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Government negates responsibility to act on climate change - Sherlock

9 October 2018

Statement by Sean Sherlock TD
Spokesperson on Justice, Children and Youth Affairs

Labour Spokesperson on Climate Action Seán Sherlock TD has slammed the Government for negating its responsibility to act on Climate Change.

“This was a missed opportunity to tackle the scourge of single-use plastics. Ireland is the third worst performer in the EU on carbon emissions. On average, we produce 13.5 tonnes of CO2 per person. That’s well above 7.9 tonnes per person in the UK and more than twice the best performers, like Sweden, at 5.6 tonnes. Ireland won’t meet our 2020 emission targets and could face massive EU fines of up to €600m.”

“Yesterday the world was given the starkest information yet from the world’s top climate scientists, telling us that urgent action is needed to avoid climate tipping points.  The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued the world with the information that there remains a narrow window of opportunity to keep warming to within 1.5 degrees Celsius.  We must act yet the Government has decided to ignore its legal and ethical obligations to raise the carbon tax, even by a modest amount.”

“The carbon tax is a key requirement to achieve climate targets and objectives, and all recommendations for increasing the tax take account of the need to protect vulnerable people from the impact of the increase by factoring in measures to address energy poverty and reduce the negative impacts of carbon taxation on poorer households. We called for the increase of €10 per tonne.”

“Minister Donohue recognises in his closing comments today that it is a ‘changing world’, yet by negating the responsibility to act now to address climate change, this Budget writhes away from its responsibility to adapt to this rapidly changing world.”