Ireland’s emissions for 2020 are expected to be slashed by up to 7% due to the impact of the COVID crisis, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Emer Higgins said remote working has had a huge impact on our carbon footprint, with each person working from home saving 10 kilowatt hours.
Deputy Higgins said: “Working from home has the potential to be a game changer in reducing our carbon emissions, and the figures I received from Minister Richard Bruton show it’s already making a difference.
“Instead of being trapped in their cars for 10 hours a week, commuters can spend this time with their families.
“This massive reduction in emissions – 10 kilowatt hours per remote worker per day – can help us meet our obligations on climate change while improving the lives of urban workers and reducing the impact of climate change measures on the farming community.”
Deputy Higgins continued: “We have all changed our way of life more than we ever could have imagined since St Patrick’s Day.
“One of the positive benefits of this is the reduction in greenhouse emissions and its impact on climate change.
“I know many people haven’t filled up their cars with petrol or diesel since March.
“Working from home is no longer niche. We are witnessing a revolution in how we work.
“The majority of people, 59%, are happier working from home.
“A survey shows that not having to face the daily commute is the top benefit of working from home.”
Deputy Higgins continued: “It’s not just working from home that has changed. Over a quarter of a million additional people are cycling compared with this time last year – an amazing statistic.
“Restrictions on travel have revealed what is available to us on our doorsteps as we shop locally. Plans for holidays are focusing on Kerry rather than the Algarve.
“As we emerge from this crisis and rebuild our society, we must focus on what lessons we can learn to permanently reduce our greenhouse emissions.”