Slow news: Irish government announces ‘climate action plan’

The Government plans to “nudge people and businesses to change behavior” in a bid to tackle climate change. Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton described the plan as “ambitious but realistic”. The plan also includes proposals to eliminate non-recyclable plastic and impose higher fees on the production of materials which are hard to recycle. It also plans to introduce legislation to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and to roll out a nationwide charging system for electric vehicles while aiming to bring 950,000 electric vehicles into circulation.

The plan envisages almost 1 million electric vehicles in Ireland within the next decade; bans on oil boilers in new homes from 2022, and for gas boilers by 2025; and the phasing out of coal- and peat-fired electricity generation, among other measures. It will also begin an ambitious retrofit “easy pay scheme” that will see 500,000 homes retrofitted to B2 energy standard.

The Irish government un-ironically drove in new hybrid Dublin buses to announce their ‘climate action plans’, the new hybrid buses are being ushered in as a way to increase a better bus service rather than actually assessing what is causing the slow service.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross said there would be 1 million electric vehicles in Ireland by 2030, a big modal shift to buses, and hundreds of thousands more people cycling, walking and using other forms of transport.

“There is a revolution in transport coming,” he said. That revolution doesn’t involve free public transport.

These are all lofty ideals however; it is hard to take these plans at face value after the recent news that Ireland has spent 86 million Euros on carbon credits to meet carbon targets and it looks set that targets won’t be met for 2020.  It is also had after the government rolled back after the climate emergency was declared citing it as “symbolic”.

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