Carbon dioxide emissions in Ireland from energy-related activities including power generation, heating and transport decreased by 19% in the decade to 2015, according to the country's official green energy body.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland said the fall in emissions came despite a 40% increase in economy growth over the same time period. 

Emissions, however, increased by 6% in 2015 from a year earlier, as the economy started to grow strongly, the SEAI said. 

The rise was underpinned by increased transport energy use and power generation emissions, partly boosted by increased coal generation. Higher demand for heating in the residential sector could partly be explained by slightly colder weather, it added.

SEAI head of low carbon technologies Eimear Cotter said there was a clear need for more action to reduce emissions, particularly in the transport sector, which has generated a 14% increase in emissions over the last three years.

"Energy-related CO2 emissions per capita in Ireland are above the European average, which shows that we still have some way to go to decarbonise our energy system and deliver the multiple benefits to Ireland," Cotter said.

Image: A Kingspan solar rooftop project in Ireland (Kingspan)