There’s no point replacing one “car dependent system” with another, says Eamon Ryan as he defends reducing the 1 million electric car target

Environment Secretary Eamon Ryan has defended Ireland’s climate policy after a new report showed the country is not making enough progress.

reland is ranked 37th out of 59 countries in the 2023 Climate Change Performance Index, nine places up from the last report but still in the bottom half, securing a “low” rating.

It is the only EU country, along with Poland, to have received a “very low” rating for measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Minister Ryan, who is attending the Cop27 climate summit, said despite the low scores, the report shows Ireland is on the right policies.

“[Ireland is] We need to put in place the right policies, but we need to implement the reductions in so many different sectors now,” he said on RTÉ Radio 1 Tomorrow Ireland.

“It will be good for our country, good for our economy, but we cannot choose not to. We cannot say that Ireland, a green country, will not go in this direction.

“It’s going to be a challenge but it’s going to be good for the country and I think we’ll see that ranking keep going up as we do that.”

Minister Ryan said a new climate action plan would be published before Christmas and would set out “legally protected measures” that Ireland must take.

He said an earlier target of one million electric cars by 2030 is being changed as a “more systemic change” is needed as roads can’t pick up the numbers.

“It starts with retrofitting in our homes. We’ve met the target this year of 27,000 homes modernized and improved while bills come down as people take action with government support,” the Greens leader said.

“The areas that are likely to be difficult are transport and agriculture because there are long-term patterns there.

“In traffic, long-term patterns of a car-dependent system. We need to transition this to a much stronger system based on active travel and public transport, reducing the need to travel by encouraging things like remote work. We can and will deliver that.”

“So yes, we have to deliver now and I’m confident we can do it. We have to do that, otherwise I think our country would fall behind and be seen as a laggard.

“It changes. We’re going up the rankings, we have to step on the gas now and go a lot further and faster.” There’s no point replacing one “car dependent system” with another, says Eamon Ryan as he defends reducing the 1 million electric car target

Fry Electronics Team

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