Persistent lack of ambition on climate will have enormous economic and environmental costs
Labour leader and climate spokesperson Ivana Bacik has urged Government to consider the introduction of a climate ticket to lower Ireland’s carbon emissions.
As Ireland’s emissions continue to rise, Deputy Bacik said there is no time to waste. Radical change must be implemented.
Deputy Bacik said:
“Rather than making meaningful change, Minister Eamon Ryan is trying to buy Ireland’s way out of meeting its climate targets. Today, the Dáil will be asked to approve the purchase of 4.1 million carbon credits at a cost to the tax payer of €2.9 million for this Government’s failure to be ambitious for environmental change.
“Just last week, we received our “final warning” in the IPCC report. This is not a time for paying lip service, it’s time for genuine action.
“This Government is strong on rhetoric on climate but weak on implementation. They talk a good game, but are unable to deliver for the environment, for the generations of Irish people to come.
“Labour is calling for the introduction of a monthly, flat rate €9 climate transport ticket to help people make the move to public transport; save on costs of fuel; and help Ireland meet our ever-distant emission targets. Modelled on a similar scheme which was introduced in Germany, the ticket would entitle people across the country to unlimited travel, across all modes of transport, for just €9 per month.
“Despite what Minister Ryan indicated earlier this month, cheaper public transport would not lead to an increase in “unnecessary trips” but instead encourage people to leave the car at home and opt for a bus, train or tram.
“If we are serious about achieving our net zero targets, we need carrots, not just sticks. We need to see leadership from the Dáil. We estimate that the carbon emissions savings of such a policy would be equivalent to removing 23,000 cars off our roads. It’s time this Government was brave enough to take radical steps towards a cleaner future.
“We cannot afford to miss any more of our vital climate targets. Let’s be ambitious for ourselves and for our planet. A climate transport ticket would meaningfully take the pressure off of hard pressed households across the country while also representing a radical change in how we approach climate change. It would mean less of tax payers money would be frittered away on carbon credits and, instead, invested in State services for a better Ireland for all.”