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Climate Change Policy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (176)

Brian Leddin

Question:

176. Deputy Brian Leddin asked the Minister for Transport the way he plans to align transport infrastructure spending decisions with the State’s commitments on climate change mitigation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53656/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The forthcoming Climate Action Plan 2021 and the new Sustainability Mobility Plan will provide concrete actions to deliver on the overall objective of reducing transport emissions by 2030 in line with our national and international obligations.

The recent revision of the National Development Plan (NDP) aligns transport investment plans with climate objectives in terms of funding priorities and allocations to drive modal shift from private car usage to active and public transport, as well as supports to encourage the take-up of EVs over the next ten years.

Within the context of the capital ceilings set for this Department, and its delivery agencies, the funding allocation for new public transport and new roads is in keeping with the agreement in the Programme for Government. A 2:1 ratio will be maintained between new public transport investment and new road investment. This means there will be expansion in public transport options to facilitate a broader range of choice for the citizen.

Grant support for the regional and local road network, which is vital for connectivity, community, health, education and industry is focused primarily on protection and renewal of the network.

My Department will shortly publish the National Investment Framework for Transport in Ireland (NIFTI) which sets out four strategic priorities for investment in land transport, one of which is decarbonisation. Investment proposals will be expected to demonstrate how, and how well, they align with one or more of these four high-level priorities. Furthermore, in considering the possible range of solutions to a particular transport need or problem, the use of sustainable modes, starting with active travel and then public transport, is also encouraged wherever appropriate.

Government is also supporting the deployment of alternative fuels such as biomethane and green hydrogen across all transport sectors through a range of measures including the introduction of the Alternatively Fuelled Heavy Duty Vehicles Grant, the expansion of the Accelerated Capital Allowance scheme for natural gas propelled vehicles and related equipment to include hydrogen vehicles and equipment and the reduced excise rate on natural gas. My Department is also engaging with ports and airports in relation to infrastructure requirements in line with the recently recast European Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation with a target date of 2030.

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