Ireland ‘not at the races’ when it comes to climate change – Stanley
Speaking after a report made by the Climate Change Advisory Council today on the states failure to achieve emissions reductions, Brian Stanley TD, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Climate Action, said that action is needed immediately from government with specific strategies being put in place like sectoral specific targets.
Deputy Stanley said that the infrastructure for electric vehicles needed improvement and the phasing out of fossil fuel powered vehicles, as was announced in Britain recently, was something that required close examination.
The Laois TD stated:
“We already know we are way behind in terms of our 2020 targets in renewables and emissions targets. We are one of only a few states that will not reach the targets and we have, per capita, one of the highest emissions rates in Europe. There have been many promises by government, but the figures speak for themselves.
“What is needed is a coherent strategy in terms of electrification of our transport. The infrastructure surrounding electric vehicles is improving but at a slow rate. This slow rate of progress has led to a mistrust of the electric market, with only 1,900 vehicles bought under the state grant scheme. I believe that the recent plan to phase out fossil fuel vehicles in Britain by 2040 is a policy worthy of close examination in Ireland.
“We are also lacking in the diversification of our renewable energy sources such as off shore wind. We also need actions such as increased rollout of retrofitting homes.
“Sectoral specific targets for emissions are something Sinn Féin has been calling for, which would see various industries being given particular targets to reach in terms of emissions.
“We must remember that not only are we affecting our environment through our growing emissions, the State is also facing substantial fines due to our failure to reach our 2020 targets. We need more than commitments to address these impending problems.”