Researchers have found that Ireland's carbon footprint is much bigger when emissions for goods we consume are included.

Internationally agreed carbon budgets are based on how much a country produces. Under this measurement, Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions come to 61 megatonnes of CO2.

However, a new study by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has found that when consumption is included, the figure is 75% higher and comes to 106 megatonnes.

This includes 69 megatonnes which were emitted in the production of goods imported to Ireland and excludes 24 megatonnes which are the net emissions of goods exported.

Senior Research Officer with the ESRI Kelly de Bruin said: "We are talking about different goods, such as textiles, high technology products, all the different consumption goods we get from abroad, producing those goods produces consumption in different countries."

She said Irish consumers can reduce the number of emissions in what they buy.

"What I personally always do is I think about, ok if I'm buying something is it something I'm going to use for a longer time frame or is it something that I use for a few months and then I no longer need it?"

She gave the example of toys, which can sometimes be cast aside after a few weeks or can be handed down from one generation to the other.

"I have kids myself ... and sometimes when you buy them a toy, they play with it for a week and it disappears and then you also have that they're playing with my lego which I played with as a child," she said.

"So I think we need to consider these things more and think more about our consumption choices and the longevity of them."


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