Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin

Transport Ireland 2023

A transport system for Ireland's net zero future

Irish Rail
eolas Magazine

A transport system for Ireland's net zero future

The 16th annual Transport Ireland Conference recently took place, bringing together key stakeholders to comprehensively explore the latest ambitions, challenges, and tangible opportunities for leaders and practitioners in Ireland’s transport sector. We were delighted to have a range of expert speakers, local and visiting, join us including Eamon Ryan, TD, Minister for Transport; Anne Graham, National Transport Authority; Aimée Aguilar Jaber, OECD; Cormac Kennedy, Dublin Port Company and Helen Hughes, Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our conference partners, Iarnród Éireann, AECOM, Indra and Indaver, all speakers, delegates and exhibitors who joined us in the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin and made the conference a huge success.

Transport abatement targets for 2030 hinge on accelerated and transformational change. While providing the greatest share of emissions abatement in the medium term, electrification of and fuel efficiency improvements in private vehicles will not deliver emissions reductions at the scale or pace required. Rather, behavioural change, defined by modal shifts towards active travel and public transport, and journey reductions will be essential to transitioning away from a car dependent transport system.

In 2022, two fundamental analyses of the Irish transport system were completed: firstly, Redesigning Ireland’s Transport for Net Zero was published by the OECD, and, secondly, refreshed transport decarbonisation pathway modelling was undertaken by the NTA and the Department of Transport.

Identifying the existing transport system as one which embeds car dependency by design, the OECD made four recommendations:.

  • 1. reorientating the goal of Ireland’s transport system as sustainable accessibility;
  • 2. prioritising the scaling of transformative policies;
  • 3. redefining the electrification strategy to support the transition towards a sustainable transport system; and
  • 4. embracing a systemic approach to policy decision-making across government departments.

In response to the OECD findings, the transport element of Climate Action Plan 2023 has recalibrated the decarbonisation pathway for transport to close the significant ‘gap’ in relation CAP21 targets and the delivery of 50 per cent emissions abatement by 2030.

In response, the Avoid-Shift-Improve framework for transport sustainability has been utilised to categorise all transport abatement actions in Climate Action Plan 2023, with particular emphasis on spatial and land-use planning in the design of a transport system for net zero.

Avoid: Avoid/reduce the need for travel through land-use planning.

Shift: Shift to more environmentally friendly modes of transport.

Improve: Improve energy efficiency of vehicle technology, including through electrification and clean fuels.

However, several challenges continue to inhibit the delivery of transport abatement ambitions, including national travel preferences favouring private car usage; low density development; significant lead in times for major transport infrastructure projects; public acceptance; and governance and oversight across all relevant bodies implementing transport decarbonisation.

In this context, the 2023 Transport Ireland conference will host a variety of expert domestic and international speakers who will comprehensively explore the latest ambitions, challenges, and tangible opportunities for leaders and practitioners in Ireland’s transport sector.

Key issues to be examined by an expert panel of speakers include:
  • Transport policy and legislative priorities
  • Towards a National Demand Management Strategy
  • Creating an Irish transport system that works for people and the planet
  • Delivering a transport sector fit for a clean, digital, and modern European economy
  • Road space allocation: Radically rethinking how we use public streets
  • Transport leaders’ discussion
  • Redesigning Ireland’s Transport for Net Zero
  • Recalibrating the decarbonisation pathway for transport
  • Making Ireland’s public transport safer and easier to use
  • Delivering major transport projects
  • Accelerating active travel uptake in Ireland
  • Enhancing rural transport
  • Futureproofing Ireland’s critical transport infrastructure
  • Mobility trends of the future
  • Intelligent transport and transforming mobility
  • Safe, inclusive, and accessible public transport
  • Behavioural change and engaging the citizen
  • Meeting the 2030 transport emissions abatement targets
  • Responding to Irish transport emissions trends
Who should attend

The Transport Ireland® conference will be of interest to all those involved in the management or development of Ireland’s transport system, north and south, including roads, public transport, and active travel infrastructure. It will also be of interest to those dependent on Ireland’s haulage and heavy goods road freight sector. The conference will have direct appeal to:

  • Transport policy-makers (government departments / agencies)
  • Local government – officers and elected representatives
  • Strategic infrastructure planners
  • Freight and logistics operators
  • Planning specialists
  • Construction / civil engineering firms
  • Project consultants / specialists
  • Public transport / port and airport operators
  • NGOs
  • Finance / investment and legal community
  • Academics / researchers
Benefits of attending

Delegates attending the conference will:

  • Hear latest government policy for transport
  • Consider infrastructure investment priorities
  • Hear from high profile visiting speakers
  • Explore sustainability in transport
  • Look to the future of mobility