June 14, 2023
Government policy must address wealth-based climate emissions – Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Justice, Senator Lynn Boylan, has today highlighted the urgent need for government policies to incorporate the contributions made by wealthy individuals to the climate crisis. 

To effectively address this issue, Senator Boylan stressed the importance of producing good quality data that accurately represents the diverse emissions patterns within society.

Senator Boylan said:

“Wealthy people have more responsibility for emissions, but the government is not doing enough to track and stop it.

“A glaring example can be witnessed in Dublin Bay, where the 110-metre Superyacht, Kaos, owned by billionaire Nancy Walton Laurie of the Walmart family, is a testament to the extravagant carbon footprint of the ultra-wealthy. The private jets, helicopters, and fleets of luxury vehicles all contribute massively to the carbon footprints of the ultra-wealthy.

“Sinn Féin remains resolute in its commitment to addressing emissions associated with wealth. The party has long advocated for a wealth tax, a private jet tax, the removal of tax credits on a tapered basis for individuals with an income exceeding €100,000, and the implementation of a second home levy.

“Our commitment to equity in climate action stems not only from a sense of fairness but also from the recognition that it is economically efficient and politically effective. Achieving the necessary transition to net-zero emissions requires immense popular support, and a just transition is paramount in this endeavour.

“The pathway to net zero cannot be realised without ensuring fairness and ignoring the emissions of the wealthy undermines the overall effectiveness of climate policies.

“However, the development of more targeted policies necessitates the availability of more comprehensive data on the emissions of the wealthy. The current climate policies don’t pay attention to who emits what, be it rich or poor, instead relying on an approach which ignores where the emissions come from in terms of income.

“The recent report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exemplifies this issue once again. Today I urged the Minister for Environment to direct the EPA and the Central Statistics Office (CSO) to prioritise the development of comprehensive data instruments that will enable informed policy decisions in the future.

“By recognising the unequal contributions to the climate crisis and implementing targeted policies that address the emissions of the wealthy, we can establish a fairer, more effective, and economically efficient approach to climate action. Sinn Féin remains steadfast in its commitment to combating climate change with justice and equity at the forefront.”

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