Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate, Darren O’Rourke TD, has warned that the government’s Climate Action Plan is lacking in leadership and will place unfair burdens on ordinary people, while failing to deliver the real change that is needed.
Speaking this evening, Teachta O’Rourke said:
“The climate crisis is real and must be tackled urgently. Failing to do so will cause considerable harm to our communities and future generations. The time for action is now.
“Sinn Féin supported the Climate Action Bill, and we support carbon budgets, but in a way that is fair and which has social justice at its heart. If we work together, we can meet this challenge and move towards a greener, fairer society.
“The government’s plan is high on rhetoric but short on detail. Simply put, the government’s figures don’t stack up.
“Let’s remember that this plan is coming from parties that have not met one climate target in the last decade; other than their plan to increase carbon taxes. Many of the targets and measures are not new at all – they have been announced before and not delivered. That doesn’t inspire confidence and doesn’t bode well for the type of ambitious change we need to see.
“The government is throwing around a lot of large figures here, which obscures the fact that much of this isn’t going to be financed by them but will be coming out of the pockets of ordinary workers and families as ‘private finance’. It is extraordinary that they think people drowning in debt and facing sky high bills are going to be able to retrofit their homes and buy electric cars.
“The government should be leading from the front here, but instead they are passing the buck on to ordinary people who are already pushed to the pin of their collar financially.
“We need to tackle climate change with leadership and ambition. Key to this will be the government leading from the front by supporting people to move to alternatives. Sinn Féin have shown how this can be done; through enhanced retrofitting, better support for farmers and making electric vehicles more affordable.”