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Government hypocrisy on oil fuelled government building unacceptable - Doherty

30 January, 2008 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has today demanded in the Seanad that Minister for State Noel Ahern with responsibility for the OPW explain to the house how he can support the OPW’s Energy Awareness Campaign knowing that the organisation continues to defend its decision to exclusively heat new government buildings in Buncrana using an oil-fired system.

The Donegal Senator said:

“How can the Minster one breath promote energy efficiency whilst in another allow a brand new government building to be heated exclusively by oil.

“If the OPW, of which the Minister is responsible for, is serious about reducing its carbon emissions by 15% across 250 state buildings over an 18 month period surely biomass burners or other environmental heating systems rather than oil should be incorporated into any new developments?

“It is indefensible for the OPW to state that alternative options were examined for the Buncrana site but for practical reasons an oil fired system was deemed best. If the OPW cannot include such a system in a brand new building how can we have faith in them converting 20 large state buildings from oil to biomass as promised by the Minister today? I suspect this is yet another government broken promise to be realised in the future.

“Climate change is not only the major political challenge of our time; it is also one of the greatest social, environmental and economic threats that society has experienced in recent history. If we cannot address our emissions levels in practical ways such as the ability for government to ensure all its new buildings are environmentally sustainable then the aspirations contained within the EU climate package announced last week will never be realised.” Críoch

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