 2018 and 2019, largely due to falling emissions from the energy supply sector, NACE 35 (see Figure 1 and Table 1).

Services

The Services sector includes air and road transport services, and is therefore strongly affected by the residence principle adjustment. Carbon dioxide emissions from Irish airlines operating abroad have a large impact on the level of emissions attributed to the Services sector. Greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest of the period 2013-2019 in 2019, at 24.0 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Emissions from this sector rose in each year from 2013 to 2019 inclusive (see Figure 1 and Table 1).

Households

Emissions from Households were 13.0 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019, a decrease of 4% on 2018 and almost exactly equal to emissions in 2014 which were the lowest of the period 2013-2019 (see Figure 1 and Table 1). Household emissions are mainly due to transport and heating. In 2019 emissions from the Household sector fell due to a decrease in emissions from household heating.

Agriculture, Forestry and FishingIndustryServicesHouseholds
Carbon dioxide1.154280837416.8179434187523.70647514712.493332948
Methane13.724863465250.8510321180.010841526250.1436090015
Nitrous oxide6.378517326880.28111716760.11312372040.07467365354
Fluorinated gases0.000630982980.469486074550.192629621760.24631671727

Figure 2 shows carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of each of the greenhouse gases by NACE sector. Tables 2-5 provide a breakdown of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gas emissions by NACE.

Carbon dioxide was mainly emitted by the Services, Industry and Household sectors in 2019, with 44% of emissions coming from the Services sector.

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector was responsible for 93% of methane emissions and 93% of nitrous oxide emissions in 2019. Fluorinated gases were mainly emitted by the Industry, Household and Services sectors.

Air Pollutant Emissions

Data on emissions by resident units of the air pollutants sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, carbon monoxide, non-methane volatile organic compounds, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and larger particulate matter (PM10) are shown in Tables 6-12. Emissions of all air pollutants fell in 2019, with large reductions seen in emissions of sulphur oxides (26%) and carbon monoxide (17%) in particular, due mainly to decreases in emissions from household heating and from the energy supply sector, NACE 35.

Agriculture, Forestry and FishingIndustryServicesHouseholds
Sulphur dioxide0.42152728425252835.5010794237873.5435083154116360.5338849765488
Nitrogen oxides39.696068775115217.560905018549623.997896598497518.7451296078377
Ammonia99.36231644010140.1531090211023030.1020351538029270.38253938499333
NMVOCs40.314780348888838.46927466268341.4680245518008319.747920436627
Carbon monoxide2.1438642612058122.75622463974717.7895770078218367.3103340912253
PM2.59.1439855787803919.58434745763477.2409489277824364.0307180358025
PM1032.380948347481434.36762887574484.1977815079356129.0536412688382

The NACE sector share of each air pollutant in 2019 is shown in Figure 3. Households were the source of 61% of sulphur oxide emissions, 67% of carbon monoxide emissions and 64% of emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Each of the four sectors was responsible for a substantial share of emissions of nitrogen oxides. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector was the source of 99% of ammonia emissions and 40% of emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs). Larger particulate matter (PM10) was mainly emitted by the Industry sector, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector, and the Household sector.

The NACE sector distribution of emissions by resident units of each of the seven air pollutants presented in this release is provided in Tables 6-12.

Table 1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions (CO2, N2O, CH4, HFC, PFC, SF6, NF3) by NACE Sector   '000 tonnes CO2 equivalent
NACE Rev. 22013201420152016201720182019
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (01-03)20,12219,57220,08020,58721,29422,14321,258
        
Industry (05-43)18,53119,22420,16221,29820,83519,75618,420
Mining and quarrying (05-09)221194162185187172158
Food products, beverages and tobacco products (10-12)1,2271,2021,2301,3251,3531,3521,282
Textiles, wearing apparel and leather products (13-15)19504460652525
Wood and paper products and printing (16-18)56715458706463
Coke and refined petroleum products (19)295280359314312323276
Chemicals and chemical products (20)223225231208227240242
Basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations (21)196201210224222218230
Rubber and plastic products and other non-metallic mineral products (22-23)2,2552,8653,0933,2863,3703,5663,474
Basic metals and fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment (24-25)1,3931,3661,3641,3301,4061,4631,471
Computer, electronic and optical products (26)906698108120146163
Electrical equipment (27)21291723241819
Machinery and equipment not elsewhere classified (28)16514112711711598107
Transport equipment (29-30)1495771010
Furniture; other manufacturing; repair and installation of machinery and equipment (31-33)198175155174170231225
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (35)10,93810,75311,33812,07511,0979,6018,444
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (36-39)9681,2521,3471,4321,6891,8771,881
Construction (41-43)253346328371402353349
        
Services (45-96)15,50215,69416,55919,80622,18523,58424,023
        
Households13,61712,95713,25713,33613,06613,50212,958
        
Total Residence Principle Greenhouse Gas Emissions67,77367,44870,05875,02777,38078,98576,659
        
plus Non-resident Activity in Ireland1,0011,2481,8361,5018389051,094
less Irish Resident Activity Abroad10,20310,63311,46214,05216,10317,36417,975
        
Total Territorial Principle Greenhouse Gas Emissions58,57158,06360,43262,47562,11562,52659,778
Table 2: Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions'000 tonnes C02
NACE Rev. 22013201420152016201720182019
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (01-03)1,2691,0881,0821,1461,0871,2821,154
        
Industry (05-43)17,17117,69518,53019,56519,11718,15616,818
Mining and quarrying (05-09)190163133156158139127
Food products, beverages and tobacco products (10-12)1,0431,0141,0571,1171,1571,2301,146
Textiles, wearing apparel and leather products (13-15)19504460652425
Wood and paper products and printing (16-18)49624549605454
Coke and refined petroleum products (19)294279358313311322275
Chemicals and chemical products (20)220223230206225239241
Basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations (21)195200209223221217229
Rubber and plastic products and other non-metallic mineral products (22-23)2,2442,8533,0823,2763,3583,5533,462
Basic metals and fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment (24-25)1,3901,3631,3601,3261,4011,4591,467
Computer, electronic and optical products (26)54455051536870
Electrical equipment (27)14176891111
Machinery and equipment not elsewhere classified (28)40483442556768
Transport equipment (29-30)1495771010
Furniture; other manufacturing; repair and installation of machinery and equipment (31-33)164137118136129199204
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (35)10,76110,58011,16611,88510,9059,4068,253
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (36-39)234317314349610812833
Construction (41-43)247335319361392344341
        
Services (45-96)15,12115,28816,15919,38121,77523,25023,706
        
Households12,95012,24812,58312,64412,43012,98012,493
        
Total Residence Principle Carbon Dioxide Emissions46,51146,31948,35452,73754,40955,66754,172
        
plus Non-resident Activity in Ireland9721,2111,7831,4588148821,067
less Irish Resident Activity Abroad10,19110,62111,45014,03916,09017,35317,964
 
Total Territorial Principle Carbon Dioxide Emissions37,29236,90938,68840,15639,13339,19537,275
Table 3: Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Emissions'000 tonnes N2O
NACE Rev. 22013201420152016201720182019
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (01-03)21.020.120.320.521.622.721.4
        
Industry (05-43)0.90.90.80.90.90.90.9
        
Services (45-96)0.30.30.30.40.40.40.4
 
Households0.20.20.20.20.20.30.3
        
Total Residence Principle Nitrous Oxide Emissions22.421.521.722.023.224.323.0
 
plus Non-resident Activity in Ireland0.00.00.10.10.00.00.0
less Irish Resident Activity Abroad0.00.00.00.00.00.00.0
 
Total Territorial Principle Nitrous Oxide Emissions22.421.521.722.123.224.323.0
Table 4: Methane (CH4) Emissions'000 tonnes CH4
NACE Rev. 22013201420152016201720182019
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (01-03)504.0500.2518.4533.3550.6563.4549.0
        
Industry (05-43)25.132.635.636.535.534.834.0
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (36-39)21.629.232.133.131.930.930.3
Other Industry3.63.43.53.53.63.93.7
   
Services (45-96)0.60.60.50.60.50.50.4
        
Households7.97.07.06.56.36.95.7
        
Total Residence Principle Methane Emissions537.5540.5561.5576.9593.0605.6589.2
 
plus Non-resident Activity in Ireland0.00.00.00.00.00.00.0
less Irish Resident Activity Abroad0.00.00.00.00.00.00.0
 
Total Territorial Principle Methane Emissions537.6540.5561.5576.9593.0605.6589.2
Table 5: Fluorinated Gas (HFC, PFC, SF6, NF3) Emissions'000 tonnes CO2 equivalent
NACE Rev. 22013201420152016201720182019
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (01-03)0.70.61.10.60.70.70.6
        
Industry (05-43)475.8455.4490.1543.7550.6447.2469.5
        
Services (45-96)271.1297.5295.0305.3285.2208.7192.6
        
Households400.7463.6425.4454.4404.5274.6246.3
        
Total Residence Principle Fluorinated Gas Emissions1,148.31,217.11,211.61,303.91,240.9931.1909.1
        
plus Non-resident Activity in Ireland17.722.030.823.912.712.212.9
less Irish Resident Activity Abroad6.97.27.07.37.35.75.4
        
Total Territorial Principle Fluorinated Gas Emissions1,159.11,231.91,235.41,320.51,246.3937.6916.5
Table 6: Sulphur Oxide (SOx) Emissions'000 tonnes SOx
NACE Rev. 22013201420152016201720182019
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (01-03)0.10.10.00.00.10.10.0
        
Industry (05-43)14.39.58.06.76.75.93.9
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (35)9.06.25.54.04.02.82.2
Other Industry5.43.32.52.72.73.11.6
        
Services (45-96)0.50.30.30.30.40.40.4
        
Households8.87.87.67.47.88.36.6
        
Total Residence Principle Sulphur Oxide Emissions23.817.615.914.415.014.610.9
 
plus Non-resident Activity in Ireland0.00.00.00.00.00.00.0
less Irish Resident Activity Abroad0.00.00.00.00.00.00.0
 
Total Territorial Principle Sulphur Oxide Emissions23.817.615.914.415.014.610.9
Table 7: Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) Emissions'000 tonnes NOx
NACE Rev. 22013201420152016201720182019
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (01-03)38.936.936.737.439.542.339.3
        
Industry (05-43)22.322.223.722.721.720.017.4
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (35)9.28.010.18.58.36.96.1
Other Industry13.114.213.614.213.413.111.3
        
Services (45-96)25.525.324.227.326.725.623.8
        
Households23.223.523.522.821.320.618.6
        
Total Residence Principle Nitrogen Oxide Emissions109.9107.9108.0110.1109.2108.499.1
        
plus Non-resident Activity in Ireland5.36.38.66.63.43.23.4
less Irish Resident Activity Abroad2.12.12.02.01.91.51.4
        
Total Territorial Principle Nitrogen Oxide Emissions113.1112.1114.6114.6110.7110.1101.0
Table 8: Ammonia (NH3) Emissions'000 tonnes NH3
NACE Rev. 22013201420152016201720182019
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (01-03)116.6113.0118.4123.8127.7134.3124.6
        
Industry (05-43)0.20.20.20.20.20.20.2
        
Services (45-96)0.10.10.10.10.10.10.1
        
Households1.11.00.90.80.60.60.5
        
Total Residence Principle Ammonia Emissions117.9114.2119.5124.8128.6135.2125.4
        
plus Non-resident Activity in Ireland0.00.00.00.00.00.00.0
less Irish Resident Activity Abroad0.00.00.00.00.00.00.0
        
Total Territorial Principle Ammonia Emissions117.9114.3119.6124.8128.6135.2125.4
Table 9: Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compound (NMVOC) Emissions'000 tonnes NMVOC
NACE Rev. 2  2013201420152016201720182019
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (01-03)43.844.444.946.446.845.945.8
        
Industry (05-43)36.634.635.736.742.443.143.7
        
Services (45-96)2.01.81.81.81.71.71.7
        
Households28.426.926.024.723.824.322.4
        
Total Residence Principle NMVOC Emissions110.7107.7108.3109.6114.7114.9113.6
        
plus Non-resident Activity in Ireland0.20.20.40.20.10.10.1
less Irish Resident Activity Abroad0.10.10.10.00.00.00.0
        
Total Territorial Principle NMVOC Emissions110.8107.9108.6109.8114.7115.0113.6
Table 10: Carbon Monoxide (CO) Emissions'000 tonnes CO
NACE Rev. 22013201420152016201720182019
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (01-03)1.71.51.41.41.41.51.5
        
Industry (05-43)24.425.827.928.326.321.115.5
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (35)16.115.617.918.315.310.46.1
Other industry8.310.29.910.011.010.79.4
        
Services (45-96)6.15.95.66.05.85.75.3
        
Households87.279.675.267.758.053.845.8
        
Total Residence Principle Carbon Monoxide Emissions119.4112.7110.0103.491.582.168.0
        
plus Non-resident Activity in Ireland1.01.21.51.10.50.50.5
less Irish Resident Activity Abroad0.40.40.40.30.30.20.2
       
Total Territorial Principle Carbon Monoxide Emissions120.0113.5111.2104.291.782.468.3
Table 11: Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Emissions'000 tonnes PM2.5
NACE Rev. 22013201420152016201720182019
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (01-03)1.11.11.11.11.11.11.1
        
Industry (05-43)2.22.42.52.52.62.52.3
        
Services (45-96)1.11.00.91.01.00.90.9
        
Households10.39.39.38.58.39.17.6
        
Total Residence Principle PM2.5 Emissions14.713.813.813.113.013.611.8
        
plus Non-resident Activity in Ireland0.20.30.40.30.10.10.1
less Irish Resident Activity Abroad0.10.10.10.10.10.10.1
        
Total Territorial Principle PM2.5 Emissions14.814.014.113.313.113.611.9
Table 12: Particulate Matter (PM10) Emissions'000 tonnes PM10
NACE Rev. 22013201420152016201720182019
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (01-03)8.88.88.88.88.99.09.0
        
Industry (05-43)8.18.28.79.010.19.29.5
        
Services (45-96)1.31.31.21.31.31.21.2
        
Households10.89.89.89.08.89.68.1
        
Total Residence Principle PM10 Emissions29.028.028.428.129.229.027.7
       
plus Non-resident Activity in Ireland0.30.40.50.40.20.20.2
less Irish Resident Activity Abroad0.10.10.10.10.10.10.1
       
Total Territorial Principle PM10 emissions29.228.328.828.329.329.127.8
Table 13: Residence Principle Adjustment by Type of Transport'000 tonnes CO2 equivalent
 2013201420152016201720182019
Total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, calculated on a residence basis67,77367,44870,05875,02777,38078,98576,659
        
plus Non-resident Activity in Ireland1,0011,2481,8361,5018389051,094
Road Transport Emissions9981,2451,8361,5018389051,093
Air Transport Emissions3200001
        
less Irish Resident Activity Abroad10,20310,63311,46214,05216,10317,36417,975
Road Transport Emissions389407414458480421463
Air Transport Emissions9,81310,22611,04713,59415,62316,94317,512
        
Total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, calculated on a territorial basis58,57158,06360,43262,47562,11562,52659,778

Background Notes

Introduction

The air emissions accounts classify emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants by emitting economic (NACE) sector, including households.

Data sources

The figures presented in this release are based on the air emissions inventories submitted annually by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the United Nations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and under the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP).

Revisions

This release incorporates revisions to the air emissions accounts previously published by the CSO. These constitute revisions made by the EPA to the annual national air emissions inventories and minor revisions to the NACE disaggregation of emissions by resident units in 2018 as Business Energy Use survey data for 2018 became available.

Greenhouse Gases

The three main greenhouse gases included in this publication are carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4). As greenhouse gas emissions from human activities increase, they build up in the atmosphere, warming it through the greenhouse effect. Because many of the major greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for tens to hundreds of years after being released, their warming effects on the climate persist over a long time and can therefore affect both present and future generations.

Carbon dioxide emissions are the result of burning fossil fuels such as coal, turf and petroleum for heat, power and transport. Industrial processes such as cement production also emit CO2.

Nitrous oxide emissions arise from nitrogen fertilisers used in agriculture and a small number of industrial processes.

Methane emissions are caused by the digestive systems of ruminant animals, waste water treatment plants and landfill sites.

There are other greenhouse gases: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). The emissions from these fluorinated gases (F-gases) account for approximately 2% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland. 

Global warming potential

Greenhouse gas emissions by different gases are compared using the global warming potentials (GWPs) for a 100-year time horizon from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report of 2007. The GWP is a measure of the global warming effect of a given mass of a greenhouse gas compared with the global warming effect of the same mass of carbon dioxide. The GWP for methane is 25 and that of nitrous oxide is 298. The GWPs of fluorinated gases vary, but many are in the thousands or tens of thousands. In this release fluorinated gas emissions are presented in units of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide may be converted into tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by multiplying their masses by their global warming potentials. For example, 35,000 tonnes of methane are equivalent to 875,000 (i.e. 35,000 x 25) tonnes of carbon dioxide for a 100-year time horizon. Further details are available at the IPCC website.

Air pollutants

Sulphur oxides (SOx) are formed when sulphur-containing fuels (mainly coal and oil) are burned in power stations. Household heating is one of the main sources of sulphur dioxide emissions in Ireland. Exposure to high concentrations of SOx can lead to breathing difficulties for people with long-term respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are produced during combustion at high temperatures and by agricultural activity; the main sources in Ireland are vehicles, power stations, inorganic fertilisers and animal manure. The industrial sector is also a significant contributor to NOx levels, particularly the cement production industry.  Exposure to NOx is linked to adverse respiratory effects, and long-term exposure increases the risk of respiratory infection in children.

Ammonia (NH3) emissions arise primarily from animal manure and nitrogen-based fertilisers. Exposure to high levels of ammonia may irritate the skin, eyes, throat and lungs.

Non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) are emitted as gases by a wide array of products including paints, paint strippers, glues, adhesives and cleaning agents. They also arise as a product of incomplete combustion of fuels and are a component of car exhaust emissions. A further significant source is agricultural activity. Exposure to NMVOCs can lead to eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination, nausea and damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless gas, formed from incomplete oxidation during combustion of fuel.  Emissions of CO in Ireland are mostly vehicle emissions, although fuel combustion for household heating also contributes. Concentrations of CO tend to be higher in areas with heavy traffic congestion. Carbon monoxide enters the bloodstream through the lungs, where it affects the body’s uptake of oxygen. Exposure in ambient air is most serious for people with cardiovascular diseases.

Particulate matter of median aerodynamic diameter 2.5 microns (PM2.5), or ‘fine’ particulate matter, is composed of a mixture of solids and liquids. Depending on the source of the matter these can include acids (nitrates and sulphates), volatile organic compounds, soil, metals and dust particles. The main source of fine particulate matter in Ireland is household heating. The main sources of particulate matter of median aerodynamic diameter 10 microns (PM10) in Ireland are agricultural activities, such as the use of inorganic nitrogen fertilisers, and household heating. The adverse health impact of particulate matter arises from its ability to penetrate deep into the respiratory tract.

Forestry and soil sequestration

No adjustment has been made for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from forest or soil (including peat) sequestration. In general, emissions from land use and land use change are excluded from the national emission inventory totals as well as from the air emissions accounts.

NACE allocation

Emissions are distributed across NACE sectors according to the correspondences between Common Reporting Format (CRF)/Nomenclature For Reporting (NFR) codes in the Air Emissions Inventories and NACE Rev. 2 sectors. 

In some cases, there is a one-to-one correspondence between the CRF/NFR codes and a NACE Rev. 2 sector. If so, the total emissions from this CRF/NFR code are attributed to that NACE Rev. 2 sector.  However in many cases, a single CRF/NFR corresponds to more than one NACE sector.  In these cases, emissions are assigned to NACE sectors by the CSO using data on transport and non-transport energy use by NACE from the CSO's Business Energy Use survey.

Data for all years have been presented using the NACE Rev. 2 classification, which came into effect in 2008. The NACE Rev. 2 classification is a statistical classification of economic activities in the European Union.

Electricity and gas supply

Emissions from the production of electricity and gas are allocated to the suppliers of energy rather than the end users, and so are allocated to NACE Rev. 2 division 35 (Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply).

Road transport

Road transport emissions are attributed to economic sectors according to the principal activity of the business. If the transport of passengers and freight is the principal activity of a business, then the related emissions are attributed to NACE Rev. 2 division 49 (Land transport).  If road transport is a secondary or ancillary activity to the main business, then the related road transport emissions are allocated to the main NACE division of the enterprise. 

Data on road transport fuel use from CSO's Business Energy Use survey were used to distribute road transport emissions across NACE sectors.

Emissions from private cars are split into household vehicles, small Public Service Vehicles (which are assigned to NACE 49) and company cars. Emissions from motorcycles are allocated to households.

Landfill waste

Landfill waste accounts for approximately 4-6% of methane (CH4) emissions. The NACE Rev. 2 classification for waste treatment is NACE 37-39 (Sewerage and Waste management). Most landfill sites are owned and operated by local authorities who are categorised under NACE 84 (Public Administration and Defence).  However, all CH4 emissions from landfill waste have been classified under NACE 37-39, as this is the NACE sector of the local unit.

Adjustment from Territorial Principle to Residence Principle

National emissions inventories present emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants that originate from the geographic territory of a given country. Air emissions accounts form part of the implementation by Eurostat of a series of environmental-economic accounts which are designed to be compatible with the concepts and principles of national accounts. Therefore, the air emissions accounts record emissions arising from the activities of resident units of a given national economy, regardless of where these emissions occur geographically. According to the national accounts definition of residence, an economic unit is a resident unit of a country when it has engaged for at least one year in economic activity in that territory.

For example, the road transport emissions of an Irish haulier driving in France are not included in Ireland's emissions inventory under the territorial principle, but are included under the residence principle. Similarly, the emissions arising from the activity of an Irish airline flying from England to Italy are assigned to Ireland under the residence principle but not under the territorial principle.

On the other hand, emissions from fuel sales to owners of non-Irish registered vehicle in Ireland are included in the inventory as territorial emissions but are excluded from air emissions accounts.

We compile the air emissions data presented in this release using the "inventory-first" approach. In following this approach, we take the national inventory totals as a starting point, make a residence principle adjustment, and allocate resident emissions to NACE categories and households.

upArrowHide Background Notes

Scan the QR code below to view this release online or go to
http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/eaae/environmentalaccountsairemissions2019/