Climate CrisisEnvironment

Car numbers and cattle herds could be cut in new Climate Action Plan

Government expects to reach agreement this week on plan with ‘very ambitious’ targets

Taking one in five cars off the road and cutting the cattle herd by 10 per cent by 2030 are measures under consideration as the Government finalises its updated Climate Action Plan.

The targets were described as “very ambitious on all fronts” by one person involved and huge investment in public transport will be needed.

The updated Climate Action Plan is said to be mostly finished and should be ready for Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.

Drafts of the plan require a 20 per cent reduction in cars and a 10 per cent reduction in cattle by 2030.


The final plan is not yet agreed and a cabinet subcommittee meeting is to work out remaining issues.

Speaking on his first full day back as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he is confident the plan will be agreed, adding: “I’m determined that we should be the generation of politicians that passes on the planet in a better condition than we inherited it”.

There were delays to almost a quarter of the measures in last year’s Climate Action Plan.

Mr Varadkar said ambitious targets are “very hard to meet” but the Government has met three-quarters of them.

However, he said he wants to see improvement next year.

The coming weeks will see discussions with Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan and Government officials about whether oversight of the Climate Action Plan can be strengthened from the Taoiseach’s office.

There was a minimal reshuffle at of senior Cabinet roles during Saturday’s historic changeover in Government, with the biggest in a small number of moves being the one that resulted in Mr Varadkar taking over as Taoiseach from Micheál Martin, who is now Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The focus now shifts to who will form the ranks of junior ministers, which is due to be announced on Wednesday.

Fine Gael is set to take over the European Affairs brief currently held by Fianna Fáil but the role of junior sports minister is expected to stay with Mr Martin’s party.

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times