Government continues to show its true colours on climate

02 February 2021

The Government continues to show its true colours on climate, and is marked by inertia on this crisis. Responding to the Government’s Climate Bill, Labour climate spokesperson Duncan Smith TD has welcomed the progress on addressing the climate crisis. While the Minister’s commitment to banning future oil and gas licences is welcome, it does not go far enough.

Deputy Smith said: 

“We have all been inspired by the climate activists who have kept this topic top of the agenda and forced the Government to be serious about the issue in recent years. The Minister has faced and will continue to face serious pressure from oil and gas lobby groups and he needs to be supported by his Government colleagues to stand up and do the right thing for our planet.

“We must stop our over-reliance on carbon heavy oil and gas, and instead continue to pivot to innovations like wind, wave and solar energy. Having a good energy mix is vital in providing energy security, but we need to focus on alternative sustainable energy sources.

“It’s disappointing that the Minister could not divorce himself entirely from the oil and gas industry and commit to a timeline to ban all drilling licences. These companies are putting profit before people, before the next generation, and before the advice of scientists. We need to recognise that this is a global crisis and needs to be treated with the same focus and swift action as any other crisis of this scale.

“Covid continues to have profound impact on all our lives, and energy demand has been decreased through fewer cars on our roads and less travel. However the Government now needs to focus its attention on life post-Covid, and find solutions to enable everyone to return to normal in a more sustainable way. With transition comes opportunity, and we need the workforce to be equipped with skills to develop our indigenous green industries.

“The Labour Party looks forward to engaging with the detail of this Bill once published, but we need a coordinated approach that takes account of the severity of the crisis.”

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