Freight News, Logistics, Road

Irish climate action: where’s the freight?

[ June 21, 2019   //   ]

Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) general manager Aidan Flynn says that the Irish government’s Climate Action Plan, launched on 17 June, fails to recognise the vital role the freight transport industry must play. Without a clear plan for the logistics sector, it will struggle to meet its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, he warns.

He explains: “Commercial trucks and vans accounted for 21% of all transport emissions and 9.2% of Ireland’s total CO2 emissions in 2018. And while the sector is committed to reducing its environmental impact, it needs the right support and guidance from the government.

“As an island nation, Ireland is reliant on the movement of freight by road; the logistics sector is vital to the country’s economy. To ensure the government’s climate change targets are achieved in a sustainable manner – without impacting the economy – the delivery of new infrastructure will be key.”

He called on the government to support the sector’s transition to alternative technologies, pointing out that there us currently only one compressed natural gas refuelling site in Ireland. The government has promised to have 14 public refuelling sites open by 2020, but FTAI believes it is very unlikely this project will be delivered in seven months while there is no infrastructure for electric vehicles. FTAI is calling for the government to increase the permissible weight limit of vehicles driven under a B licence to 4.25tonne for electric / hybrid vehicles, to take account of the increased vehicle weight due to the battery.

And with the freight industry is reliant on diesel for the foreseeable future, the government should avoid introducing a blanket ban of diesel engines.