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Ammonia Emissions

In 2005 the Government approved a National Programme for the progressive reduction of emissions of four transboundary pollutants: sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and ammonia. The programme arises from a requirement under the UN Gothenburg Protocol to control and reduce emissions of these pollutants. Agriculture is the main source (c. 98%) of ammonia emissions in Ireland with animal manures producing about 92 per cent of ammonia emissions and chemical fertilisers accounting for the remainder.

The European Communities (National Emissions Ceilings) Regulations 2004[2] , set a limit on national annual ammonia emissions, to be achieved by 2010, of 116 kilotonnes (kt). The level of ammonia emissions in 2001 was 122 kt, in 2003 it was 116 kt and by 2008 the level of emissions had declined to 103.8 kt, of which, 101.3 kt was from agriculture.

However, the National Emissions Ceilings Directive is currently under review by the European Commission and Ireland may shortly face more demanding targets for ammonia emissions to be achieved by 2020.


[1]This Accord, which outlines certain climate change commitments, was the main output from the December 2009 UNFCCC Climate Change negotiations in Copenhagen. The Accord was noted by Parties.

[2]Incorporated into Irish law by S.I. No. 10 of 2004, made by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, implementing EU Directive 2001/81/EC concerning national emissions ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants.