Country-wide flat rate travel ticket could transform climate goals

14 March 2023

Labour transport spokesperson Duncan Smith has urged Government to consider the implementation of a Climate Ticket to encourage more people to leave the car at home.

Deputy Smith said an improvement in public transport and cycling infrastructure will be vital for the behaviour changes needed to address our climate targets.

Deputy Smith said:

“Labour is calling for the introduction of a monthly, flat rate €9 climate transport ticket to help people make the move to public transport; save on costs of fuel; and help Ireland meet our ever-distant emission targets. Modelled on a similar scheme which was introduced in Germany, the ticket would entitle people across the country to unlimited travel, across all modes of transport, for just €9 per month.

“Despite what some think, this would not lead to an increase in “unnecessary trips” but instead encourage people to leave the car at home and opt for a bus, train or tram.

“If we are serious about achieving our net zero targets, we need carrots, not just sticks. We need to see leadership from the Dáil. We estimate that the carbon emissions savings of such a policy would be equivalent to removing 23,000 cars off our roads. It’s time this Government was brave enough to take radical steps towards a cleaner future.

“When we look abroad, we see other Governments have the courage to be brave when it comes to climate.

“The Labour Government in Wales has taken the radical decision to halt future road building projects due to climate concerns, the French Government is moving to ban short-haul flights where a decent rail alternative is available. State Governments in Australia are turning down mining licences to avoid further damage to the Great Barrier Reef.

“Let’s have Ireland stand shoulder to shoulder with other countries and peoples determined to combat the effects of climate change.

“We cannot afford to miss any more of our vital climate targets. Let’s be ambitious for ourselves and for our planet. A climate transport ticket would meaningfully take the pressure off of hard pressed households across the country while also representing a radical change in how we approach climate change. This must be a top priority for Minister Ryan when he returns from China.”

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