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Increasing air monitoring stations ‘simply not enough’ - Devine

11 January, 2018 - by Máire Devine

Following Minister for Climate Action Denis Naughten’s announcement of an increase of air quality monitoring stations around Ireland, Sinn Féin Senator Máire Devine has raised concerns about the “lack of real, tangible action” that the government have taken to date on climate change.

Senator Devine said:

“I welcome the proposed increase of air monitoring in Ireland. However, I am confused as to why the Minister Naughten is so open to the public having the data to scrutinise the consistently worsening air quality when his government have done so little to improve it.

“We already know that the government are going to have to pay heavy fines for missing our EU2020 commitments. The government’s apathy to climate change is also impacting on our health. The World Health Organisation argued that air pollution will reverse all significant advances in public health from the last 50 years. I have recently met with experts from University of Limerick who study healthy spaces, and air quality is a core element of well-being towns.

“The Taoiseach stated that there have been increased investment in public transport in reaction to criticisms of his climate inaction, but this is simply not enough. Binding specific sectoral targets for emissions reduction are needed. We also urgently need a wide portfolio of renewable energy sources; including biogas, biomass, offshore wind, solar and support for the emerging technologies of wave and tidal.

“With these sources of energy, we are protecting our environment, increasing security of supply and creating employment in rural Ireland instead of spending billions on imported fossil fuels. It is action that is needed, and now the Minister has committed to give us the tools to see if he’s up to the challenge.” 

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