On Track or Not? Why Modelling Low Carbon Policy Pathways for Passenger Transport in Ireland Matters


  • Vera O Riordan Marine and Renewable Energy Institute, Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork




transport emissions, passenger transport, modal shift, energy policy, low carbon transitions


Passenger transport emissions are currently responsible for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland. Not only is the share of emissions from passenger transport significant at 10%, but also the quantity of carbon dioxide emissions from passenger transport has been growing. The majority of passenger transport emissions come from private car transport, it being responsible for 90% of all passenger transport emissions in Ireland. Past policies to reduce the net emissions from passenger transport, such as manufacturer-based European-wide emissions and efficiency standards for private cars have had limited success, with increases in activity from passenger transport and people travelling further and more often by car counterbalancing improvements in car fuel performance. In recent years, the focus has shifted from improving and electrifying cars as a means to decarbonization of passenger transport to a broader range of measures to reduce emissions from passenger transport, including reducing the need for travel in the first place and encouraging a shift to walking, cycling or modes of mass/public transportation. We discuss the global climate imperative for passenger transport decarbonization, the policy frameworks established to facilitate this, and the energy systems models we develop here in UCC to monitor current and plan future passenger transport decarbonization.


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