Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Justice, Senator Lynn Boylan, has reiterated her call for Ireland to withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty and has said that she is deeply disappointed with Minister Eamon Ryan’s continued refusal to join other European Union countries in doing so.
Senator Boylan said:
“The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is a relic of a fossil fuel past and it is beyond reform.
“The final report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published recently, reinforces the urgent and critical efforts that must be made to tackle climate change.
“The scale of change required globally and in Ireland has been laid bare by the reports of the IPCC, and the continued failure of successive Irish government’s to meet our climate targets is disturbing. In fact, the IPCC has specifically pointed to the ECT as a barrier to decarbonisation.
“The government has multiple options available to them to reduce our emissions, and we can achieve the climate resilient development the report calls for, combining efforts to tackle climate change with actions that provide wider benefits. For example, with our offshore wind potential, Ireland is uniquely placed to become a world leader in the production of green energy.
“The dangers of a failure to accelerate Europe’s pathway towards renewables is directly impacted by the ECT and its investor protection provisions that allow fossil fuel investors to sue national government’s for policy decisions they take to reduce our reliance on coal, oil and gas.
“Eamon Ryan’s most recent reply to a parliamentary question on this is particularly disappointing as it follows announcements by France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Luxembourg and Poland that they intend to withdraw from the ECT. Denmark has now said it will also withdraw from the ECT.
“The reform process has failed and the European Commission has confirmed that. It is now time for Ireland to show leadership and exit the toxic ECT.”