FG’s climate proposals do not add up
Giving an initial reaction to the Government’s climate action plan, the Labour Party member on the Oireachtas committee on climate action, Seán Sherlock TD, said that Fine Gael’s numbers simply do not add up and that Fine Gael seems to have abandoned the international goal of halting global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Seán said “The Oireachtas committee on climate action endorsed the findings of the world’s leading international experts who said that all countries need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030. For Ireland, that means reducing our emissions from 60 million tonnes at present to 33 million tonnes by 2030.
“It is a welcome step that we finally have an all of Government plan to take the issue of climate change more seriously and there are a range of positive measures in the plan. But it was widely anticipated that this plan would set out exactly how we are going to deliver on our emissions reduction targets. Instead the plan falls short of the emissions reductions required for Ireland to be consistent with the 1.5 degrees limit. This central ambition appears to have been dropped.
“There are many important actions in the plan, including a number of issues that Labour has promoted such as a Just Transition task force. But if the overall target is anything less than reducing our carbon dioxide emissions to 33 million tonnes by 2030, the Government’s plan has fallen at the first hurdle.
“A number of other key recommendations from the Oireachtas committee report are absent, including the urgent need for new climate legislation. A new Climate Act would set legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to deliver net-zero emissions by 2050 and interim targets in line with ‘the latest IPCC consensus’. However the Government’s plan pushes back the timeframe. Instead of enacting new legislation by the end of 2019, as was agreed in the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action earlier this year, the Government has decided instead to publish a Climate Action (Amendment) Bill 2019 by March 2020. We may well have a general election before this date. Considering that new legislation has been urgent for some time, Fine Gael is not acting as though we are facing a Climate Emergency.”