Climate change targets from Government ‘purely aspirational’ – Stanley
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Climate Action Brian Stanley TD has said that the blunt effect of global warming means more extremes in the environment, making destructive weather patterns such as storm Ophelia much more frequent and that dealing with climate change is something that needs a clear strategy by every State and our plan is aspirational in its construct.
Speaking in the Dáil, the Laois TD said:
“In the programme for Government, on the issue of climate action, I quote: ‘We believe that Ireland should be repositioned to give global leadership in this area. It will fall to the new Government and the Oireachtas to agree the first statutory nation low-carbon transition-mitigation plan’. The mitigation plan falls way short. We have international targets that we have to meet by 2020, including a reduction of 20% of greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Environmental Protection Agency has said that the best case scenario is that we will achieve 4% to 6%. There was an all-day Cabinet session which met to discuss this issue recently. We have seen the events earlier this week throughout the country. We have also seen the effects of global warming. The national mitigation plan falls short. It is an aspirational document. We have highlighted this repeatedly.
“There are no binding sectoral targets. We are facing increased global warming and also fines in the order of €600 million to €700 million per year from the European Union. We need to start putting that money into mitigation and not into fines.”
Speaking later, Teachta Stanley said:
“By the end of this week, we will have been hit by two storms, one of which was unprecedented in 50 years. The Minister’s response was to refer to the National Mitigation Plan, which sets out the State position on climate action measures. This document however is aspirational at best, and silent on specific actions.”