Plan for Dublin to be climate neutral by 2030 with more public transport and less through traffic

Council said city must also build resilience as more flooding and extreme weather looms

Dublin City Council has set an ambitious plan for the capital to become climate neutral by 2030 by halving its carbon emissions through he scaling up of public transport and active travel; taking through traffic from its streets; and expanding green areas to tackle air pollution.

The path to the end of the decade is set out in its second climate action plan, published on Wednesday, which also highlights the need “to prepare our city and the people living here for the known impacts of climate change – flooding, sea level rise, extreme weather events, and drought”.

It also sets out how the council will cut emissions in contributing towards the global effort to limit warming to less than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Speaking at Dublin’s Mansion House, Lord Mayor Daithí De Róiste said the plan was about building resilience in communities.

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“We have a plan that gives us the opportunity to work together to co-create climate solutions that work for all of us and are rooted in a shared vision for our home, our city: a Dublin that is resilient and a leader,” he said. “This won’t be achieved with just a small collection of people. We need to rely on one another to achieve this plan.”

Minister for Climate Eamon Ryan said that by achieving climate neutrality, the city would be a better place to live. Scaling up public transport, including active travel, and widespread use of renewable energy would be critical to the transition.

Subject to planning clearance, the metro would be transformative, with a link eventually to Tallaght, he said. Dart Plus meant capacity would be tripled, while light rail to Finglas and other new routes were in the pipeline. “BusConnects will be the workhorse in decarbonising the city.”

By 2030, he envisaged 3 gigawatts of offshore wind energy being available to power the city.

Mr Ryan said he believed the climate neutrality target was achievable despite past failures nationally to meet such goals.

The more public transport we have, the better this city is going to be. The more we tap into renewable power, where we’re not importing expensive gas from Russia, the better off we will be,” he said.

Cllr Claire Byrne, chair of the council’s climate action, energy and environment committee, said: “The journey ahead is going to be difficult and frustrating at times, but it will also be rewarding.

“Dublin City Council is looking forward to working with everyone to make our home a place where everyone can live cleaner, greener, healthier lives.’’

“As a mother I know I want my children to be able to live in a clean and green city. I want them to be able to breathe in clean air. I want them to be able to swim in the Liffey in clean water. And I want them to continue to live in the city, because it’s a safe place. I also want them to be able to move freely through the city,” she said.

Getting around the city was really stressful at present, Cllr Byrne added, “but can you imagine what it’s like as a child?”

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