EPA warns emission reduction to fall short, with transport as one of worst sectors

Almost all sectors in Ireland are on a trajectory to exceed their national emissions ceilings for 2025 and 2030, including transport as one of the worst sectors, the Environmental Protection Agency said this morning.

Stephen Treacy, a senior manager at the EPA, said: “These projections show that strong economic growth and associated energy demand are eroding the increased ambition in the 2023 Climate Action Plan. This underlines the urgency of moving to an economy and society powered by renewable energy sources. The longer we wait, the longer it will be before we realise the benefits as the time horizon for achievement of national and EU commitments is getting ever shorter.”

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In its summary of its report on the issue, Ireland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Projections 2022-2040, the EPA said: “Emissions from the sector are projected to reduce by 35 per cent over the period 2021 to 2030 if the measures set out in plans and policies are implemented.”

It added: “These include over 940,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030, increased biofuel blend rates and measures to support more sustainable transport. Road freight is projected to be the biggest source of road transport greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.” 

The report said: “The main source of emissions from the transport sector is road transport. Freight transport energy demand is strongly influenced by the level of commercial activity in the economy. Personal transport energy demand is significantly influenced by both the level of employment as well as the oil price. This sector also includes combustion of fuel used in rail, navigation, domestic aviation and pipeline gas transport. This sector is projected to contribute to 21% of Ireland’s total emissions by 2030 in the With Existing Measures

The projections and targets are for internal travel only, so, exclude international aviation and sea transport.

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