The expansion of Dublin Port is not compatible with Ireland’s ambitious climate targets, MEP Ciarán Cuffe has said.
The port has opened a consultation on an expansion that could potentially double its capacity by 2040.
If approved, a new bridge could be built over the Liffey linking the port’s on the north and southside and Ireland’s largest container would be constructed by Poolbeg power station.
Shipping accounts for 3% of global carbon emissions and the Dublin MEP feels this is something that should be taken into consideration.
“I think we should ensure that our climate action plan and the plan for Dublin Port are aligned,” he told The Pat Kenny Show.
“I think all too often, we have separate conversations about the need to tackle climate change and then we talk about the great news that aviation is expanding or the port is expanding.
“I think we need a reality check; we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and I don’t see how the significant expansion of Dublin Port is aligned to our climate action plan.
“I don’t think we can square the circle on that.”
Mr Cuffe said Dublin Port has “worked very well” over the years and priority should be given to the new housing in the area.
“I think we have to recognise that Dublin city has other needs other than purely facilitating transport to and from Ireland,” he said.
“I think it would be reasonable… to build homes on some of Dublin Port’s land and certainly I know my colleague Eamon Ryan has mentioned this.
“Even if we took some of the land on the south bank of the River Liffey or close to Dublin city on the north bank, I certainly think we could facilitate a lot of the homes that Dublin needs.”
Dublin Port CEO Barry O’Connell said the organisation is taking a “generational approach” with its plans.
“Large infrastructure projects take up to 20 years from inception to completion,” he said.
“We know what we have to deliver on to enable Ireland’s growth up to 2040 and beyond and our expert team has been actively engaged in delivering the masterplan for more than 10 years now.”
Main image: Cranes at Dublin port. Picture by: Alamy.com