Dublin Transport Strategy ‘mocks’ Climate Accord, say Friends of the Irish Environment

Published by Dave Brooks on

September 6th, 2016

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has been accused of ‘mocking’ the 2015 Paris Climate Accord by failing to adhere to national policy and legislation in its recent Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area.

Environmental group Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) claims that Minister Shane Ross T.D. breached his legal obligations under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 to ‘have regard to’ the objective of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions in the department’s new strategy. The group also claims that the strategy ignores the reorientation of national transport policy as laid out in the 2009 Government document ‘Smarter Travel A Sustainable Transport Future – A New Transport Policy for Ireland 2009-2020’.

According to FIE, “Governments have continued to pay lip service to reducing green house gas emissions but have ignored policies put in place to ensure that Ireland meet these targets. The current Statement of Strategy (2015-2017) fails to even mention the targets established in 2009.”

“The Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area predicts increased numbers of motor vehicle trips, increased lengths of trips and increased emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants damaging to public health,” the group pointed out to the Minister.

Drawing on projections from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), FIE says that the Department’s ‘avoidance’ of policy position will lead to an increase in the transport sector’s emissions by 19% between 2013 and 2020, and by a further 20% over the period 2020 to 2035. Referring to this projected 40% increase in transport emissions in the context of the U.S. and China recently ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement, FIE said “It’s very hard not to feel that Ireland is mocking the Paris Climate Accord just as China and the United States commit their nations to honour it.”

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Dave Brooks

Dave works as Communication Assistant with the Environmental Pillar. His background is in psychology and he has a masters in Environmental Psychology from the University of Surrey.