back to latest news

Time for an SUV tax and climate ticket to tackle transport emissions

18 May 2023

  • Reliance on gas must be reduced

Labour leader and climate spokesperson Ivana Bacik today urged Tánaiste Mícheál Martin to progress radical change in transport and energy policy to tackle Ireland’s climate failures.

Deputy Bacik said:

“According to Eurostat, Ireland had the largest increase in emissions in the EU last year, one of just four countries to increase emissions annually. Radical change is needed to achieve our necessary emissions reduction targets, and to build an Ireland that works.

“Like the measure introduced in France, a punitive tax on gas guzzling SUVs could be transformational in terms of our carbon emissions. Four out of the top five cars sold in Ireland last year were SUVS - that is a worrying trend that needs to be reversed.

“Data from The World Energy Outlook of 2021 and the Global Fuel Economy Initiative 2021 shows that if SUVs were an individual country, that country would rank sixth among the world’s highest carbon emissions. We need to tackle the growing SUV problem here in Ireland.

“Labour has also consistently campaigned for the introduction of a monthly climate ticket to encourage people out of their cars and onto trains, buses and trams, like they did in Germany.

“Yesterday we learned that global temperatures are likely to surge to record levels in the next five years - according to an update from the World Meteorological Organisation. This rise in temperature is fuelled by heat-trapping greenhouse gases that come from our over-reliance on fossil fuel, among other things. Tackling the transport trap in Ireland would be a welcome step in the right direction.

“A commitment from Government is also needed to end our overreliance on gas by ramping up our renewable energy generation capacity. Finland, for example, recently dropped their gas use by 55.7% while Ireland’s stayed the same. Instead of being a leader on offshore wind, we continue to be laggards. We are at a turning point in the history of humanity. Where is the leadership from the Government?”