Sinn Féin’s newly appointed spokesperson on Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport Darren O’Rourke TD today welcomed the EPA project of emissions report and said climate justice must be at the heart of this government’s approach to reducing carbon emissions over the coming years.
Speaking today, Deputy O’Rourke said;
“I welcome the report published by the EPA today which shows the State can meet our current EU target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.
“This would require the full implementation of the measures contained in the 2019 Climate Action Plan and require a 3% average annual reduction in emissions from 2021 to 2030.
“While this government have proposed to increase the targets to an annualised 7% per annum, we are very concerned about the proposal to push the bulk of emissions reduction down the line for the next administration.
“The reductions in emissions due to the Covid-19 lockdown, should be used as a springboard for change by this government, not as a free pass for this year.
“The July stimulus plan should aim to reboot our economy and create jobs in a green and sustainable manner.
“Retrofitting, investment in public transport and ambitious renewable energy projects, should be included, to not just create jobs and stimulate the economy, but also put us on the right track to meet our carbon emissions targets.
“We’ve previously outlined our deep concern about the proposed quadrupling of the carbon tax over the next few years and the impact this will have on workers and families.
“This tax is not going to work, because unless you put in place measures to give families and workers the alternatives, it is just another punitive tax on ordinary people.
“It was clear from the recent Green Party debate on the Programme for Government, that it is not just Sinn Féin who holds this view, but progressive members of that party too.
“Sinn Féin are fully committed to achieving our carbon emission targets, but we want to see climate change tackled in a progressive way, that combines social justice and fairness with the obvious environmental needs.
“Climate justice needs to be at the heart of this government’s approach to reducing carbon emissions over the coming years.”