Govt squandering Ireland’s wind energy potential

Ivana Bacik TD
05 July 2022

Labour leader and environment spokesperson Ivana Bacik said government must be more ambitious and act to harness Ireland’s wind and renewable energy potential and start prioritising solutions to the climate emergency.

Responding to Wind Energy Ireland’s Bridging the Gap report, Deputy Bacik said the State needs to prioritise and support every measure possible to facilitate the transition to a carbon free economy and society.

Deputy Bacik said:

“The Earth’s climate has been changing rapidly, and its impact can be seen on a local and global level. There is a window of opportunity available to us, which we must act on now with a vision to create a greener, healthier, and more sustainable Ireland. I am deeply concerned reading Wind Energy Ireland’s report, which is stark in its analysis of the current situation and the perceived lack of political will to deliver change.

“Government is failing to plan and the reality is that the systems change required to tackle the climate emergency cannot wait. The cost of living crisis, the energy crisis and the climate emergency are strongly interlinked. We have delayed too long and band-aid solutions like carbon budgets are simply not working.

“The rise in global temperatures this century must remain below 1.5°C if we are to avoid irreversible and disastrous climate chaos. Our current trajectory will see us missing this target, with catastrophic implications. Spiralling fuel prices are disastrous for hard-pressed families in Ireland, but seeing climate action and affordability as mutually exclusive is wrong.

“As General Secretary Guterres has said, failing to transition to clean and renewable fuels is mutually assured destruction for all, with the most vulnerable communities on the planet set to face the worst consequences first. Wind Energy Ireland’s report is yet another reminder that government must take action on renewable and sustainable energy to both protect our planet and also ease the burden of the cost of living in Ireland.

“When we talk about investment in renewables, we are all conscious there is a huge amount still to be done here and this report highlights the areas that government needs to progress. Wind Energy Ireland’s analysis is that carbon pricing, storage and green hydrogen can reduce and eliminate the need for fossil fuels in electricity. We need to see the Government intervention that will actually give effect to those hopeful projections and optimistic modelling.

“Ultimately, we need to see meaningful climate action now. Research commissioned by Young Social Innovators in April shoed that climate change and living costs are the main sources of concern for almost four out of five teenagers in Ireland. What will government do to not only abate these concerns, but ensure that there is a habitable planet for future generations?”

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