Substantial Climate Action needed now - Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams speaking in the Dáil last evening during statements on Climate Action called on the Irish government to introduce a moratorium on all new oil and gas exploration. He described the Government’s own Climate Action Plan as lacking ambition.
Teachta Adams said:
“It does not address the substantive issues of pollution, over-consumption, or corporate responsibility and opposition to the use of fracking gas.
“Two weeks ago the Court House Square in Dundalk was alive with the chants of young people as they spoke out against climate change. They, and the millions more who took part in a global day of action, have demonstrated an energy and commitment that is inspirational.
"A few days later, speaking in New York at the UN climate change summit, Greta Thunberg berated the political leaders of the world for not honouring past agreements on climate change. Thunberg accused governments of failing humanity and warned of 'the beginning of a mass extinction'.
"The Swedish climate activist said: 'We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line'.
"The Science Advisory Group to the summit produced a report - United in Science. It brings together the most recent data from the world’s six leading environmental organisations. The report found that current plans to meet the 2015 Paris agreement are insufficient.
"Last October the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that we have only 12 years to limit climate change. If we fail the people of the world face extreme droughts, heat, floods, increased food insecurity and water supply, and increased poverty for hundreds of millions of citizens.
"It also means that Belfast, Dublin, Dundalk and other coastal towns and cities will face significant serious flood dangers. Without resolute action millions are at risk.
"Our future, the future for our children and grandchildren, depend on the decisions we take now as a society. Moreover, any strategies to tackle climate change must be rooted in the principles of social justice and equality.
"Governments, including the Irish government and the EU, need to significantly step up their climate change commitments and challenge the big polluters.
"In his speech to the UN the Taoiseach announced that oil exploration will end. He also announced that gas exploration will continue. Five months ago the government granted consent to a subsidiary of the Chinese National Offshore Oil Company for an exploratory oil and gas well in the Porcupine Basin.
"This new licence allows for drilling in an area where that company and ExxonMobil already hold licences to 2033 to explore for oil and gas.
"Will the government introduce a moratorium on any further, new exploration for fossils fuels in Ireland? And will the government remove its opposition to the Climate Emergency Measures Bill?
"Finally, An Taoiseach’s plamas at the UN that he wants Ireland to be known as a ‘green country’ is worthless rhetoric when set against the government’s policies on environmental issues. His own Climate Action Plan lacks ambition.
"It does not address the substantive issues of pollution, over-consumption, or corporate responsibility and opposition to the use of fracking gas. The reality is that this state will spectacularly fail to meet our 20% reduction target by 2020.
"Sinn Féin’s approach is clear. We want to see 80% of our energy produced by renewables by 2030. This has to be done in a manner that protects lower income families and ensures that ordinary people do not carry an unjust share of the burden. In the last two weeks young people in cities across the world have shown the way forward. Their example must guide us in the time ahead”.