Government Short-Termism Also Applies to Climate Change

Duncan Smith TD
28 January 2021
  • Time must be allocated to climate debate in the Dáil
  • Minister must urgently extend the status of the Climate Action Advisory Council

As we continue to await the presentation of our Annual Transition Statement from the Climate Action Minister, Labour climate spokesperson, Duncan Smith TD, has called for the reintroduction of transition statements in the Dáil to allow debate and progress on this pressing global issue.

“I echo the concerns of the Climate Action Advisory Council at the failure of the Minister to produce the Annual Transition Statement for 2021. It’s not credible for the Minister to wait until the new Climate Action Bill is published to report emissions as we’re legally required to. The Minister has not indicated when the Climate Bill will be brought to the Dáil, and thus we remain in limbo on this topic. With the Dáil sitting on reduced days, it’s unlikely that this will be brought in the near future. Climate change seems to have fallen off this Government’s agenda .

“It is vital that the Minister allows for statements on transition to be debated in the Dáil given that there are now more questions than answers on Ireland’s current carbon emission trajectory. It’s interesting to note that the construction of carbon heavy data centres has been allowed to continue throughout the lockdown, highlighting just the essential role these centres are to Government policy, ignoring the fact that such centres are detrimental to our ultimate aim of lowering carbon emissions.

“The Climate Action Advisory Council continues to play a lead role in holding the Government to account on climate change, and it’s worrying that its status is unclear as of January 17. The Minister should act now and introduce legislation to extend the Council’s status. The global climate emergency has not dissipated – it is happening in tandem with the global health crisis and must remain a priority for this Government.

“Short-termism seems to be this Government’s policy across the board. It’s vital that the Minister reintroduces climate debates into the Dáil. The economy will reopen again, and when it does, we must show leadership and support workers and communities to reopen in a more sustainable way.”

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