Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions are up

Power station chimney Image copyright PA

Northern Ireland produced more than twenty million tonnes of greenhouse gases last year.

It was a small increase on the previous year, though the long term trend is down.

The biggest emitters were agriculture, transport and the energy sector.

A range of emissions are measured including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and a range of fluorinated gases.

Northern Ireland emissions accounted for just over four percent of the UK total.

Methane

Methane from livestock accounted for the bulk of agricultural emissions.

In the transport and energy sectors it was mostly comprised of carbon dioxide.

Increased use of gas instead of coal in energy production and methane capture in landfills have helped cut the overall levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

They are down more than 17% on base years in the early and mid-90s when recordings were taken for comparative purposes.

The only sectors showing an increase from the base years are transport and land use change.

That is due to increased use of vehicles and the conversion of land for building.

Northern Ireland is the only region of the UK without its own climate change legislation.

The then DUP Agriculture & Environment Minister Michelle McIlveen ruled it out again last December, saying existing UK laws were sufficient.

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