Join us in Ireland's Climate Conversation
We have a few thoughts which we believe are important. We've listed these below, which may help you with inspiration when you're filling in your own Climate Conversation consultation form. (Feel free to copy & paste!)
Agriculture and Farming (35.3% of GHG emissions 2019):
Provide support to farmers for decreasing the size of the Irish cattle herd and diversifying into other areas or allowing land to go ‘wild’ to support biodiversity.
Plant more forests and subsidise farmers who plant native trees for longer periods. The current duration of payments for 15 years is not long enough.
The Irish government can support the planting of mini urban forests see Dream for Trees for more information.
Encourage and subsidise regenerative farming (no plough) in Ireland in line with the 4/1000 soil initiative that aims to increase the amount of carbon sequestered by soil. The initiative 'sets an ambitious aspirational target of a 4 per 1000 (i.e. 0.4%) rate of annual increase in global soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks, with a focus on agricultural lands where farmers would ensure the carbon stewardship of soils, like they manage day-to-day multipurpose production systems in a changing environment.' source Science Direct. This would also support biodiversity.
Transport (20.3% GHG emissions in Ireland 2019):
Introduce electric buses rapidly throughout Ireland. (Avoid further investment in hybrid-diesel buses that will soon be redundant technologies.) Plan for the required infrastructure for charging electric buses. Charging can take place, not just at terminus stations but also at bus stops and fast charging stations along the bus route (see image below). On-road charging is being trialed in Sweden at the moment: - see Smart Cities Sweden.
Bring forward the date for phasing out new diesel and petrol cars to 2025 as Norway have done. Set a challenging target for Ireland.
Implement higher taxes on petrol and diesel cars and make then more expensive than electric cars. According to green car reports ‘Norway doesn’t make electric cars cheaper; it makes gas- and diesel-powered cars far more expensive than they are in other countries. Taxation on gas and diesel vehicles turns into incentives for electric vehicles, whether powered via batteries or fuel cells. Collectively these zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) have no value-added tax, which is 25 percent on gas and diesel vehicles.’ In Norway ‘there is no registration tax on used car sales, no annual ownership tax, and no fuel tax. Road tolls are “fully or partially” exempt, ferry fares are “strongly reduced,” bus lanes are mostly open to ZEVs, public parking fees are tossed for ZEVs and there is plenty of free charging for BEVs. Source: Green Car Reports
Improve the electric car charging infrastructure, as the lack of these charging areas close to where people live is an important issue for people who are considering buying an electric vehicle.
Continue to support the development of better bike lanes. These must be separate from the car and bus traffic and ideally separate from pedestrians. The cycle lanes also need to be integrated so cyclists can travel safely along their whole journey.
Build bike lanes on country roads so that people can cycle safely to schools, shops and work in their local areas.
Residential (10.9% GHG emissions in Ireland 2019):
Increase the subsidies for house owners that wish to change over to green heating pumps (air source and geothermal) and solar panels. The current premium for green energy is prohibitive still for many people, despite the current grants available.
Change the regulations to allow double glazed windows/insulated windows in listed buildings. This could be done in a way that is in keeping with the buildings using existing window frames.
Energy Industries (15.8% GHG emissions in Ireland 2019):
Explore innovative heating and cooling energy solutions for Ireland; see Smart Cities Sweden. The Swedish district networks use a number of solutions including using recovered heat from data centres, heating and cooling from purified wastewater.
Waste (1.5% GHG emissions 2019):
Ensure that adequate infrastructure for composting food waste in rural areas is introduced. Many rural areas do not have a compost bin service and food waste ends up in bins that go to landfill or incineration. Food waste that ends up in landfills emits methane gas as it decomposes, a potent green-house gas. Evidently this is best avoided.
Increase the number of allotments in cities and towns to allow people to grow their own food locally.