December 31 is the deadline for the Irish Government to fix a lack of focus on cycling in its draft climate action, the European Cyclists’ Federation has said.
Earlier this year, the European Cyclists’ Federation said that efforts by the Irish Government to include cycling measures in its draft climate action plan only amounts to “minimum efforts” and is “unsatisfactory”.
“Nine Member States – Finland, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania, Spain, Sweden – have made minimum efforts in referencing cycling, that we judge ‘unsatisfactory’,” said Fabian Küster, senior policy officer at the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF).
Küster appeared on front of the Irish parliamentary committee on Climate Action in June, at the time he said: “I also want to applaud Ireland on its plans to go electric. There is one major omission in the strategy, however, and that is leaving out the electric bicycle, e-bike.”
Küster along with two other speakers also called for investment in infrastructure.
The EU-wide rankings put Ireland in the second worst ranking category, which ranged from insufficient / inexistent to excellent. The draft plan lacked a modal shift goal, measurable target to grow cycling by 2030, and a defined budget for cycling.
The ECF found that the draft plan also did not make reference to a Sustainable Mobility Plan, an Active Mobility Law, reference to a National Cycling Strategy, intermodality, improving road safety for cyclists, awareness-raising & promotion of cycling, and fiscal incentives
France and United Kingdom are only two EU member states gain an “excellent” mark — the ECF said that was because of strong references which included a clear budget, commitment to modal shift and reference to a cycling or active mobility law. While only Austria and Italy received a “good” grade.
Küster said: “As part of the EU’s Energy and Climate Policies 2030, Member States were required to develop national Energy and Climate Plans. ECF’s analysis of the 28 draft National Energy and Climate Plans draw the conclusion that cycling is not yet adequately represented as a fully-fledged solution to slash carbon emissions in the transport sector.”
“To score the draft National Energy and Climate Plans, ECF selected a set of thirteen indicators. In particular, we paid attention to four major elements: a reference to cycling and a modal shift goal; a commitment of making public investments in favor of cycling; a clear reference to national cycling strategies, active mobility laws and Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning; and references to targeted pro-cycling measures.”
He added: “The overall assessment of the EU-28 countries combined only reaches a 3/10, a clearly unsatisfactory result regarding the EU objectives in reducing green house gases, For ECF this means that more efforts need to be made for a better consideration of cycling – and more generally active mobility – in the final National Energy and Climate Plans that Member States have to submit to the European Commission by the end of year 2019.”
31 Dec is deadline for EU Member States to submit final National Energy and Climate Plans. Draft plans largely overlooked the most energy-efficient transport mode: cycling! @EuCyclistsFed
#COP25Madrid #COP25 https://t.co/SZ4BR7JiRN’-draft-national-energy-and-climate-plans-ecf pic.twitter.com/YblA19rvW7
— Fabian Küster (@FabianKusterECF) December 2, 2019