- Aarhus Convention
- Access to Information on the Environment
- Environmental Radiation
- LIFE Programme
- Genetically Modified Organisms
- North/South Unit
- Local Agenda 21
- EU & International Unit
- Sustainable Development
- Environmental Liability Directive Consultation Process
- Emergency Planning
- Environmental Assessment
- Industrial Emissions
- Mét Éireann
- UNECE Protocol on PRTRs Public Consultation
Since 1st July 2008 vehicle registration tax (VRT) and annual motor tax for new cars are calculated on the basis of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from vehicles. Twelve emission/tax bands apply and VRT and motor tax payable is determined by the relevant band for each vehicle.
The system was introduced to incentivise consumers to purchase vehicles with lower CO2 emissions, an important step in reducing national greenhouse gas emissions and in meeting Ireland’s commitments for the purposes of the Kyoto Protocol. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the principal greenhouse gases contributing to global warming.
In the context of the new CO2 based motor tax and VRT system, the Minister introduced, in cooperation and with the agreement of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, a revised labelling system for new cars. The new labelling system will strengthen the existing EU requirements under Directive 1999/49/EC.
VRT is payable based on the open market selling price (OMSP) of each vehicle; further information on VRT and how it is calculated is available from the Revenue Commissioners (external link)
The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) provides details on CO2 emissions for all new vehicles for sale in Ireland. Their annual CO2 Emissions Guides are available, free of charge, from all dealers who sell new cars and on the Society of the Irish Motor Industry website (external link).
Key Elements of the Label
This shows the emission bands and identifies the band for the particular vehicle to which a label is attached. The band determines that car’s environmental impact in terms of CO2 emissions and enables buyers to compare the impact of different cars and thereby make informed choices on environmental grounds. The band also determines the VRT and annual motor tax payable on a vehicle.
This section provides three important points of information for consumers:
the rate of VRT payable on the vehicle,
the annual motor tax payable, and
the amount of fuel required to run the vehicle over 18,000 kilometres.
This ‘Environmental Information’ section of the label supplements the information provided in the first and second sections, and introduces the importance of driving behaviour. One of the key messages for consumers is that information on the fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions for all new cars is readily available to assist them in making informed choices.
The remaining sections of the label provide essential information on the actual vehicle to which it is attached, including make, model, engine capacity, transmission, fuel type and consumption. Importantly, the penultimate section repeats the information in section one on the actual CO2 emissions for the vehicle, highlights the fact that this information can be obtained from the vehicle’s Certificate of Conformity, and points out that some specifications of the same make/model may have lower CO2 emissions.
The sole purpose of the labelling system iis to provide information to assist consumers in making informed choices. It is not intended to show or suggest a preference for any particular vehicle type or vehicle technology, and should not be interpreted in that way.
Climate Policy Section,
Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government,
Custom House, Dublin
- Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development - National Policy Position Ireland (pdf, 121 kb)
- General Scheme of Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development Bill 2014 (doc, 165 kb)
- Draft Heads of Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2013 (pdf, 267 kb)
- Ireland and the Climate Change Challenge: Connecting ‘How Much’ with ‘How To’ – Final Report of the NESC Secretariat (pdf, 2,424 kb)
- Towards a New National Climate Policy - Interim Report of NESC (pdf, 3,156 kb)
- National Climate Change Adaptation Framework (pdf, 1,258 kb)
- Statement of Progress on the Programme for the Development of National Climate Policy and Legislation (doc, 144 kb)
- more publications
- 06/03/15: Irish Government welcomes adoption of EU’s INDC for international climate negotiations
- 19/01/15: Minister Kelly Publishes Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015
- 02/11/14: Kelly notes further scientific evidence that climate change must be tackled as a matter of urgency
- 24/10/14: Minister Kelly Welcomes ‘Sensible Compromise’ to 2030 Climate Talks
- Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015 (pdf, 539 kb)
- Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015 - Explanatory Memorandum (pdf, 46 kb)
- Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015 - Regulatory Impact Analysis (doc, 197 kb)
- Carbon Fund Bill 2006 (pdf, 628 kb)
- SI 244 of 2006 - Kyoto Protocol Flexible Mechanisms 2006 (pdf, 53 kb)
- SI 706 of 2005 - European Communities Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Amendment Regulations 2005 (pdf, 140 kb)
- more legislation