Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín has said that Fianna Fáil’s indignation regarding Ireland’s failure to reduce carbon emissions lacks any level of self-awareness.
Seán Fleming (Fianna Fáil), who is chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, today commented that the government’s approach to alleviating climate change was an act of “gross hypocrisy” and “horrific”.
Deputy Tóibín said:
“The government’s approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is totally reckless. The latest projections estimate that Ireland will only achieve a 1 per cent reduction by 2020 compared to the 20 per cent reduction target. They are now attempting to “purchase compliance” in order to meet the 2020 targets and avoid fines of hundreds of millions of euro.
“However, this means that instead of actively reducing emissions, the government are going to spend €150 million buying carbon credits. A carbon credit is a permit that allows its holder to burn a specified amount of hydrocarbon fuel over a specified period. It is throwing money at a problem rather than actively tackling it. It is another example of the financial mismanagement by this government but at huge environmental cost.
“We are last country in Europe to facilitate a feed in tariff for the micro generation of electricity. Solar power is a key part of most EU countries energy supply, yet in Ireland no solar power is connected to the grid. The vast majority of Irish homes or commercial and state buildings have not had the necessary deep retrofit necessary to make them energy efficient.
“Public Transport is expensive and, in many areas, non-existent. Cycle lanes are still in the future tense on most urban roads. Absolutely nothing has been done on the issue of Single Use Plastics despite growing public concern. Supply chains have not been created to ensure the steady bio fuels for domestic and commercial use. Ireland is importing bio energy that could be grown here to burn for electricity generation.
“Our farmers are being denied grants if they allow scrub to develop on their land. There are in affect financially rewarded to delete habitats that would enhance our bio diversity. Diversification towards more plant-based agriculture has not happened leaving farm incomes exposed to future changes. Fine Gael would make Trump blush when it comes to climate change.
“We have a moral responsibility to pass on this planet to the next generation in at least as good shape as we recieved it. I agree with Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming that this is a total farce and a charade. However, Seán Fleming seeks to be both the poacher and the game keeper at the same time. Fine Gael’s disastrous policy exist as a result of Seán Flemings votes. The policy he rails against has his finger prints on it.
“The means for tackling climate chaos are available to us. What’s absent is the political will and a healthy sense of embarrassment”.