Input-output analysis of Irish construction sector greenhouse gas emissions

Adolf A. Acquaye, Aidan P. Duffy

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    190 Scopus citations


    Ireland is committed to limiting its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 113% of 1990 levels over the period 2008-12 and to 84% of 2005 levels by 2020 under the Kyoto Agreement and the EU's 2020 target by 2020 respectively. National policies have targeted many industry sectors but have failed to directly tackle GHG emissions associated with construction activity. This paper estimates energy and GHG emissions intensities of the Irish construction sector and subsectors and estimates its contribution to Irish national emissions. This information is used to identify and assess the impacts of policy measures which would result in a reduction in emissions from the sector in a cost-effective manner. Energy and emissions intensities are estimated using input-output analysis techniques applied to Irish construction sector. In 2005 the Irish construction sector was responsible for the emission of 13.81 mtCO2eq, comprising 2.37 mt (17%) of direct on-site emissions, 5.69 mt (41%) upstream indirect domestic emissions and 5.75 mt (42%) upstream indirect emissions outside the state. Domestically arising direct and indirect emissions accounted for 3.44% and 8.26% of national emissions respectively. Approximately three-quarters of construction sector emissions were the result of activities relating to NACE 45.2 'civil and structural construction works, etc'. Given the potential importance of the construction sector to national emissions, there is scope for the implementation of policies which specifically target it. Two such policies are proposed: direct emissions mitigation through a construction EcoDriving initiative; and the provision of information to allow the design and specification of low-emissions materials.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)784-791
    Number of pages8
    JournalBuilding and Environment
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 2010


    • Carbon accounting
    • CO intensity
    • Construction sub-sector analysis
    • Embodied energy and emissions
    • Energy policy
    • Input-output analysis


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