January 6, 2020
Government targets need to be more than pre-election spin – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin Climate Action spokesperson David Cullinane TD has said today that the government and the State needs to put serious investment behind its words, adding that without an increase in public transport infrastructure the proposed legislation on fossil fuel cars will amount to nothing.

Speaking today, Deputy Cullinane said:

“The government’s proposal to ban all fossil fuel cars by 2030 cannot happen in an investment vacuum.

“We need a significant increase in public transport capacity and availability if we are to reach any of our climate action targets.

“The Minister for Climate Action’s announcement today of a new bill is sadly lacking on these details.

“We also need to invest in renewable energy in order to reach our 2030 targets.

“For this reason, Sinn Féin will be tabling a number of amendments to the government’s bill, including one to put into law a target of at least 80 percent renewable energy production by 2030.

“The transfer of private and road haulage transport onto the national grid will have to lead to a re-evaluation of the government’s current obsession to energy-guzzling data centres.

“Eirgrid estimates that these centres alone will consume up to 28 percent of our national energy. This is madness and completely unsustainable in terms of our targets.

“The ban on fossil fuel cars does not only mean more electric cars, but more public transport electric buses, more rail, and greater capacity on, and expansion of, the existing network.

“We will look to amend the role and composition of the Climate Action Council to ensure it is democratic and genuinely representative of all communities.

“We cannot have a situation whereby un-elected and self-declared experts gets to decide the direction of climate action policy, over the heads of local communities, trade unions, and workers.

“We need to learn from the fiasco that is the Just Transition task force and ensure that all voices are not only heard but listened to.”

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