SHANNON Airport was the ninth biggest emitter of CO2 in the Republic of Ireland last year, according to data provided by the Climate TRACE organisation.
In Ireland, Dublin Airport was the single biggest emitter, with Drogheda and Ballyconnell Cement plants second and third. Dublin City roads were fourth , while number five was the Limerick cement plant in Mungret.
Along with Shannon in ninth, Cork and Knock Airports were at ten and 11 on the list respectively.
Last week at COP27 Climate TRACE released what it describes as “the most detailed facility-level global inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to date, including emissions data for 72,612 individual sources worldwide”.
“The 70,000+ individual sites — including specific power plants, steel mills, urban road networks, and oil and gas fields — represent the top known sources of emissions in the power sector, oil and gas production and refining, shipping, aviation, mining, waste, agriculture, road transportation, and the production of steel, cement, and aluminum.”
It claimed that it had used technology to come up with a more accurate picture than anything seen previously.
“Climate TRACE harnesses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze data from more than 300 satellites, more than 11,100 air-, land-, and sea-based sensors, and troves of additional public and commercial information, developing the first global, independent emissions inventory, based primarily on direct observation.
“By training AI to spot sometimes subtle differences in satellite imagery and other data patterns, Climate TRACE is able to independently analyze and calculate emissions from individual sources the human eye and traditional monitoring methods may miss.”
One of the founders of Climate TRACE is former US Vice President Al Gore, who said the improved information will make a real difference.
“The climate crisis can, at times, feel like an intractable challenge – in large part because we’ve had a limited understanding of precisely where emissions are coming from.
“This level of granularity means that we finally have emissions data that enable us to act decisively.
“It also means we can prioritize efforts to achieve the deep cuts in greenhouse gas pollution we need to prevent the most catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis.”
Last month saw Shannon Airport launch a new sustainability strategy and at the time its head of Sustainability Sinéad Murphy said, “In developing the strategy, we received feedback from over 140 stakeholders. This feedback helped us target the areas of greatest importance for the Group while addressing the issues that matter most to our stakeholders.
“Our sustainability team consists of members from across various departments of The Shannon Airport Group who are bringing forward initiatives to help us deliver this strategy.
“We exceeded 2020 energy efficiency targets for our airport and commercial property operations. We have upgraded 6,000 lights across our runway, buildings, car parks and public realm to LED energy efficient equivalents in partnership with the ESB and achieved Airport Carbon Accreditation (level 1).
“We have also developed a Community Biodiversity Garden in collaboration with local primary schools, and a walking/running circuit for people working in the Shannon Campus and the Shannon Town community.
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.