Ireland has a number of energy and emissions targets for 2020. Our society needs to work together to improve energy efficiency and use renewable energy.

2020 energy efficiency targets

The energy savings target by 2020 is equal to 20% of the historic average energy use during the period 2000–2005. Ireland’s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) provides details of the current policies and measures planned and in action now.

EU targets for renewable energy

There are two binding EU targets for renewable energy by 2020

  • 16% of final energy use (all sectors) must be sources from renewables
  • 10% of energy use in the transport sector must be renewable

To achieve the overall 16% target, national sub-targets have also been set for heat (12%) and electricity (40%). The pathways to achieving these targets are set out in the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP).

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

Ireland, along with Denmark and Luxembourg, has the most challenging target for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions in the EU; a 20% reduction on 2005 emissions levels by 2020. Activity contributing to achievement of our energy targets help to meet the binding EU greenhouse gas emissions target, but does not guarantee it. Emissions targets also include emissions from agriculture and waste disposal which currently account for 34% of Ireland’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

 % greenhouse gas emissions
Energy related emissions61
Industrial process5

Future targets in 2030 and 2050

  • 20%

    Energy savings by 2020
  • 16%

    National consumption of renewable energy systems

Meeting Ireland’s 2020 renewable energy and energy efficiency targets will put Ireland on a low-carbon pathway to meet future targets in 2030 and 2050. An EU-wide reduction of 40% by 2030 has already been agreed by Member States. The EU, along with several other Member States, have set out ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% to 95% by 2050, compared with 1990 levels.

The Paris Agreement forged at COP21 provides further impetus for strong action on climate change mitigation in Ireland and internationally.