Avoid, shift & improve your transport choices

With the announcement of CAP21 – Climate Action Plan 2021 and its aim to reduce car km travelled by 25%, this is a blog post based on Climate Reality | Transport in 2 minutes (out of 24Hrs of Realty #LetsGetReal) 30th October 2021 at Rediscovery Centre Ballymun.

  • Ireland’s transport emits one fifth[i] of our transport greenhouse gas emissions
  • The biggest single emitter by far is our private car travel (40% of total transport or 8% of total).
  • We Irish drive 30% more than the EU average at 18,000km per year.
  • We spend more on transport each week than we do on food including eating out (CSO 2016 next household budget survey delayed by COVID). We do spent less than other countries on transport though at a household level.

What can we do about this now, today?

COVID restrictions showed us how we can avoid travel and did reduce our transport emissions by 21%[ii]; we can choose to avoid, shift and improve our travel choices each time we travel.

Of our journeys less than 2km, 29%[iii] are by car, of those less than 4km the figure is 40%; we can choose to walk or cycle

To avoid car travel, and assuming you have to drive, consolidate your trips and use less fuel in a cold engine. It will cost you less per Km and your car’s emissions control equipment will be more effective after 8km (roughly how long it takes to warm an engine)

To Shift your mode of travel, download and use the TFI Journey Planner app – https://www.transportforireland.ie/journey-planner-app/ .

  • Whilst bikes have seen increased use in the last several years, we hear more about EVs: The world’s biggest selling electric vehicle is not a car its the electric bike! 10 ebikes are sold for every electric car worldwide, including in Europe – the world’s largest EV market. We must count all road users equally.

When Improving the performance of your current car, please bear in mind;

  • An average Irish family car costs over €10,000[iv] per annum to own and run, but you can use a car club app for as little as €10/hour including fuel. Globally, for the under 30’s the car is being replaced by a mobile phone.
  • To save fuel in the car you have now use your car’s trip computer to see how much slowing down saves you in fuel, you can add as much as 100km to a tank.

If you are on twitter: When parked, please tweet @conormolloy pictures of your average fuel use from your trip computer, before and after you save fuel; hashtag #LetsGetReal

Thank you for your attention, please travel safe, avoid, shift and improve your travel choices to slow down, save money and emissions.


[i] 20% of emissions from transport – SEAI, of which 40% is car travel https://www.seai.ie/publications/Energy-in-Ireland-2020-Infographic.pdf

[ii] 21% reduction per SEAI https://www.seai.ie/news-and-media/seai-publishes-irelands-2/

[iii] 29% of journey less than 2km by car https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-nts/nationaltravelsurvey2019/

CSO National Travel Survey 2019 – CSO National Travel Survey 2019 – https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-nts/nationaltravelsurvey2019/

[iv] AA Ireland 2019 “The average cost of running a family car for a year is €10,691.12 according to the AA’s annual survey of motoring costs.” Over 16,000km per year. https://www.theaa.ie/aa/motoring-advice/cost-of-motoring.aspx

ASIf framework devised by Schipper and Marie (1999) and adopted by the IPCC (Kahn Ribeiro et al, 2007; Sims et al, 2014) and widley used by consultants and facilitators everywhere, including the Irish EPA and Dept of Transport.

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