Simple steps needed to tackle climate change
Today, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has welcomed the publication of the first report by the Climate Change Advisory Council.
Speaking on the publication of the report, Senator Ó Ríordáin said:
“I welcome the first report of the Climate Change Advisory after hard won climate change legislation was championed by Labour in government. The passing of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015 was a hugely significant and historic milestone. It means that Ireland is one of only a handful of countries in Europe that have legislated and committed ourselves to meeting our EU 2020 carbon emission targets in law.
“The Report recommends that to meet current targets, around 75,000 homes will need to be upgraded for improved energy efficiency every year between now and 2020. Our strong economic standing means Ireland should be in a position to propose the significant expansion of energy efficiency programmes today. Even when the recession roared, Labour Ministers prioritised Better Energy schemes, because we recognise the importance of ensuring people live in warmer homes. If the Government is to take tackling climate change seriously there needs to be greater emphasis placed on schemes like Better Energy.
“I think the public sector can set the lead, and a good place to start in Ireland is with the installation of solar panels on the roof of the local school. With 4,000 schools across Ireland, installing solar panels on all of our schools could provide half of the energy our schools need, while helping our children to understand the benefits of switching to clean sources of energy. In our Alternative Budget, Labour proposed the installation of solar panels in all of our schools which will cost €100 million over the next four years.
“Ambitious energy transformation will require a real commitment from all Parties in the Oireachtas. We in Labour want to see citizens and communities at the heart of energy policy, promoting and enabling deep public engagement on the challenges – and the opportunities – that arise from our climate commitments.