Ireland faces significant challenges in meeting the European Union’s required reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA has published its projections for the period 2018-2040.

Achieving targets according to the agency is dependent on the level of implementation of current and future plans.

The Government is set to publish a new climate plan this month, following recommendations from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action.

In it's projections, the EPA points to a number of sectors where emissions look likely to increase.

Based on animal numbers - particularly the dairy herd - emissions from agriculture are projected to increase according to the EPA.

It recommends that the implementation of potential greenhouse gas mitigation measures identified by Teagasc research, but not included in the projections, will be important for the sector.

The EPA says that even with relatively high fuel prices and electric vehicle uptake as proposed in the National Development Plan; growth in emissions from the transport sector continues to be projected until at least 2022.

If fuel prices remain at "a relatively low level for an extended time" then it says transport emissions could continue to increase steadily until 2030.