Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland greenhouse gases slashed by 30% since 1990

Greenhouse gas emissions in Northern Ireland fell by 29% per person between 1990 and 2015.

The population increased by 16% over this period, while total greenhouse gas emissions decreased 18%.

The decline in emissions  was driven by the growth of renewable generation, a shift away from coal use towards gas for electricity generation, and improvements in energy efficiency.

The ratio of emissions to gross value added (GVA) in Northern Ireland fell 54% bewteen 1998 and 2015.

GVA is used to measure Northern Ireland's economic output, and over the 17 year period it has grown substantially, while greenhouse gas emissions have been in decline.

Residential greenhouse gas emissions per household have also decreased 25% over the past five years from a peak of 4.20 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per household in 2010 to 3.16 tonnes of CO2e in 2015. Fuel switching to natural gas from more carbon-intensive fuels such as coal and oil has reduced emissions, but more households creates greater demand for energy.

Road transport emissions per vehicle kilometre travelled decreased 8% from 207 gCO2e per vehicle kilometre travelled in 2008 to 192 grams in 2014. The change was driven by a decrease in road transport greenhouse gas emissions which was due to improvements in average fuel efficiency of vehicles. Vehicle kilometres travelled have been steady over the six years.

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