Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Ceisteanna (68)

John Curran


68. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his goals and targets on an annual basis to decarbonise the transport sector further to the fact that a climate emergency has been declared; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21725/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I strongly support the recognition of the scale and urgency of the climate change challenge Ireland is facing by the declaration of a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency.  The transport sector, accounting for a fifth of national greenhouse gas emissions, undoubtedly has a key role to play in the societal and economic transformation required to tackle this challenge and the sector expects to fully decarbonise.

We have committed unprecedented investment of €30 billion in climate mitigation and adaptation measures under Project Ireland 2040, including €8.6 billion specifically for sustainable transport. Notably, we have firmly established a target of 500,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030 as well as committing to no longer buying diesel-only urban buses from July this year. 

A new All of Government Plan to Tackle Climate Disruption which will bring a required step-change in our national climate ambition over the next decade and beyond is in preparation.  My Department has worked closely with that of Minister Bruton in the development of the Plan to guarantee that the transport elements contribute meaningfully to the national emission reduction efforts.  We intend that the Plan will have a strong focus on action, deliverables and defined timeframes setting out the time-bound targets and goals the Deputy is seeking.

Of course this Plan will build on the important and successful work currently underway to decarbonise transport.  The Low Emitting Vehicle Taskforce has made a series of recommendations that have been adopted by Government establishing a suite of continued and new supports for electric vehicles and I am delighted that Ireland now has over 10,000 electric cars on the road. Together with the significant investment in public and active travel I have secured, I expect to see transport emissions contract again as these key technological and behavioural changes occur in the years to come.  I was pleased to see that the most recent EPA emissions inventory recorded a fall in transport emissions in 2017.