Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Questions (663)

John Brassil

Question:

663. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when he plans to ban the import of Euro 5 engines and older; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26319/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The transition to alternatively-fuelled vehicles and away from fossil-fuelled vehicles is a necessary step-change to effect a substantial reduction in transport emissions, particularly in the passenger car fleet which accounts for 52% of total transport emissions.

While there are no certainties in predicting future technologies, the move to zero-tailpipe emissions of the national car fleet represents a feasible option. Indications from car manufacturers and energy market analysts suggest that mass market adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is probable. In order to stimulate this widespread adoption of EVs, as well as other alternative fuels, a Low Emission Vehicle Taskforce was established in 2016 to recommend to Government a range of measures available to increase the uptake rates of low emitting vehicles. Consequently, the State has provided and maintained various incentives to mitigate the cost of and encourage the transition away from conventional fossil fuels. In the recently published Climate Action Plan to Tackle Climate Breakdown an ambitious target of having nearly 1 million over electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2030 was set.

Over the coming years, further steps will be needed to help move Ireland towards this target and, more broadly, our national emissions targets, and the Climate Action Plan indicates a pathway to achieving this. Specifically in relation to the Deputy’s suggestion about restricting imports, he will be aware that one of the pillars of EU legislation is to permit the free movement of goods between Member States, and that this allows European citizens greater consumer choice. Accordingly, there are no plans to introduce a ban on the importation of vehicles from member states; imported vehicles from non-EU jurisdictions, though, could potentially be subject to more stringent restrictions and this will be kept under review.