Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Estimates for Public Services 2018: Vote 29 - Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

2:30 pm

Photo of Timmy DooleyTimmy Dooley (Clare, Fianna Fail)
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I thank the Minister. What measures is the Government taking to try to address the big problem of transport in general? There are, of course, domestic vehicles but then there are also the large trucks. There is a desire to try to move some of the commercial vehicles more towards compressed natural gas. Looking at our public transport fleet, what can be done there? A dreadful decision was taken recently to purchase 110 buses, I think, it was last year, in exactly the same format as before. They are just diesel buses. That was really regrettable and I know it is something the Minister has a strong view on. What can he do from his Department to ensure that does not happen again and to try to promote a move away from petrol and diesel within the semi-State commercial area and in the commercial sector generally? In addition, the whole area of heating needs to be looked at as a way of reducing our emissions. I see there is some money for the deep retrofit programme under a pilot programme. We have looked at our targets in the past and we have to ramp up the deep retrofits to get to where we would expect to be. Forget about 2020. We would really have to accelerate activity to get there even by 2030. Can we hope, or can we help the Minister, to get more moneys from the Exchequer through the budget to assist in that process?