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Climate action report needs to offer realistic roadmap for hauliers

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The Irish Government should not penalise the haulage sector for its carbon emissions when environmentally-friendly road transport alternatives are not yet fully viable, according to FTA Ireland (FTAI). Reacting to the publication of the Joint Committee on Climate Action’s report, Climate Change: A Cross-Party Consensus for Action, the leading logistics association welcomes the Committee’s focus on transport but calls for collaboration and realistic solutions.

Aidan Flynn, General Manager at FTAI commented: “FTAI is calling for the Joint Committee on Climate Action to collaborate with the logistics industry to deliver a sustainable and clean transport strategy; any approach must be realistic. While the FTAI and its members are fully committed to playing its part in the fight against climate change, and takes its responsibility very seriously, alternative transport solutions – such as compressed gas-powered lorries – are not yet mature enough for widespread adoption. We need to have the infrastructure in place to support these solutions, such as the proposed refueling sites under the Causeway Project. It is also unrealistic, according to FTAI, to expect businesses to immediately purchase Euro 6 vehicles: many simply are not in the financial position to do so. The Irish Government should not penalise the haulage sector for its carbon emissions when environmentally-friendly alternatives are not yet fully viable.

“The government should instead adopt an incremental approach to change. Commercial fleet operators are already burdened by high operational costs and low margins, and while increasing the carbon tax price per tonne up to €80 by 2030 will force change, unilaterally putting this burden onto the HGV, coach and bus fleets will be counterproductive and put operators out of business.”

Transport accounts for 20% of emissions in Ireland; 25% of this amount is apportioned to the freight industry. The heavy goods fleet comprises of approx. 80,000 vehicles over 3.5tonne with an additional 16,000 coach and buses in operation.

Flynn continued: “The government should lead the way in the development of a cleaner and more sustainable transport system. As part of this, the government should encourage and incentivise the haulage sector to adopt emission reduction strategies, and if viable, start adapting to new, cleaner technologies. After all, if every truck reduced its current diesel fuel consumption by 5% – possible though fuel-efficient practices alone – the net CO2e saving would be in the region of 113 million KG of CO2e.

“FTA Ireland supports the current rate of excise applied to natural gas for transport; it should be retained until a minimum of 30% of the national commercial fleet of HGVs and buses are transitioned to natural and renewable gas.”

Flynn continued: “FTAI welcomes the Committee’s focus on transport within the report; it will help to build awareness and momentum of the need to improve air quality across the nation. FTAI has long-championed effective fuel efficiency; our annual TruckSafe™ audit, available to all HGV fleet operators, has led to savings over 2.5million litres of diesel fuel, equivalent to over 7million Kg of CO2e. The scheme requires all members to adopt a mandatory fuel management and environmental plan.”

FTA Ireland (FTAI) is a not for profit membership trade association for the freight and logistics industry in Ireland. FTAI covers all aspects of the freight, passenger transport and logistics supply chain, including road, rail, sea, air, port, airport and public service transport interests, whether as operators freight and logistics services, coach and bus operators or as shippers. Further information regarding

For more information on FTA Ireland, including how to join, please visit www.ftai.ie

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