Ireland is also aiming to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030. This is one of 180 measures in the Irish government’s published the Climate Action Plan, which covers all relevant sectors.
The target also includes measures to ensure that by 2030, when sales of petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned, around 950,000 electric vehicles will be driving on Irish roads. To this end, the government intends to invest in a nationwide charging network.
Furthermore, by 2025, at least one charging station will be required on new commercial buildings with more than ten parking spaces.
The Climate Action Plan states that Ireland is currently “way off course” to meets its climate targets and Environment Minister Richard Bruton noted that the nation was “currently 85% dependent on fossil fuels” and that greenhouse gas emissions have been “rising rapidly”, a trend that needs to be reversed.
— Richard Bruton (@RichardbrutonTD) June 17, 2019
The environmental plan also added measures to limit the use of old vehicles, and levy fees on “the production of materials that are difficult to recycle”. In addition to banning the sale of new fossil fuel cars, the government said it would stop granting National Car Test (NCT) certificates to such vehicles by 2045.
Moreover, the plan brings Ireland in line with an EU-wide ban of non-recyclable plastics by 2030. Government departments have also been instructed to be more environmentally friendly, by not buying plastic cups, cutlery or straws. Irish opposition parties are largely in favour of the plan. However, some voices claim the program “lacked detail and did not focus strongly enough on public transport.” The Green Party and Sinn Féin both called for more investment in public transport infrastructure.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the British Isles, electrification is not moving particularly quickly: A plan by the UK government to ban combustion vehicle sales in 2040 has been decried as unambitious and ineffective, and critics from the Committee on Climate Change have advised that the date be moved forward to 2030, or at least 2035.
Scotland, on the other hand, has been more proactive and decided in March that they would phase out new combustion vehicles by 2032. No hard ban on combustion vehicle sales has been approved yet, so it remains to be seen how the implementation goes ahead.
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.