People Before Profit TD and spokesperson on climate, Bríd Smith, has said that market mechanisms, such as emissions trading and carbon taxes on ordinary people “will not deliver the radical changes required in the fight against climate change”. The TD was speaking on the day that the COP26 summit begins in Glasgow.
The TD said that only system change away from the market system and meaningful action against fossil fuel production will bring the required action that is needed to keep average global temperatures within 1.5 degrees increase.
She also said that she is not confident in the government’s ability to deliver the required reductions in emissions. She pointed to the long fingering of emissions reductions in Ireland’s carbon budgets where the majority of emission reductions would be done in the second carbon budget.
She said: “It is abundantly clear that the necessary emissions reductions through market mechanisms have failed and instead we need radical action to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Climate scientists are telling us that we have to keep the vast majority of fossil fuel in the ground if we are to have any chance of meeting emissions reductions targets. Reliance on creative carbon accounting and other measures have not and will not work to bring emissions down.
“I have no confidence in the Irish government to take the radical and meaningful action that is required. Instead, we urgently need to deliver on free, frequent public transport, a commitment not to allow LNG terminals into the country, an end to the proliferation of data centres, a just transition for farmers and fishers and the creation of a green economy through a massive retrofitting programme on homes and public buildings.
“These are the demands of the climate movement that will be watching the COP conference and will hold significant demonstrations in Dublin and around the world on November 6 pushing for radical and substantive climate action.”