It warned Ireland must “challenge ingrained mindsets” around car use to meet its decarbonisation goals.
The report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), published on Wednesday, said the country’s growing car use is “largely determined by car-dependent transport and urban systems”.
It said these systems make it “slow and difficult” to rapidly electrify personal vehicles and aiming to achieve targets via car decarbonisation is “unlikely to lead to different patterns of behaviour”.
“Most efforts and attention in Ireland have been allocated to policies with a low potential to transform the current system,” it said.
The report recommended “challenging ingrained mindsets” around car use, make sustainable transport modes the first choice for most journeys, more ambitious targets must be made with regard to accessibility of public transport, and policy must be “aligned across Government” to “address existing inconsistencies”.
Ireland has “enormous opportunities” to prioritise policies that will transform the country’s car-dependent system such as road space reallocation, the mainstream of on-demand shared services and communication efforts to address car-centric mindsets, it said.
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan welcomed the report's findings and said it “both supports and challenges the Government’s transport policy ambitions” and will inform his department’s public engagement activity and the measures to be implemented in the coming years.
“The scale of the challenge we face in decarbonising transport, as highlighted in this report, will not be easy and will require a truly transformative level of behavioural and systems change over years,” he said.
Ireland has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030 and becoming climate neutral by 2050.