Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the aviation sector increased by approximately 94% in 2022 compared to 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency has announced.

This increase in aviation emissions highlights the need to reduce the carbon intensity of air travel, which can be done through the use of sustainable aviation fuels, Dr Maria Martin, senior manager of the EPA argued.

In the overall scheme of things, Ireland’s power generation and industrial emissions decreased by 4% in 2022, according to preliminary analysis of GHG emissions carried out by the EPA.

This is the equivalent of more than 600,000t CO2.

This compares with a decrease of approximately 1.2% across Europe, according to the results.

Industrial emissions

There was also a decrease in industrial emissions of over 7%, with the cement industry emissions decreasing by almost 9%.

This, according to the EPA, was due to a combination of factors, including increased use of renewable electricity and renewable fuels, as well as a decrease in cement production.

In the electricity sector, there was less use of coal and peat-fired generation compared to the previous year, as conventional gas generation was available along with renewable energy.

Targets for 2023

Laura Burke, EPA's director general said: "While the decrease we are seeing for 2022 from the emissions trading sector is welcome, 2022 emissions are in fact slightly above the pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

"Much more needs to be done if the sectoral targets under the 2023 Climate Action Plan are to be reached," she said.