The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has revealed that he still drives a diesel car.

The fact emerged during and interview with AgriLand following the publication of the Government’s Climate Action Plan which outlines significant decarbonisation targets for all sectors including: electricity; transport; industry; and agriculture.

The plan outlines an expectation to reduce carbon emissions from agriculture by 10-15% by 2030, it also aims to introduce legislation that will ban the sale of petrol/diesel cars from 2030 – with plans to stop granting NCTs on these cars by 2045.

Objectives are also afoot to gradually equalise diesel and petrol excise rates; while the Government is also committed to quadrupling the current carbon tax rate (€20/t) up to €80/t by 2030.

These aspirations are being adopted by Government in order to accelerate the take up of electric cars and vans, so that by 2030 100% of all new cars and vans will be electric.

The ultimate goal is to have almost one million electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2030.

Long commutes

It has now emerged that one of those in line to make the switch will be the Minister for Agriculture.

I drive a diesel car and have done for quite a while.

“I looked at the tax regime that was introduced a number of years ago, which incentivised diesel. Perversely, now it transpires that it’s causing more pollutants into the atmosphere giving rise to public health issues.

“So, I would imagine the next time I change my car I might consider a hybrid, maybe electric, but hybrid more likely on the basis that long commutes will be more easily facilitated,” said the Cork native.

Minister Creed says “everyone must contribute” and play a role in the battle against carbon emissions.

I’m a firm believer in the power of one and all of us, even as a household, have had chats around what are the things we can do individually.

“Whether it’s turning off a light, as I say to my kids when they are leaving a room, or turning off the TV or using less plastics, I think each of us individually can do more,” he said.