Research Output
Transport Policy Review: Where does Ireland Stand on Climate Change for Transport and Logistics Sectors?
  Purpose - In response to the increasing climate disruption and global effort to the low-carbon transition, the Irish Government has set out the national carbon emissions reduction target. The transport sector in Ireland is the second-largest contributor of carbon emission, targeting to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. However, the evidence has shown that the emissions from the transport sector are projected to increase by between 10% and 12% by 2020, relative to 2015 levels, which still has a long way to achieve its 2020 and 2030 targets. This research establishes an understanding of the current transport policies in Ireland towards climate change and decarbonisation, and international sustainable transport measures that could potentially be adopted in the Irish context also been identified and assessed.

Research Approach – A desk research is firstly carried out to review transport policies in Ireland and relevant policies in Europe. Policies on both passenger transport and freight transport are considered. A two-round Delphi study is carried out to canvass the opinions of transport experts in Ireland and assess the impact of international sustainable measures if adopted in the Irish transport sector.

Findings and Originality
This study provides a timely overview of the current policies on sustainable transport in Ireland, international policy measures are also identified from other European countries. Although the Irish Government shows increasing efforts towards the policy development of low-carbon transition for the transport sector, this study finds that the current policies tend to priorities passenger transport, in contract, freight transport is less reflected in terms of measures and supportive schemes towards a low-carbon transition. Through the Delphi study, the potential impact of adopting the identified international measures into the Irish context is assessed, and a list of recommended policy measures on sustainable transport is proposed. Further research is required to assess the viability of these proposed measures and the policy alignment between the government and the transport sector.

Research Impact - Prioritising policies is rarely a straightforward process, especially when time and resources are finite. Collaborations between government, industry, and research institutes are needed to support policy decisions. This study provides a basis for future policy research to further investigate the tools or methods to support policy-making in the transport sector.

Practical Impact - From a practitioner perspective, this study will help to adapt to the Irish transport sector to new climate change obligations. Future research is needed to identify the challenges and the attitudes amongst the industry to undertake the shift, thus to bring Ireland onto a low-carbon trajectory in the long term.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    09 September 2020

  • Publication Status:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded; Historic Funder (pre-Worktribe)


Plant, E., & Zhang, X. (2020, September). Transport Policy Review: Where does Ireland Stand on Climate Change for Transport and Logistics Sectors?. Paper presented at e-LRN 2020 Special Web Conference: Sustainable and Resilient Supply Chains During Times of Crises, Cardiff [Online]



Sustainable transport, passenger transport, freight transport, policy, Ireland, Delphi study

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