What does the climate action plan mean for Galway?

The path to a zero carbon Galway has become clearer than ever after the publication of the 2023 Climate Action Plan this week.

Travel - The reduced and 0% fares are here to stay

In travel we are to reduce down car mileage by 20% by 2030. How are we doing that? We brought in reduced fares on public transport and free transport on school buses. I have been given a strong indication that that will stay and will will see an increase in school buses.

We will also continue to invest in rural transport. We have seen many new bus routes come on stream in Galway and more are coming. That is on top of investment in Ceannt station, Oranmore, double tracking, feasibility study on light rail and cross city buses.”And it is important to make it safer. An example can be seen this week a project to light the coastal walk in Spiddal will have it’s lights turned on, just on time for Christmas.”

Energy - Every school will have solar panels by 2023

We have seen a ramping up of solar panels on roofsbeyond anything that the government expected. People are really playing their part now that we have provided grants for businesses as well an individuals.

The Government, under Minister Eamon Ryan, is putting in place measures such as installing solar panels on the roof of every school. Not only will they help us reach our emissions targets but they will leave the country better off”.

Making family farms more viable — and future-proofing our agricultural sector (25% reduction ):

We take the approach that farmers should be paid for their work to support the environment. We need to make significant cuts and in the West of Ireland our land can and in many case is a rich source of carbon and biodiversity, particularly in areas of peat.

“The new agri-environmental scheme ACRES is voluntary and has a number of payments for a wide variety of measures, with local support on the ground, and has generally been well-received in Galway West” she said.

Among the measures outlined in the 2023 Climate Action Plan are:

— Solar PVs on all new residential buildings and public buildings including all schools by 2025..

20% reduction in total distance driven across all car journeys. .

70% of people in rural Ireland will have a bus service at least 3 times a day.

120,000 homes retrofitted by 2025, jumping to 500,000 by 2030..

9GW of onshore wind, 8 GW of solar and at least 7 GW of off-shore wind by 2030. The development of dynamic ‘green electricity tariffs’ where consumers can avail of low-cost power at times of high wind and solar output

Doing nothing isn’t the safe option, it’s irresponsible. By taking action now, we can mitigate the impact of climate change while also delivering a better quality of life for people living here. It also means that [local area] can benefit from the green economy that is taking off around the globe as we speak.

While changing the way we live and do business can be unsettling, sitting back and doing nothing is simply not an option, as the science is screaming at us that we are on the wrong path. As local and national politicians we must show our leadership in Galway and across the county. The task of cutting our emissions in half by the end of the decade is so big that it can often seem overwhelming. But this plan outlines a series of pragmatic measures that allows us to reach our targets here in [local area] and the rest of the country.

The ambitious plan was launched by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment and Green Party Leader, Eamon Ryan, in Government Buildings on Wednesday (Dec 21 ), along with the Taoiseach and Tánaiste.

The document outlines a series of measures that must be followed in each sector of the economy in order for Ireland to meet its binding target of cutting emissions by 51% by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. The plan is on a statutory footing for the first time ever, which means that ministers now have legal responsibility for ensuring their sectors meet their emissions reduction targets.


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