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Published: Thursday, June 27, 2024

PRESS RELEASE: Annual Review 2024 - Transport

The Council’s Annual Review of the transport sector, published today, highlights that emissions increased last year and that even with the full implementation of proposed policies and measures the sector will exceed its emissions ceiling. Reliance on expensive, imported fossil fuels needs to end if the sector is to reduce its emissions.

The increase in emissions was driven by a rise in demand for petrol and diesel (of 7.7% and 1% respectively), underlining the need for urgent measures to drive the uptake of more efficient vehicles in the sector. This is especially the case given the decline in battery electric vehicles (BEV) sales this year. Without increased electric vehicle uptake, Ireland is at risk of being further locked into a carbon intensive transport system, while consumers may be left with carbon intensive combustion engine vehicles.

To support the transformational change needed, the Council has proposed a series of urgent recommendations including the reform of transport taxation for company cars in the forthcoming budget. Further taxation reform before the end of 2025 is also required to promote the uptake of energy and resource efficient vehicles. The re-allocation of road space for sustainable travel and planning of new housing developments that provide better access to shops, schools and workplaces with improved public transport links are also essential to deliver the change required in this sector.

Positive developments in 2023 included a 24% increase in public transport use, a significant increase in new rural bus service provision through Connecting Ireland and Local Link, and a 20% average fare reduction on public bus services which should be continued in budget 2025. 

Commenting on the review of the transport sector, Marie Donnelly, Chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council said, “Significantly reducing our transport emissions will be crucial if Ireland is to achieve its national climate objectives. People must be supported to make sustainable transport choices. For this to happen, urgent delivery of efficient and low-cost public transport at both a national and regional level are required.

“We want government to conduct an urgent and full review of taxation in the transport sector to ensure that taxation policy for households and businesses drives emission reductions while at the same time is progressive and protects the most exposed to change.  

“A key priority is to strengthen community engagement to gain a better understanding of the barriers people face in making sustainable transport choices and providing much improved public transport services.”

Commenting on the need for planning reform and the role that local government can play, Andrew Murphy, member of the Climate Change Advisory Council added, “Reform that delivers a fit for purpose planning system will help make the necessary change required to reduce transport demand by ensuring homes, workplaces, public services and leisure spaces are located close to each other and near to public and active transport infrastructure.

“We must also provide Local Authorities with the necessary finance and resources to reduce transport demand and emissions, with locally implemented measures including demand management schemes, the provision of shuttle bus services and roadspace reallocation.”

The Council also recommends that Government prioritises measures and investments to strengthen the resilience of ports, critical roads and railways to the future impacts of climate change, particularly in relation to more intense rainfall and sea-level rise.

The Council's annual review of the Transport sector is available at the following link: Annual Review 2024 - Transport Sectoral Review


Notes to editors:

This year, the Climate Change Advisory Council will publish Sectoral Reviews throughout the year, culminating in October to complete the Annual Review 2024. The publication schedule below is subject to change and indicative only: 



Electricity Sectoral Review 2024

Published 13th May 2024

Enterprise & Waste Sectoral Review 2024

Published 29th May 2024

Transport Sectoral Review 2024

Published 27th June 2024

Built Environment Sectoral Review 2024

Mid July

Resilience Sectoral Review 2024

End of August

Agriculture & Land Use Sectoral Review 2024

Start of September

Biodiversity Sectoral Review 2024

By end of October

Assessment of Inventories and Projections 2024

By end of October


If you have any questions or are seeking further comment, please do not hesitate to contact:

Shane Finnegan ( or 00447764534565) or Seamus Donnelly ( or 00447729556480)

Categories: Press Release