Northern Ireland greenhouse gas inventory 1990-2014 statistical bulletin released

Date published: 14 June 2016

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A statistical bulletin on greenhouse gas emissions for Northern Ireland during the period 1990-2014 has been published today by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

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The statistical bulletin outlines key Northern Ireland figures from the Greenhouse Gas Inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is available on the DAERA website. The estimates were produced by Ricardo Energy and Environment and Aether on behalf of the Department for Energy and Climate Change, Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly Government and Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

The key points are:

  • In 2014, Northern Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions were estimated to be 20.3million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This was a decrease of 3.0% compared to 2013.
  • The longer term trend showed a decrease of 17.4% compared to the base year. The base year is 1990 for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, and 1995 for the fluorinated gases.
  • The largest sectors in terms of emissions in 2014 were agriculture (28%), transport (21%) and energy supply (19%). Most sectors showed a decreasing trend since the base year. The largest decreases were in the energy supply, residential and waste sectors. They were driven by improvements in energy efficiency, fuel switching from coal to natural gas, which became available in the late 1990s, and the introduction of methane capture and oxidation systems in landfill management.
  • Northern Ireland accounted for 4.0% of UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2014. In total, the UK reduced emissions by 36% between the base year and 2014. England and Scotland reduced emissions by 38% and 41%. Wales and Northern Ireland reduced emissions by 18% and 17%. Regional estimates are less certain than the UK estimate.

Further Information

The statistical bulletin containing more detail can be accessed via the DAERA website. The full report can be accessed through the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory website.

 

 

Notes to editors: 

  1. This is the seventh release of the Northern Ireland greenhouse gas inventory statistical bulletin. It will continue to be updated annually. The data were produced by Ricardo Energy and Environment and Aether, on behalf of the Department for Energy and Climate Change, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.
  2. Emissions are reported for seven greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). Depending on their molecular weights, radiative properties and residence times in the atmosphere, each greenhouse gas has a different capacity to cause global warming. The base year is 1990 for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, and 1995 for the fluorinated gases. The fluorinated gases are hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride.
  3. All emission figures presented in this press release are taken from the by source inventory, which attributes emissions to the sector (and region) that produces them. There is also an end user inventory which reallocates the emissions by source in accordance with where the end user activity occurred, i.e. emissions from power stations would be reallocated to the users of this electricity, e.g. domestic homes and industry.
  4. The greenhouse gas emission estimates are based on a wide range of data sources and sources of uncertainty include statistical differences, assumptions, proxy datasets and expert judgement. In addition, the natural variability in the processes that are being modelled introduce uncertainty. For example, carbon content of fuels and farming practices under different climatic conditions and soil types. The uncertainties are presented as confidence intervals. The width of the interval provides a measure of the accuracy of the estimate. For the percentage reduction between the base year and 2014, the 95% confidence interval ranges from 8% to 29%, with a central estimate of 17.4%.
  5. These statistics are released according to the Statement of Compliance with the Pre-release access to Official Statistics Order (NI) 2009. Official Statistics are produced to a high professional standard. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.
  6. UK greenhouse gas inventory National Statistics user guide provides a simple guide to the origins and use of data in the compilation of the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory. This guide can be accessed through the Department of Energy and Climate Change website.
  7. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office: pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

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