An Anti-Climactic Budget for Climate Inaction

13 October 2021

Following the publication of Budget 2022, Labour Party spokesperson for the environment and climate, Ivana Bacik TD has called for a more radical vision on climate, and for an ambitious carbon budgeting programme for Ireland. 

Deputy Bacik said:

“This Budget is deeply disappointing on climate. While aspects of it are commendable, the measures it lays out are lacking in ambition and fall far short of the expectations raised in the weeks leading up to Tuesday. 

“UN Secretary General António Guterres described the report of recently published Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change a “code red for humanity”. Indeed, the Minister for Finance himself said that the world is burning. However, in this Budget there is no sense of that urgency, nor any sign of the grand vision necessary to tackle the climate emergency. 

“We need to see plans for a more ambitious retrofitting programme and a commitment to a national recruitment campaign to ensure that we have adequate numbers of workers to deliver that programme. We also need to see more on a Just Transition, with more proactive redistribution measures for those who will be most affected by carbon tax increases. 

“While measures to reduce the cost of public transport for some young people are welcome, there is a question about how this can be rolled out logistically when there is a dearth of infrastructure in all quarters of the country. There is a strong need for more concrete commitments in terms of completion dates for flagship public transport projects, and a front-loading investment in active travel and city bike schemes.  

“Disappointingly, this was an anti-climactic Budget of climate inaction. We must hope that the upcoming first carbon budget due this month will give us real climate action. Carbon budgeting must be ambitious and accompanied by robust mechanisms to ensure compliance. The stakes are simply too high for any more disappointments. My first Bill as a Senator back in 2007 would have provided for drastic reductions in Ireland’s carbon emissions. The Green-Fianna Fáil-Progressive Democrat coalition did not adopt that legislation. Nearly 15 years later, I hope that this Fine Gael-Green-Fianna Fáil government will at last take radical climate action.’”

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