Noise, smelly fumes, frustrating traffic jams, road works and stress - just your average car journey. But there is more at stake than uncomfortable travelling: transport is responsible for 19.7% of Ireland''s greenhouse gas emissions; small particles emitted by vehicles using petrol or diesel are linked to asthma, and nitrogen oxides cause respiratory diseases and can produce smog at ground level. Irish people are becoming increasingly car-dependent with car numbers increasing accordingly.
Between 1990 and 2006, Transport showed the greatest increase of greenhouse gas emissions at 165%. Transport was responsible for 34% of Ireland’s energy-related CO2 emissions, higher than any of the other sectors, namely industry, residential and services sectors. Since 2005, there has been more than one car for every two adults in Ireland. Private cars with engines greater than 1.7 litres have increased their share from 13% in 1990 to 29% in 2006 (from Sustainable Energy Ireland's Energy in Transport 2007 report). There are many ways that you can help to reduce your transport impact on the environment and we have included many of them in this section.