Figures released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed that greenhouse gas emissions in the country dropped by 0.8% between 2005 and 2006.

However, emissions in 2006 were still 69.77 million tonnes, almost seven million tonnes above the country’s Kyoto targets.

What’s more, transport emissions remained high in the year. In 2006, they increased by 5.2% on 2005.

“While the figures are encouraging, and the reduction of 0.8% is most welcome, the remaining distance to our Kyoto target is substantial and shows that we continue to face a very major challenge,” commented Dr Mary Kelly, director general at the EPA.

“Major efforts will be required to halt and reverse this trend.”

Encouragingly, the data showed that emissions from power generation and agriculture declined, dropping 4.6% and 1.4% respectively.

Recent figures published in the Irish Independent showed that government ministers generated a 30-tonne carbon footprint in recent months.

James Cooper

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