Despite the national flagellation attendant on all things to do with wrecking the Climate, it turns out that Ireland is one of the very minor offenders when it comes to killing the planet with fossil-fuelled private motor vehicles.
According to statistics just released by Eurostat, the Republic of Ireland had one of the lowest overall rate of passenger cars per every 1,000 inhabitants in 2020. Indeed, the East and Midlands region including Dublin had a rate of 433 per 1000 which is comparable to the more marginal and less developed parts of the EU such as Greece and Romania.
All regions in the state are significantly lower than the EU average of 533 per 1,000 and well below the rates in the industrial centre of the EU which Irish advocates of radically reducing car ownership would have you believe are ahead of us in terms of providing alternative public transport.
And yet, among the targets set in the plan for Sectoral Emissions Ceilings is to reduce carbon emissions from transport by 50% by 2030. The means to achieve this have ranged from banning SUVs in “the bog” and forcing culchies to carpool; to setting a target of a million electric cars over the next ten years.
Not surprisingly the Climate Change industry has dumped on the proposals. Marie Donnelly of the state appointed Climate Change Advisory Council has described them as “problematic.”
Some of the leading Climate Change NGOs have also criticised them, but one suspects that some of them will not be happy with anything that does not emulate the Khmer Rouge who created a zero carbon eco-socialist economy in Kampuchea in the 1970s.
Ironically, the serious totalitarian Left – where it is in power in China – considers all of this to be a bit of a joke. They have long since abandoned the notion of having slaves grow enough rice to sustain themselves of an evening when they returned home to make steel in the communal blast furnace.
In three years between 2011 and 2013 China produced more concrete than the United States in the whole of the 20th century. All of that is both dependent on processes that produce large amounts of carbon, and to fuel this China not only continues to extract massive amounts of coal but is one of the main promoters of mining in the less developed countries which they have targeted for investment.
Meanwhile, little Ireland which missed a lot of the industrial development is now supposed to feel guilty about and to pick up the tab for, is expected to sacrifice one of our core areas of economic advantage in agriculture to an ideologically driven agenda.
Perhaps we ought to feel less guilty when we compare ourselves to the rest of the world, which we are always told we ought to do when the elite is trying to push us to catch up on parts of their other agendas.