Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency revealed greenhouse gases covered by the European Commission’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) were higher in 2010 than the year before.

The rise means four years of consecutive falls in emissions, from a high of 22.43 Mts in 2005 to 17.22 Mts in 2009 has been halted.

However the rise, to 17.36 Mts in 2010, is according to the EPA down to the severity of the recession between 2008 and 2009.

And, also reveals a slight glimmer of economic, if not environmental, hope as a slight increase in production, against a stagnant 2009, pushed up the country’s emission figures.

EPA programme manager, Dr Ken Macken, said: “While the emission reduction mainly reflects the impact of the current recession, nonetheless the necessity to undertake all possible efficiency measures is now an essential business strategy.

“The fact many efficiency measures also reduce fuel use, with an associated reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, is an important benefit for this country for the future.”

More than 100 major industrial and institutional sites in Ireland are covered by the ETS scheme.

Luke Walsh

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