Greens slam Climate Minister’s ‘Trump-like’ Petroleum Scholarships
27th January 2017
The Green Party today accused the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment of ‘Trump-like’ behaviour, following the publication of a call for applications for scholarships on the Department’s website encouraging science graduates to work ‘towards developing Ireland’s petroleum industry’.
The scholarship launch comes less than 24 hours after the Dáil passed second stage of the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill 2016, which would require the State to divest public money from fossil fuel investments.
Speaking today, Green Party Councillor Ciarán Cuffe said that this move, coming after the Government voted against the Divestment Bill, shows Fine Gael’s true colours on tackling climate change.
“It is unbelievable that the Government would launch these scholarships less than 24 hours after a historic Dáil vote in favour of fossil fuel divestment. It makes no sense that the Government continues to commit public money to dead industries, when we could be funding Ireland’s renewable future.
“The facts are simple: we know that 75% of known fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground if global warming is to be limited to two degrees above pre-industrial levels. These scholarships show the Government have no interest in playing their part in tackling climate change, and just continue to pay lip service to our international commitments.
“We’re calling on the Government and the Department to reverse their decision, and instead offer the money allocated for scholarships towards renewables, sustainability and environmental protection.
“People are rightly lambasting Trump for his actions on climate change this week, gagging the EPA and cutting funding. At least he admits he doesn’t believe the science. This Government pretend to care while quietly carrying on business as usual. That’s just as bad.”