Car free Kilkenny city-centre part of Government plan to slash carbon emissions
By COLIN BARTLEY
CARS could be banned from Kilkenny city centre under the Government’s new climate action plans.
The move to ban cars from city-centres is part of the Government’s 180-point Climate Action Plan to have zero carbon emissions by 2050.
According to the plan, no new petrol or diesel engine cars will be sold in Kilkenny after 2030, with fossil-fuelled engines disappearing from our roads altogether by 2045.
Other areas targeted include convenience plastics, houses, heating and school curriculum, which are all set to undergo dramatic changes.
The plan’s ultimate aim is to have zero carbon emissions by 2050. The plan, launched by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, also outlines how Ireland will achieve its 2030 carbon targets. Ireland is currently failing to meet its internationally agreed targets.
Renewable energy was high on the list of priorities that would slash carbon emissions. The plan proposes that 70% of electricity will come from renewable sources by 2030, a massive jump from the current level of 30%.
Minister Bruton wants individuals as much as businesses to get involved in the creation of renewable energy. A scheme will be created allowing people to generate their own electricity and sell what they don’t use back to the national electric grid.
This will assist the project aiming to put 950,000 new electric vehicles (EVs) on Irish roads and the associated charging network required. Local authorities such as Kilkenny County Council will have to provide 200 on-street public charges per annum. The plans also suggest reducing the price of paid-parking for EVs
Levies will be imposed on materials that are hard to recycle, and single use plastics such as drinking straws, cutlery and cotton buds will be banned.
An emphasis will also be placed on improving public transport, home retrofits to 500,000 residences to improve their Building Energy Rating Certificate (BER) which will also involve a gradual ban on oil and gas home heating, as well as the possibility of a car-scrappage scheme for electric vehicles being brought in.
Farms will be targeted through a reduction on greenhouse gas emissions. Educational programmes and creation of new educational material for second and third level students will be created to aid this transition, putting a focus on climate change, social programmes and land use.