7 December 2016

Brendan Ryan, Labour TD for Dublin Fingal, has described Minister Shane Ross’ intention to lower Ireland’s Transport emission targets as bad news for Climate Change and Justice in Ireland. Speaking in the Dáil, Ryan asked Ross for an update on whether Ireland will reach its emission targets by 2020 as set out in the national smarter travel policy.

Ryan “Minister Ross described the targets set in 2009 as overly-ambitious. I disagree. These targets were made in order to help tackle the very real threat of Climate Change and targets were set for that reason. They had to be met. We have three years to get our targets back on track but instead of the Minister is meeting the Minister for Communications, Climate Change and Environment, Deputy Denis Naughten, tomorrow morning and his officials will very shortly consider what the targets will be. Minister Ross said that “This time we want to make them absolutely realistic.  We want them to be within the financial constraints and do not want to overshoot the mark like we did the last time.”

Ryan continued “I found this a very disappointing reply from the Minister. Our Climate Change targets should supersede short term financial constraints. We need to meet these targets now. Admitting defeat and changing the goalposts is simply not good enough. Transport emissions rose by 4% in 2015 alone so we need action now. I asked Minster Ross to be a climate change leader. I do not think he will be”