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New Climate Action Plan approved for Galway City


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

New Climate Action Plan approved for Galway City New Climate Action Plan approved for Galway City

Galway’s new climate action plan makes no reference to the city’s proposed ring road – and its potential impact on carbon emissions.

City councillors backed a new climate action plan that aims to slash carbon emissions by half by 2030, but supporters and opponents of the planned ring road said it was ‘the elephant in the room’.

Damien Reddington, Climate Action Co-ordinator at Galway City Council, said the plan was an inaugural roadmap to achieving a 51% reduction in greenhouse gases within six years, and “commencement of the pathway to climate neutrality by 2050”.

Councillor Donal Lyons (Ind) said greenhouse gas emissions in the city were growing every day because of traffic congestion. He argued that if the ring road was built, emissions would improve because cars would not be stuck in traffic, idling.

Cllr Lyons said there would still be a need for cars in 2035, but they would be electric or hybrid and there wasn’t enough EV charging points. Public transport was improving, he said, but it was currently “not great”, referencing problems with the 424 serving Galway to Leitir Mealláin via An Cheathrú Rua.

Councillor Alan Curran (Soc Dems) said the ring road was the elephant in the room. He said Galway County Council – lead agent in the project – in its business case for the ring road, had said that if it was built, it would result in a 49% increase in carbon emissions. The Council “can’t ignore its climate impact”, he said.

Councillor Niall Murphy (Green) said if the road goes ahead, the Council will have to set out what other measures it would take to compensate for the 49% increase in emissions. That increase had factored in electric vehicles and reduced idling from traffic congestion, he said.

Cllr Murphy said he understood that if the ring road, and its emissions impact, was mentioned in the climate action plan, it would struggle to get the support of many councillors but that was not a reason to “dodge the issue”.

Councillor Terry O’Flaherty (Ind) said Galway was choking from traffic congestion, which was contributing to emissions. Councillor Noel Larkin (Ind) said there was “no room” for bus corridors, which were only part of the solution, and a ring road was “for the good of Galway” and its future development.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article and further coverage of the Climate Action Plan and Decarbonisation Zone, see the February 16 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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