A new report from the Central Statistics Office examining the progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions has concluded that five sectors of the economy were responsible for more than three quarters of emissions in 2020.

Agriculture was the highest emitting sector - accounting for 38%, while households were the second largest emitters - responsible for more than a quarter of all emissions.

These were followed by the manufacture of cement and non-metallic minerals which accounted for 6% of annual emissions, road and rail transport accounting for 5% and food and drink production which was responsible for 3% of overall greenhouse gas emissions.

The report shows an 11% increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector during the decade up to 2020.

However gross value added produced by the agriculture sector went up far more sharply during that period, increasing by 71%.

The Central Statistics Office said this shows that an element of decoupling of emissions from activity has been taking place in agriculture because gross value added increased at a significantly greater rate than greenhouse gas emissions.

The report also shows that greenhouse gas emissions from the household sector declined by 21% to 15.4 million tonnes in the decade to 2020.

This was despite a substantial increase in population during that period.

This report attributes all the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from driving private cars to the household sector, as well as all fuel used for home heating, as well as electricity in the household sector.

It shows that 46% of household greenhouse gas emissions result from home heating, 32% from private household vehicles and 20% from the use of electricity in the home.

The data also indicate that new dwellings are increasingly using electricity as the main space heating with a transformation occurring in a short time period.

For instance, electricity went from being the main space heating fuel in 49% of new dwellings built between 2015 and 2019 to 86% of new dwellings in the period from 2020 to 2023.

CSO said this trend shows the importance of reducing the proportion of fossil fuels used in the generation of electricity.

Heating oil was the main fuel used in 36% of dwellings built between 2000 and 2004 to less than 1% in the most recent years.

In 2020, €106 million was paid out in energy efficiency grants to households, €65 million was provided in grants and tax reliefs for electric vehicles, while another €7 million was paid out in renewable energy grants to households.

Today's report also includes information about environmental taxes paid by each sector.

These include charges such as excise duty on petrol and diesel, motor tax, carbon tax, the plastic bag levy and many others.

It shows that households pay the highest environmental taxes at €207 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted, whereas the agriculture sector pays by far the lowest environmental taxes at just €3 per tonne of greenhouse gases emitted.