No urgency on climate action means we’re “passing on a burning planetary ball to our children”

— Campaigners call on leadership from politicians and business leaders.

Without urgent climate action, “we are complicit in passing on a burning planetary ball to our children to deal with”, according to cycling campaigners.

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Cyclist.ie, a national umbrella group of cycling campaigns, said that it “is incredibly concerned” by the latest data released that shows how “transport as by far the worst performing sector in Irish society and the economy in terms of tackling its emissions.”

The statement was released following the news that Ireland’s transport-related greenhouse gasses increased by 6% in 2022.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that the 6% increase was “as the Covid rebound continues” followed a similar increase in 2021. The EPA also warned that there is a need to break the link between growth and emissions.

Cyclist.ie said that it was “deeply disturbed by the absence of real and urgent action in transforming our transport system so that we can enter a rapid period of decarbonising the sector”.

They say that there is a need for leadership from politicians and business leaders, and for us to follow examples of quick action, such as the city of Paris.

Damien Ó Tuama, the national cycling coordinator with Cyclist.ie and An Taisce, said: “We are simply on the wrong trajectory with transport. At this point, emissions from transport need to be reducing every single year from here on in — not rising by 6% in a single year.”

“We need rapid action in multiple domains immediately. We need to be increasing further the spending on high-quality active travel schemes and the ‘quick-wins’ with enhancing public transport provision,” he said.

He added: “When are we going to see a halt to the domination of our airwaves by adverts urging us to buy ever-bigger Sports Utility Vehicles for our micro-urban trips? When are we going to have our most popular public radio and TV shows not sponsored by car companies with the evitable framing of ‘normal life’ as being characterised by owning super-sized 2000+ kg metal boxes?”

Dave Tobin, the vice-chairperson of Cyclist.ie, said: “We need similar policies introduced in Irish cities so as to completely rebalance how mobility happens. Without such urgent action, we are complicit in passing on a burning planetary ball to our children to deal with. This is the opposite of the mature and responsible approach we now need.”


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