04 April 2017

Chair of the Labour Party Policy Committee, Alex White has outlined today how the Labour Party Conference, later this month in Wexford, will debate a policy paper outlining radical proposals to tackle climate change. One of the proposals is to leave fossil fuels in the ground by eventually ending the licensing of oil and gas exploration in our waters.

“If we are to meet our targets for carbon emissions, we have to transition away from using oil, coal and gas. We already know Ireland won’t meet our 2020 targets but there is much we can still do to reduce the amount of carbon released.

“The Labour Party has already outlined our opposition to fracking, and there is cross party support in the Dáil to legislate for a ban. That means land based oil & gas exploration will all but end in Ireland.

“If you believe, as we do that by 2050 fossil fuels will be largely replaced by renewable energy sources we should follow that up with real action.

“It takes a long time to bring successful explorations of oil and gas to commercial use. If we are serious about phasing out oil and gas by 2050, then we should plan a strategy to ‘leave it in the ground’.

“That could mean no further rounds of licensing beyond those already in play. It is a radical proposal for Ireland, but is the logical response to ambitious plans to tackle climate change.

“Instead of drilling for fuels that will add to our emissions, we should be focusing on renewable energy like wind, solar and tidal; and developing innovative storage solutions for off peak electricity like Turlough Hill.

“The Labour Party will be debating policies like these at our Conference, and I look forward to engaging with our members on how we can make Ireland greener, cleaner and fossil fuel free.”

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