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Monday September 05, 2016 23:51 by foie - Friends of the Irish Environment 087 2176316 / 027 74771
Friends of the Irish Environment - Press Release 4th Sept 2016
The Department of Transport Tourism and Sport has been accused of ‘mocking’ the Paris Accord in ignoring national policy and legislation on climate change.
‘Just as two superpowers agree to the Paris Accord, our country is manifestly not on track to meet those targets’, a statement from the group said, ‘as the main elements of expenditure identified in the strategy will all lead to increased - not decreased - emissions’.
In its submission to a public consultation on the next Statement of Strategy for the Department to be adopted in 2017 , FIE says the Minister in adopting a recent Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area breached his legal obligations under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act to ‘have regard to’ the objective of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. It also entirely ignored the reorientation of national transport policy undertaken by the Government in 2009’s ‘Smarter Travel A Sustainable Transport Future - A New Transport Policy for Ireland 2009-2020’.
‘The Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area predicts increased numbers of motor vehicle trips, increased lengths of trips and increased emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants damaging to public health’, the group pointed out to the Minister.
According to FIE, ‘governments have continued to pay lip service to reducing green house gas emissions but have ignored policies put in place to ensure that Ireland meet these targets. The current Statement of Strategy (2015-2017) fails to even mention the targets established in 2009.
Quoting statistic from the Environmental Protection Agency, [EPA 2], FIE says this ‘avoidance’ is leading to a predicted increase in the transport sector emissions by 19% between 2013 and 2020 and a further 20% over the period 2020 to 2035. ‘Under current government policies, there will be no reductions to agricultural emissions while transport emissions will increase by about 40% between 2013 and 2035. It’s very hard not to feel that Ireland is mocking the Paris Climate Accord just as China and the United States commit their nations to honour it.’
The group has recommended to the Minister that the Statement of Strategy explicitly reference the obligations imposed by the recent Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act and the targets in Smarter Travel and set out how those obligations and targets will be met by the Department.
CONTACT: Tony Lowes 087 2176316 / 027 74771
 FIE Submission
 Environmental Protection Agency, 2015