Belfast Telegraph

Proposal to ban sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030 ‘unrealistic’

The Climate Action Bill will force transport, agriculture, housing and energy sectors to radically reduce carbon emissions in the next decade.

A bid to ban the sale of fossil fuel cars from 2030 has been described as unrealistic (Lewis Whyld/PA)
A bid to ban the sale of fossil fuel cars from 2030 has been described as unrealistic (Lewis Whyld/PA)

By Aine McMahon, PA

A plan by the Government to ban the sale of fossil fuel cars from 2030 has been described as unrealistic.

Minister for Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton published the Draft General Scheme of the Climate Action (Amendment) Bill 2019 on Monday, and said that it is priority legislation.

The Bill aims to ban the sale of fossil fuel cars from 2030, and would see fossil fuel cars not getting NCTs from 2045.

Labour Party climate spokesman Sean Sherlock TD said the Government’s proposal to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030 is unrealistic without greater supports.

“The latest climate announcement from the Government is another example of spin devoid of the real change needed to tackle the climate emergency,” he said.

There is still no sense of how the Government will support low-income families who will not be able to afford new electric cars Sean Sherlock, Labour

The Climate Plan published towards the end of year lacked detail or ambition, and today’s announcement is another instalment of the minister’s PR strategy.

“The token proposal to ban the sale of fossil fuel cars by 2030 is unrealistic, and far ahead of what other, better prepared countries are proposing. For example, the UK will ban sales from 2040 and is considering reducing that to 2035.”

He added: “Meanwhile, Ireland is far behind in the rollout of electric cars and infrastructure. There is still no sense of how the Government will support low-income families who will not be able to afford new electric cars. What financial measures will be put in place for this?”

Green Party climate spokesman David Healy welcomed the draft scheme but said a new National Development Plan is needed.

“Ireland faces the challenge of decarbonising at a rate of 7 or 8% a year, which is three or four times faster than currently planned. This will require a stronger all-of-government Climate Action Plan and a completely different National Development Plan reflecting the new ambition.

“A good start would be an immediate shift in electricity generation from coal and peat, which will give immediate emissions reductions.

“We must also immediately start on the changes which will deliver emission reductions in the longer term, in the transition to a zero-carbon, circular economy.”

Irish Farmers’ Association environment chairman Thomas Cooney said proposals to introduce methane reduction targets would be damaging to Ireland’s rural economy and global climate emissions, unless a well-funded climate action strategy is introduced for the sector.

“Farmers are tired of being kicked around and scapegoated when it comes to climate action. The fact is transport remains Ireland’s biggest climate problem, not livestock. Climate emissions from transport have increased by 137% since 1990, while emissions associated with farming have only increased by 1%.

“Methane is a short-lived gas, which lasts about 12 years in the atmosphere. Yet it is being benchmarked and wrongly compared to carbon dioxide, which can last up to 200 years in the atmosphere.”

PA

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