Majority believe Ireland will fail to meet EU 2030 emissions target – survey

Esri survey highlights scepticism over Ireland’s commitment to tackling climate change
Paul Synnott, managing director, Esri Ireland

8 January 2021

Just 37% of the Irish public believe that Ireland will meet the EU target of a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This comes from an Esri Ireland survey of more than 1,000 adults nationwide. Conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Esri Ireland, the survey highlights public scepticism regarding Ireland’s ability to effectively tackle climate change.

Despite reservations over Ireland’s ability to do so, the majority of survey respondents are in favour of efforts to reduce climate impacts, with three-quarters agreeing that Ireland should strive to meet the EU 2030 emissions target. Given the effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels, half of those surveyed are concerned about the impact of environmental damage on their home or property.

As part of efforts to combat climate change, the government has proposed a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030. However, only 44% of respondents believe that the sale of diesel cars will be outlawed by this date, falling to 34% for petrol cars. To support the leading alternative to petrol and diesel cars, 75% of adults in Ireland agree that there should be more electric vehicle charge points across the country.




The survey also explored the public’s opinion on the likelihood of new technologies emerging to aid climate action. Almost one-third (31%) say that driverless cars will be operational on Irish roads by 2030, while almost half (49%) say drones will be used to deliver packages and food – changes that will both reduce the need for combustion vehicles on Irish roads.

Paul Synnott, managing director, Esri Ireland, said: “This survey highlights the widespread support amongst the public for positive climate action. In order to meet the targets laid down by the EU and within the programme for government, real and meaningful action needs to happen now.

“From forecasting the impact of extreme weather events, to planning the optimum location for electric vehicle charge points, location, place and geography play a key role in addressing the climate and biodiversity crisis which threatens our safe future on this planet. Now is an opportune time for governments, businesses and NGOs to integrate geographic thinking into their operations and planning to deliver more sustainable results and better-informed data in the fight against climate destruction”.

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