Ireland has no plans to act on International Energy Agency advice to cut oil usage quickly

Ireland’s Department of Transport is not currently considering any new or quicker implementation of existing plans to have an immediate impact on oil usage, such as actions promoted by the International Energy Agency last week.

On Friday, the International Energy Agency (IEA), an intergovernmental organisation established to advise on the 1970s oil crisis, published its ‘10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use’.

The IEA said that the 10-point plan was drawn up “In the face of the emerging global energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the IEA’s 10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use proposes 10 actions that can be taken to reduce oil demand with immediate impact – and provides recommendations for how those actions can help pave the way to putting oil demand onto a more sustainable path in the longer term.”

The 10-point plan includes:

  1. Reduce speed limits on motorways by at least 10 km/h
  2. Work from home up to three days a week where possible
  3. Car-free Sundays in large cities
  4. Make public transport cheaper; incentivise micro-mobility, walking and cycling.
  5. Alternate private car use in large cities
  6. Urge car sharing and practices that decrease fuel use
  7. Promote efficient use of freight trucks and goods delivery
  8. Prefer high-speed and night trains to planes where possible
  9. Avoid business travel when alternatives exist
  10. Hasten adoption of electric and more efficient vehicles asked the Department of Transport if they have given any consideration to any measures suggested in the IEA’s 10-Point Plan.

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport said: “Considerable progress has been made, to ensure that conditions and policies are in place to support citizens in making greener vehicle choices. A comprehensive suite of measures is available to EV drivers, including purchase grants for private car owners and taxi drivers, VRT relief, reduced tolls, home charger grants, favourable motor and BIK tax rates, as well as a comprehensive charging network. These measures have collectively contributed to increased take up of EVs in Ireland in recent years.”

“In addition, the Department convened the Electric Vehicle Policy Pathway (EVPP) Working Group to produce a roadmap to achieving the 2030 EV target. The EVPP Working Group comprises senior officials and has considered regulatory, financial, and taxation policies to help drive a significant ramp-up in passenger EVs and electric van sales. The recommendations of the EVPP Working Group were approved by Government and the full report is available online,” the Department spokesperson said.

“The Government is also fully committed to supporting a significant expansion and modernisation of the electric vehicle charging network over the coming years. A national charging infrastructure strategy is being developed which will set out a pathway to stay ahead of demand over the critical period out to 2030. The Department is engaging with relevant stakeholders to inform this work and it is envisaged that the strategy will be published for consultation at the end of this month,” a spokesperson said.

The Department said that preparations are “progressing well” to establish an Office of Low Emission Vehicles. The new office, which is expected to be established in Summer 2022, is planned to coordinate measures to support the uptake of EVs and the rollout of charge point infrastructure.

The Department also pointed to the recently published Five Cities Demand Management Study and to three priority measures that have been recommended for implementation: (1) “Develop and embed the concept of 15-minute neighbourhoods through national and local plans and strategies, providing resources to incentivise their implementation through national funding/grants schemes”, (2) Enhance delivery of the National Planning Framework, and (3) “Public Parking Controls”.

A spokesperson added that the Five Cities study “has also made clear that there is no single solution to tackling the challenges facing our urban environments” and referred to “Utilising an integrated Travel Demand Management approach” for “addressing these challenges in the coming years.”

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