Earth Day a timely reminder that carbon and fiscal Budgets should be published together

Ivana Bacik TD
22 April 2024

Labour leader Ivana Bacik has called on Government to publish its carbon and fiscal Budgets at the same time this year.

Speaking at the Friends of the Earth conference today, Deputy Bacik said Government must take greater leadership when it comes to reducing emissions.

Deputy Bacik said:

“All the evidence from science is clear, and the polling presented at the Friends of the Earth conference today reiterates it, climate action is as important to people as ever.

“I do acknowledge some of the steps that this Government has taken in terms of addressing the climate crisis, but we need to see greater ambition and leadership on key climate questions faced by us all.

“For example, this Government continues to delay on tackling data centres. Research published by Friends of the Earth shows that the majority of Irish people support an indefinite pause on connecting new data centres to the electricity and gas grids.

“Earlier this year, there were reports of a row between Eamon Ryan and Simon Coveney over the development of new data centres, so it is clear that Fine Gael have yet to catch up on the reality of the climate crisis.

“More than half (62%) of the country’s expected increase in electricity demand between 2021-2025 is set to come from extra-large energy users such as data centres. This is completely unsustainable.

“Labour has called for a moratorium on new data centres until we have a full understanding of their impact. Labour’s climate spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan has also called for an Expert Working Group to provide the necessary expertise and guidance to ensure that future development aligns with our climate goals.

“Similarly, I am reiterating my call on this Government to incorporate our carbon budgets into the annual fiscal budget.

“Climate budgets are as important as our annual budgets. This is a job not just for the Department of the Environment but for the Department of Finance and Public Expenditure as well to assist in delivering a whole of Government approach. Tax and spending policy must support climate goals.

“This approach must take place ahead of the fiscal budget this coming autumn.

“Rather than flying tax-cutting pre-budget kites, I’d urge Government to focus on incorporating climate measures into the budget so we can see the real level of ambition they have for our planet and our economy.”

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