The greenest National Development Plan in the history of the state will transform how we travel and improve our quality of life.

The greenest National Development Plan in the history of the state will transform how we travel and improve our quality of life.

Green Party TD for Waterford, Marc Ó Cathasaigh welcomes the new National Development Plan which was launched today and it includes unprecedented measures to help us address the climate crisis as we build back after the pandemic. This National Development Plan (NDP) places a focus on many key areas such as housing, healthcare, jobs, transport and climate across all regions. It is a roadmap for the next decade and takes into account our response to COVID-19, Brexit and the Climate and Biodiversity Crises.

Describing the plan as the greenest National Development Plan in the history of the state, Deputy Ó Cathasaigh said:

“By providing substantial support for a broad range of climate measures (including Just Transition and the Circular Economy), the new National Development Plan copper fastens funding for projects which have previously been allocated and makes firm commitments to future projects.  In terms of transport, the plan will transform how we travel as we make the biggest investment in transport in the history of the state – €35million over the decade. During this decade of change, these measures will help us to connect to our communities and help us halve our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This record investment will deliver a transport system which improves our quality of life and provides us with greater choices to travel more efficiently and sustainably – be it by footpath, cycleway, road or rail. It will keep us connected to our families, our workplaces and our communities and will support sustainable tourism in the South East. Many climate friendly elements of the plan were achieved during the Programme for Government negotiations but today’s announcement secures those measures far beyond the lifetime of this government.”

“In Waterford, we will see Bus Connects rolled out in the city, bringing with it immediate benefits to the city and surrounding areas. It will make public transport easier to access and more attractive to use. The Sustainable Transport Bridge and new Plunkett Station (both of which have already been committed to) will be at the centre of a reliable rail service in the south east as a result of increased investment in the inter-urban and regional rail network. It is expected that the Western Rail Corridor will begin in Waterford and this will enhance connectivity within the region. It will open up the South East for commuters, students and tourists alike with improvements in journey times, enhanced frequency and reliability and maintainence across the system.”

“This is a National Development Plan for a cleaner, greener, better-connected Ireland. It puts us firmly on the path to cutting emissions in half by 2030. Every project in this NDP has been climate assessed and aims to meet our climate targets and to deliver a carbon neutral Ireland by 2050. These investments will make it easier for us to meet our climate targets as we invest heavily in walking, cycling and public transport, to give people cheaper, healthier and safer options for going about their daily lives.”

The full plan is available here

Other green measures include the following…

  • €12.9 billion indicative allocation for the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) to 2030 underpins the commitment to achieving a sustainable, digitally connected and climate neutral Ireland;
  • Up to 80% of electricity generated across the country will be from renewable sources by 2030;
  • Significant carbon tax funds will support the Government’s target of retrofitting 500,000 homes to a Building Energy Rating of B2 and the installation of 600,000 heat pumps, of which 400,000 which will be in existing homes by 2030.
  • €2.7 billion will bring high-speed broadband to every home, school and business in Ireland, no matter how remote – through the National Broadband Plan.
  • 500,000 extra daily walking, cycling and public transport journeys will be delivered by 2030, making it easier for people to travel in a sustainable way.  €360 million a year will support 1,000 km of new and improved walking and cycling infrastructure by 2025, as well as additional investment in greenways – the largest ever investment in active travel infrastructure. 
  • Complementing public transport infrastructure investment, Connecting Ireland will deliver a dynamic approach to public transport in rural and regional areas, expanding local bus services and connecting rural communities with their key towns and regional growth centres. 
  • As well as the protection and renewal of the network (100,000 km), major urban and regional roads projects (including the N24, N25 and M20) will be progressed as per the previous plan.