Northern Ireland Environmental Statistics Report released

Date published: 30 May 2024

The Northern Ireland Environmental Statistics Report has been published today by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

DARD report

This statistical report is produced annually and contains information on a range of environmental indicators in Northern Ireland.

Download the report

The key points are:

Public Attitudes

  • The level of public concern about environmental issues was high in 2023/24, with 78% very or fairly concerned about the environment.
  • Climate change and illegal dumping of waste and litter were the greatest environmental concerns for households (28 and 27% respectively) in Northern Ireland in 2023/24.

Air & Climate

  • Roadside nitrogen dioxide levels have decreased from 40.6μg/m3 in 2012 to 23.7μg/m3 in 2023.
  • In 2021, Northern Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions were estimated to be 22.5 MtCO2e, a reduction of 23% since 1990.

Water and Marine

  • In 2023 Soluble Reactive Phosphorus (SRP) was measured at 93 surveillance rivers across Northern Ireland giving an average concentration of 0.062 mg/l of phosphorus per litre of water.
  • Of the twenty-five inshore coastal waterbodies delineated in Northern Ireland, 13 (52%) have been assessed at good or better ecological condition.
  • In 2023, there were 1,851 water pollution incidents reported, of which 821 (44%) were substantiated (confirmed) as having an impact on the water quality of the receiving waterway.


  • In 2023/24, 55% of features within Marine and Terrestrial protected sites were in Favourable condition while 36% were in Unfavourable condition.

Historical Environment

  • Listed buildings are those of special architectural or historic interest. The number of listed buildings in 2022/23 was 9,072, an increase of 11% compared to 2003/04.


Notes to editors: 

  1. This is the sixteenth annual Northern Ireland Environmental Statistics Report.  Current and previous reports dating back to 2009 can be accessed from the DAERA website.
  2. There are seven main sections in the report which cover Public Attitudes and Access to Nature; Climate Change; Air; Water and Marine; Biodiversity and Land; Waste and Historical Environment.
  3. The findings in this report are based on the most recently available data at the time of publication for each indicator with most providing data on trends over time and where applicable, performance against quantified targets.  The indicators that were included were determined in agreement with key data providers, policy colleagues and other interested parties.
  4. These statistics are released according to the Statement of Compliance with the Pre-release access to Official Statistics Order (NI) 2009. National Statistics meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and public value. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.
  5. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office: or telephone: 028 9016 3460.
  6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800 hrs and 0800 hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  7. Follow DAERA on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook

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