Dublin lagging behind major European cities in green league

DUBLIN’S “green” rating is lagging behind most major European cities after a survey showed it in the bottom 10.

The study, carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit, used eight different categories under which to gauge the environmental rating of 30 European capitals.

The Danish capital Copenhagen, which is hosting global talks on climate change, emerged as the greenest city, ahead of Stockholm, Oslo and Vienna.

Dublin is in 21st place, behind London, which was in 11th place, and Paris, in 10th place, among others.

Its lowly ranking was compounded by the fact it is only one place ahead of Athens, notorious for its pollution, and a series of capitals from eastern Europe. Ukrainian capital Kiev came bottom of the pile in 30th position.

Dublin’s rating of 53.98, out of a possible 100, was calculated from its performance in eight criteria: CO2 emissions, energy use, buildings, transport, water, air quality, waste and land use, and “environmental governance”.

Dublin fared particularly poorly in some of these, such as its CO2 emissions average of 9.72 tonnes of CO2 per person compared with an EU average of 8.5 tonnes.

Dublin came last in the transport category, with less than 20% taking public transport to work and just 14% walking or cycling to work, both well below the EU average.

The report, commissioned and funded by Siemens, states: “Both the length of its public transport network and the extent of its cycle lanes are well below the index average.”

The report also notes that the vast bulk of our electricity still comes from fossil fuels, and much of the city’s housing is not energy efficient, although Dublin scores highly regarding air quality.

Dubliners consume and use 128 cubic metres of water per year, more than the index average, while the limited powers at local level results in the city’s low environmental governance ranking, with many of the decisions still being taken at national level.

James Watson, managing editor of the Economic Intelligence Unit and editor of the study, said: “Our analysis indicates that European cities are leaders in environmental performance. In particular, almost all of the 30 cities, which are home to nearly 75 million inhabitants, average lower CO2 per capita emission than EU countries.”

However, the study also discovered that 25% of all water used in the cities is leaking through cracked pipes — in Dublin’s case the figure was 29%.


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