According to a new report from Sustainable Energy Ireland, energy consumption in the transport sector increased by seven per cent last year, with pollution from cars and lorries growing by 180 per cent since 1990.

Excluding transport, sectors in Ireland either managed to reduce emissions or record small increases. But car ownership is increasing quickly and transport now accounts for over a third of energy-related emissions.

Earlier this week the Comhar Sustainable Development Council called on the Irish Government to take decisive action to curb transport emissions.

It welcomed the proposal in the Budget to change vehicle registration tax and annual motor tax to reflect greenhouse gas emissions.

The moves “make us think about the emissions rating – and the extra cost associated with buying a high-emissions vehicle”, said Comhar chairman Frank J Convery.

Ben Meggeson

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie