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Minister Ryan endorses far reaching declarations across all transport modes at COP26

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD has endorsed three declarations across road transport, maritime and aviation at the annual UN climate change conference, COP26. The endorsements coincide with Transport Day, which takes place today and focuses on what the transport sector can do globally to contribute to the climate agenda.

The endorsements made at COP26 make commitments on Zero Emission Cars, Greening Aviation and Green Shipping lanes and are all consistent with Ireland’s ambitions across these modes of transport. They follow the publication of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) ’21 last week which outlines a pathway to a radical and equitable transformation in Ireland’s transport sector over the next nine years as it moves towards decarbonisation.

Zero Emission Cars and Vans

Ireland has today endorsed a UK sponsored declaration to accelerate the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans. The declaration calls on all players, including automotive manufacturers, businesses, financial investors and Governments, to work towards all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission by 2040 or by 2035 in leading markets.


“This declaration is an important signal of ambition at a global level. In line with our Programme for Government commitments, Ireland has even greater ambitions, targeting a switch over of one million electric vehicles by 2030 to bring us on a trajectory to achieving electrification of all new car sales well ahead of 2035”, said Minister Ryan. “The switch is happening, but the pace needs to step up if we are to meet our decarbonisation targets for transport. For that reason, we need all those involved, both on the supply and demand side, to commit fully and enable us to make it happen.”


Greening Aviation


The Aviation Declaration calls for an ambitious long-term goal for the reduction of aviation CO2 emissions to be agreed at the 41st Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in 2022 in line with the Paris Agreement goals. It calls out the need for maximum effectiveness of ICAO's Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and the need to promote sustainable aviation fuels.


“Ireland very much welcomes partnership initiatives at international level to coordinate policies and mobilise investment towards the decarbonisation of aviation. The signing of the declaration demonstrates the collective commitment of contracting states to significantly reduce aviation emissions over the coming decades” continued Minister Ryan. 


Green Shipping Lanes


Finally, Ireland is endorsing the so-called “Clydebank” Declaration which aims to establish green shipping corridors. The declaration will allow for innovative ports and shipping companies which are committed to environmental measures in their industry to promote green shipping channels and make meaningful changes.


Commenting on the declaration, Minister Ryan said: “Maritime transport is the most important means of connecting Ireland to international markets, accounting for more than 90% of Ireland’s international trade, in volume terms.  At the same time, it is recognised that we are entering a period where there needs to be a rapid change in maritime transport to contribute to the achievement of emission reduction targets and to put the sector on a more sustainable footing. Initiatives such as green shipping lanes point the way to a greener future for the maritime sector.

“It is vital that Ireland lends it support for these important declarations relating to transport. They are consistent with our own national ambitions as laid out in our Climate Action Plan 21 and represent a strong and credible call to all those involved in the transport sector globally, including Governments, to act now”.


Over the course of the COP programme, Minister Ryan is participating in various transport related events including an International Transport Federation (ITF) event bringing Ministers together to discuss the decarbonisation challenge, an EV Summit bringing stakeholders and policy makers together to consider how the EV market should evolve as well as various launch events associated with Transport Day. 



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Notes to Editor

  • Ireland held the Presidency of the International Transport Forum (ITF) over two years to May 2021 which significantly increased the attention of Transport Ministers and the sector to climate.  Key outputs from Ireland’s Presidency include:


  • A Ministerial Roundtable on Transport and Climate Change: This event served as a platform for Transport Ministers to share policy priorities and exchange ideas on climate action in the transport sector.
  • A Ministerial Declaration: in which Ministers signalled their intention to provide leadership in tackling the climate crisis and their commitment to putting the transport sector on a path to net-zero emissions, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.


  • The Climate Action Plan (CAP) ’21 which was published last week sets out four key areas for Ireland’s transport sector over the next nine years:
  • Sustainable Mobility – helping people choose sustainable options and delivering 500,000 additional daily public transport and active travel journeys, representing a 14% increase by 2030.
  • Electrification – accelerating the pace of EV take-up, almost 1 million EVs in the private transport fleet by 2030. Increasing public transport, including rail and bus electrification to reduce reliance on fossil fuelled transport.
  • Demand management – introducing measures at national, regional and local level to manage travel demand more efficiently and reducing the remaining fossil fuelled car kms by approximately 10%.
  • Increased biofuels mix - increasing the proportion of biofuels to a 20% blend for diesel and 10% for petrol, to reduce emissions from existing fleet.


  • International aviation and maritime are subject to international obligations in relation to climate mitigation. Aviation already forms part of the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme and the ambitions here are being increased through the new EU Fit for 55 package of measures.  Under Fit for 55, the ETS directive is being revised to contribute to reaching the 55% emissions reduction target in the EU Green Deal.