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Cullen decision on emissions cowardly

6 February, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment and Local Government Arthur Morgan T.D. has reacted angrily to the announcement that the State's biggest industries will not actually have to cut levels of carbon dioxide emissions under Kyoto targets. Deputy Morgan described Minister Cullen's decision as cowardly and has accused him of capitulating to pressure from industry.

Deputy Morgan said, "This announcement is deeply disappointing to anyone who is concerned about the affects of global warming and the future of the planet. It has been known for years now that if we are to address the problem of global warming and reduce emissions output all states and governments will have to take difficult measures. They have to stand up to vested interests in order to tackle global warming. Minister Cullen's decision is nothing short of cowardly and he has capitulated to pressure from large industries and his PD cabinet colleague Mary Harney.

"Industry and IBEC will gloat over this announcement but it will be ordinary citizens and consumers who will end up paying when carbon tax is introduced in 2005. A phased introduction of carbon tax should be directed at the agents most capable of making the behavioral change to low emitting fuels and chief among those most capable of making reductions are industry. Ordinary tax-payers will also end up paying when this state is faced with huge fines for its failure to comply with the Kyoto protocol.

"Minister Cullen must abandon this misguided policy and ensure that industry, which produced one third of this State's emissions, is obligated to cut its level of carbon dioxide emissions." ENDS

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