Irish hauliers threaten to protest over new emissions targets

IRHA president says members already facing rising fuel costs and driver shortages

Hauliers are threatening to protest over new targets for climate emissions for the transport sector in Ireland.

The Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) is to hold a members meeting in the next fortnight to discuss protests on the back of the Climate Change Advisory Council's emissions recommendations.

IRHA president Eugene Drennan told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that hauliers are "deeply concerned" about the impact a cut in emissions in the transport sector will have.

Members are already struggling while facing rising fuel costs, driver shortages and the Northern Ireland protocol, he said.


Meanwhile, Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) president Tim Cullinan said the emissions ceiling for agriculture in the budgets would have "serious repercussions for farming".

“Our most productive farmers simply cannot remain viable if agriculture has to reduce emissions by between 21 per cent and 30 per cent as has been reported,” he said in a reference to estimates a Government source gave to The Irish Times last week.

“This will have profound implications for the rural economy,” he said.

New proposed overall carbon budgets from the Climate Change Advisory Council were published on Monday, as the country puts a statutory limit on greenhouse gas emissions for the first time.

The council’s budgets outline a national ceiling for the total amount of emissions that can be released.

The first carbon budget, which will run from 2021 to 2025, will see emissions reduced by 4.8 per cent on average each year for five years.

The second budget, which will run from 2026 to 2030, will see emissions reduced by 8.3 per cent on average each year for five years.

The proposed carbon budgets would require “transformational changes for society,” the council said.

Oisín Coghlan, director of Friends of the Earth, welcomed the budget targets. “The truth is, if we stick to this budget we will all be winners, with a cleaner, healthier, safer future,” he said.