Greens: National Climate Mitigation Plan lacking in vision and ambition

15th March 2017

Ireland will miss out on the economic and social opportunities that will arise from a low-carbon transition

The Green Party today criticised the draft National Climate Mitigation Plan, published today by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD.

Speaking today, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said today: “Now that the National Climate Mitigation Plan has been published, the Government’s lack of ambition and vision is plain for all to see in black and white. We are one of only two countries in Europe which will not meet our 2020 emissions reduction targets. We are also going to miss our related renewable energy targets. These failures will cost Irish citizens a fortune in both fines and the missed economic opportunities as we fall behind other countries in the global transition to a new economic model.

“Several other countries are starting to ramp up investment in the new alternatives, while our Government pleads for exemptions and special treatment from the EU, showing a complete lack of leadership and vision. Others are turning to solar power and offshore wind energy while the Irish Government keep burning coal and peat, as if climate change does not matter. The electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Ireland is totally inadequate and smart energy metering has been abandoned for the last six years. The retrofitting of buildings for energy efficiency, saving consumers money and making homes more comfortable to live in, is still half what it was when the Greens were in office.

“In the transport and agriculture things are even worse as emissions from these two sectors are expected to rise further in the next few years. 

"The Minister of Transport has taken no responsibility on the need for change. He has provided no real budget for walking and cycling infrastructure and seems to have no vision for the future of our public transport system.

“In agriculture we are looking after the interests of big international processing companies but are ignoring the public demand for higher quality, more natural and healthy local food supplies. We are failing to see the economic opportunity that exists for Irish farmers and foresters to take their place in the front line response to climate change.

“The consultation on the Mitigation Plan provides an opportunity for the public to have their say. Until there is a real public demand for Ireland to become a truly green island, then it is clear our political system is going to stay in a do nothing mode. If the Government will not show leadership and ambition on tackling climate change, it’s up to the public. We’re calling on the public to demand greater action by making a submission to this vitally important plan.”