Making the Transition to a Low Carbon Society in the Western Region

Key Issues for Rural Dwellers

The need for climate action is clear and the changes we need to make to address climate challenges will affect all aspects of the way we live our lives. They will have diverse and wide-ranging impacts across Ireland, yet there has been very little focus on climate change and emissions issues for people living in rural areas.

Key Points

  • Active Travel: While EVs are one low-carbon transport solution, public transport, walking and cycling also have a role to play in rural areas.
  • Public Transport: Fares need to be competitive for shorter journeys on the mainline rail to encourage travel between regional cities and towns by rail.
  • Electricity: A variety of finance models are needed to support different home and household types in making the investment in the low carbon transition. Different households have different
    financial capacity and needs, loans may work for some, easypayback mechanisms (e.g. through utility bills) might be better for others.

Discussions of rural emissions often focus on the emissions from agriculture, in this study the focus is on people living in rural areas, the ‘rural dwellers’, rather than agriculture. There are opportunities and challenges ahead and we need to understand the scale and scope of the actions required to reduce rural dwellers emissions and increase the use of renewable energy in rural areas.