One million electric cars in place by 2030 under government's Climate Action Plan 5 months ago

One million electric cars in place by 2030 under government's Climate Action Plan

A ban on single-use plastic convenience items has also been put forward among many other proposed measures.

Officially published on Monday, the government's Climate Action Plan details Ireland's proposed effort to combat climate emergency.

Unveiled by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton alongside Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and assembled ministers in Grangegorman, the long-awaited report aims to reduce the use of fossil fuels in a bid to curb the country's greenhouse gas emissions.

Over 180 measures are outlined, with the overall aim to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050.

Though the specific number has yet to be fully disclosed, the government intends to raise the existing carbon tax to assist with the new measures.

Among the aims; the intended eventuality of all cars in Ireland to be electric vehicles, with the plan to increase the number of EVs on the road to circa one million by 2030.

In line with this, the government intends to construct an EV charging network in order to stay ahead of demand.

In addition, the report pledges to "expand our network of cycle paths and 'Park and Ride' facilities, helping ease congestion," while putting forward no diesel-only purchases for public city-based buses from the beginning of July.

Also on the agenda; a ban on specific single-use plastic convenience items including polystyrene food, cup and drink containers.

By 2030, the plan intends to reduce food waste by 50% and recycle 70% of packaging waste and 55% of plastic packaging waste.

Furthermore, the government will look to eliminate non-recyclable plastic and impose higher fees on the production of materials that are difficult to recycle.

Under the proposed changes, 500,000 homes and 400,000 heat pumps across the country will be retrofitted to make buildings more energy-efficient.

Oil and gas boilers will be prohibited in new homes by 2022 and 2025, respectively.

Speaking at the launch of the Climate Action Plan, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said:

"I believe the greatest responsibility we have is to pass on our planet to the next generation in a better condition than we inherited it.

"With today’s plan we are making changes now, before it is too late, to ensure we do exactly that. We recognise that government doesn’t have all the answers. So we will work with people, industry and communities to chart the best and most inclusive way forward.

"A way forward that is both effective and sensible, one that achieves our targets, and in a way that is thought-through and considered, supports employment and living standards and enables a just transition."

The Taoiseach noted that his government's approach will be to "nudge" people and businesses in a bid to change behaviour and adapt new technologies through incentives, disincentives, regulations and information.

"Our objective, as we plan for the future, is to transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society," Varadkar stated.