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Councils asked to develop transport projects to help meet climate goals

A programme supporting local projects to help meet the transport sector’s climate goals is set to launch next week

A PROGRAMME SUPPORTING local projects to help meet the transport sector’s climate goals is set to launch next week, according to the Minister for Environment.

City and county councils were asked to develop projects to improve sustainable transport for their areas.

One area that is on the cards for pedestrianisation is College Green in Dublin city centre, the area at the end of Dame Street closest to Trinity, where the removal of cars has been debated for years. 

Speaking to Newstalk FM’s Breakfast Briefing this morning, Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan said that increasing sustainable transport options will help with reducing dependency on imported fossil fuels and with cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The National Sustainable Mobility Policy (SMP), which was launched in April, provided for delivering a programme of ‘pathfinder’ projects to help meet the climate goals for the transport sector. 

The government plans to launch the Pathfinders programme next week, Minister Ryan said, which “will address some of the projects we’re doing to promote sustainable mobility, to promote walking and cycling and public transport”.

“We have to do have to do this now. This is part of our energy plan to reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels which we use in transport and to reduce our emissions,” he said.

“We will be looking at giving real priority to public transport and walking and cycling and we need to do this in the next three years.”

He said Ireland needs to switch to a system “where we’re really restoring public places, where we are creating a fast and efficient public transport from the safe environment for people to walk and cycle”.

“That’s the way forward and that’s what we need to accelerate now for a whole variety of reasons.”

The Sunday Business Post reported at the weekend that Ryan told the paper two of the lanes on College Green would close next year and through traffic would be removed in 2024. 

The transport sector has been set a target of reducing its emissions by 50% by 2030.

The burning of fossil fuels such as oil and gas is a key driver of greenhouse gas emissions that are trapping heat in the atmosphere and warming up the planet, posing enormous threats to human life on earth if emissions aren’t substantially and rapidly reduced.

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