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COP21: New Figures Reveal Electricity Sector’s Progress in Cutting CO2 Emissions

21 April, 2016

Despite increase in consumption, electricity emissions in Ireland decrease by 29% over past 15 years

CO2 emissions reduction equates to 1.3m roundtrip flights between New York and Beijing

CO2 emissions produced as a result of electricity generation in Ireland has decreased by 29 percent over the past 15 years despite a 19 percent increase in electricity consumption over the same period, according to new figures compiled by the Irish Wind Energy Association (“IWEA”).

In a period where electricity generation increased from 21,024 GWh in 2001 to 25,069 GWh in 2015, CO2 emissions associated with this electricity generation fell from a peak of 16,883 kt CO2 in 2001 to 11,922 kt CO2 in 2015.

The CO2 emissions reduction of 4,962 kt CO2 equates to approximately 1.3 million roundtrip flights between New York and Beijing.

Commenting on the new figures, Brendan Heneghan, Interim CEO, Irish Wind Energy Association, said that while much progress is still required to ensure that Ireland continues to successfully reduce national carbon emissions, it’s clear that clean, renewable energy is already having a very positive effect in decreasing the carbon intensity of the Irish electricity network.

“The signing this week of the Paris Climate Change Agreement by Global leaders is pivotally important in that it will provide a roadmap and targets for almost 200 countries worldwide as we look to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and implement innovative processes to protect our environment for future generations.”

“Global leaders have already placed great faith in renewable energy, including wind energy as a key component for protecting the environment while powering our economies and it is already paying great dividends.”

“In large part thanks to renewable energy in Ireland, we have managed to reduce our overall CO2 emissions from the sector despite the substantial increase in our usage of electricity in recent years. It’s important that these achievements are recognised at national level and that we continue to focus on decarbonising our electricity system through efficient and cost effective renewable energies.”

A recent Irish national survey carried out by IPSOS MRBI in February 2016 found that 86% of people support the use of renewable energy over fossil fuels.

For more information:
Robert Brown, ReputationInc
01 412 0500