Transport accounted for 1/5 of greenhouse gas emissions in 2005.  Directive 2009/28 sets a 10 per cent target for renewable energy in transport for all EU by 2020.

The Irish Bio-Energy Action Plan 2007 sets the national target for biofuel use in transport at 10 per cent market penetration by 2020. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector is significantly more challenging than for other sectors.

Regulation 443/2009 set emission performance standards for new passenger cars. Earlier legislation had been taken relating to emissions from cars adopted under the Community Strategy for Reducing Emissions from Cars 1995. Directive 2006/40 deals with emissions from air conditioning systems in motor vehicles

Directive 1999/ 94 in Irish law  as European Communities (Consumer Information and Fuel Economy and CO2 Emissions in New Passenger Cars) Regulations 2001 requires  car dealer showrooms to label new passenger cars that are for sale with their CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) is designated to produce a “Guide to Passenger Vehicles Fuel Economy and CO2 emissions on behalf of car manufacturers annually. This guide you must be available in each dealer showroom. It can also be downloaded from the SIMI website

The Motor Vehicles (Duties and Licences (No.2) Act 2008 change the basis for vehicle registration taxes and annual motor taxes. They were previously calculated according to the engine capacity of the car. There are now calculated according to C02 emissions.

There were VRT exemptions for electric vehicles and the VRT reliefs of up to €2,500 for plug-in hybrid vehicles until 2012. CO2 emissions from new cars dropped 12 per cent from 2006 to 2008. There was a   scrappage scheme to encourage demand for new lower emission cars in 2009.

A grant scheme in 2010 for up to 6,000 vehicles over a two-year period from January 2011 to December 2012 provided grants of up to €5,000 for full battery electric vehicles and up to €2,500 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The grant scheme was administered by SEAI. National Car Test measures fuel efficiency.

Incentives for   biofuels in transport commenced in 2005. A biofuels excise relief scheme under the Finance Act 2006 gave 50 per cent relief from vehicle registration taxes to cars capable of using biofuels of at least 85 per cent blend (flexible fuel vehicles) for the years 2006 to 2011.  Finance Act 2006 extendedhe 50 per cent Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) relief for hybrid electric cars.

The Government set a target of 10 per cent electric vehicles by 2020. In 2009 and 2010 the Minister for Energy entered agreements with the Renault Nissan alliance and the Electricity Supply Board to establish a national electric car charging infrastructure, to share market data between the companies and to supply electric cars in Ireland from 2011..

The Finance Act 2010 applied applies carbon taxes at the rate of €15 per tonne of CO2 emitted on mineral oils, natural gas and solid fuels. The tax applicable to transport fuels came  was calculated at a rate of €15 per tonne of CO2 emitted. Biofuels were exempted from carbon taxes as was the biofuel element of any mixture or blend of biofuels and mineral oils.

Fuel prices were progressively increased in successive finance legislation partly to discourage greenhouse gas emissions

Directive 2009/28 (replacing earlier Directives 2003/30) set a 10 per cent target for renewable energy in transport for all Member States by 2020.A remission of mineral oil tax relief on biofuels was t introduced by  Finance Act 2004 to make their use commercially viable and since continued by the Biofuel Mineral Tax Relief Scheme administered by Sustainable Energy Ireland.

Transport 21 policy sought to improve public transport between 2009 and 2016. Many elements were later cancelled or shelved due to economic conditions.

Tolls are levied on motorists on motorways financed by public private partnerships, i.e. most new motorways.

The Government objective was to reduce the number of commuting workers from 65 per cent to 45 per cent and to increase the numbers travelling by public transport, walking and cycling to 55 per cent of all workers by 2016. The  objective was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport below 2005 figures levels by 2020.

Cycling was promoted under the National Cycle Policy Framework 2009-2020. Local authorities  increased parking charges in urban areas and many  discourage commuter parking.

There are tax incentives to employees and savings for employers who enable employees to purchase public transport commuting tickets or bicycles. Workplace parking levies of €200 per annum were introduced in the Finance Act 2009, although not implemented. I

Improved bus services, dedicated bus corridors, upgraded urban and suburban rail services and new cyclist and pedestrian ways have sought to make a public transport more attractive particularly for city commuters.

European Communities Act 1972 (Environmental Specifications for Petrol, Diesel Fuels and Gas Oils for use by non-road mobile machinery, including inland waterway vessels, agricultural and forestry tractors, and recreational craft) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 Implement Commission Directive 2014/77/EU

The European Union (Deployment of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure) Regulations 2018seeks to develop the market for alternative transport fuels. This includes
electricity hydrogen synthetic and paraffinic fuels natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas. There are technical requirements for recharging points for electric vehicles hydrogen refuelling points and compressed natural gas refuelling points.

The regulations are administered by SEAI (electric recharging shoreside electricity for maritime 0and CRU (hydrogen refuelling CNG refuelling. the regulator can issue directions in the event of non-compliance.

The first phase of the Taskforce’s work, which focused on electric vehicles, is currently nearing completion. The second phase looked at other alternative fuels including compressed natural gas. This included the examination of what supports are needed to incentivise investment in compressed natural gas refuelling infrastructure.


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