COP cannot be held in another petrostate
- Labour calls for Just Transition taskforce
Labour leader Ivana Bacik has urged Government to outline a clearer pathway to phasing out the use of fossil fuels and meeting climate targets nationally.
Speaking during Leaders’ Questions, Deputy Bacik said the COP summit should never again be held in a petrostate.
Deputy Bacik said:
“Nearing the end of the hottest year on record, it is appalling that the Cop 28 conference is still running on due to a failure to reach an agreement.
“This failure has resulted from the sabotage of draft wording, which has clearly been corrupted by oil barons and petrostates.
“History will judge us by our actions, not our words. Hosting another summit in a petrostate would be a retrograde step. As we’ve seen this year, it is but an excuse for fossil fuel focused economies to obstruct progress on strengthening international climate commitments.
“Oil, gas, and other big corporations continue to destroy our environment. Their business models fuel weather disasters while also poisoning our air, land, and water.
“These companies profit at the expense of local communities which bear the brunt of increasingly erratic weather events, like the tornado in Leitrim village on Sunday. Now is the time to hold these companies to account.
“Closer to home, we continue to slip in the world rankings for climate protection – down six places to 43rd out of 63 counties. Government ambition and aspiration on climate needs to be matched by actions and outcomes, but instead our climate response has been marked by missed targets and massive delays.
“We must accelerate climate action measures, and we also need to ensure that the transition to a net zero future is just.
“Labour is calling for a taskforce to investigate and implement a just transition strategy for our most disadvantaged communities.
“With the right mandate and sufficient resources, we can support those who may be disproportionately affected. This could include measures such as using the Pobal deprivation index to pilot district retrofitting schemes, allowing private householders to buy into a public sector led retrofit.
“Failure to act now will not only exacerbate social inequality, but it will deepen the climate emergency. When it comes to climate, there is some done, a lot more to do. The question is whether this Government is up to that task.”