Transport emissions decreased slightly by 0.3% in 2019 or 0.04 Mt CO2eq. Emissions from road transport have remained relatively stable for the last 4 years, at an average 11.6 Mt CO2eq. Total energy consumption in road transport increased by 0.8% in 2019; petrol, -5.8%, diesel +0.8%, bioethanol -4.0% and biodiesel +27.5%. The increased biodiesel usage reflects the increase in the biofuel obligation from from 8% to 10% with effect from 1st January 2019.

Looking at the underlying drivers, the number of passenger diesel cars increased by 7.1% in 2019 while the number of passenger petrol cars decreased by 1.9%, commercial vehicle numbers increased by 3.2% and employment grew by 3.5% between Q4 2018 and Q4 2019. Transport emissions in 2019 were still 15.4% below peak levels in 2007 primarily due to the economic downturn, but also due to improving vehicle fuel efficiency, the increased use of biofuels and a significant decrease in fuel tourism in recent years.

Passenger cars were responsible for 63% of road transport emissions in 2019, with Light Goods Vehicles responsible for 16% and Buses and Heavy Goods Vehicles responsible for 10% each. The impact of Electric Vehicles in reducing Transport emissions is still very low given the low number in the vehicle fleet but they are projected to contribute substantially to emissions reductions towards the latter half of the 2020s (EPA, 2020)

Sustainable Transport

Information on sustainable transport initiatives can be found here, including details of international best practice with respect to sustainable transport and current and planned sustainable transport initiatives in Ireland.

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