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Term of the Week

Term of the week

Fossil fuels

Fuels – such as coal, gas, peat and oil – that are formed in the ground over many thousands or millions of years from dead plants and animals and are used up once they are burned for energy.

Related terms:

Methane / CH4

This powerful greenhouse gas comes from sources like agriculture, fossil fuels and waste. It can be used as a fuel. For example, natural gas is mostly methane. It is the second most significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland.


This is a naturally occurring gas that has been processed and can be used as a source of renewable energy. It is produced through matter like animal and plant material.

Biogenic Methane Emissions

Biogenic methane is methane produced and released from living organisms like plants and animals. Methane significantly contributes to global warming (see definition of methane).

Examples of where this gas comes from: cows’ stomachs and decaying vegetation.

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