The visitors were shown how building within town boundaries supports a low-carbon society. “Our kids walk to school, we walk to the pub,” said Iva. “By building close to the shops and amenities we are encouraged and able to walk or cycle.” The strong culture of sharing, including lifts, was highlighted and the politicians’ attention drawn to the blocks placed on car-sharing by the insurance industry. “There are many creative car-sharing clubs across the continent of Europe but they seem to be hindered here in Ireland due to a conservative, restrictive industry,” said Iva, who encouraged the Committee to quiz the insurance industry as to what it is doing to facilitate low-carbon living.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee members who visited were Sean Sherlock (Lab), Tom Neville (FG), Brian Stanley (SF), Thomas Pringle (Independent), John Lahart (FF) and Senator Ian Marshall, plus a number of researchers for other Committee members.