State on path for cumulative failures on climate unless radical measures taken
Responding to the latest EPA inventory of greenhouse gases, the People Before Profit climate spokesperson, Bríd Smith TD, said the ongoing failure to reach emissions targets was “entirely predictable and will not change until the government changes.”
“It is beyond ironic that Minister Ryan says we have to ‘double down on action’ while he has sat in office for 2 years now and overseen this failure. More recently the ambivalence of this Government to the building of LNGs and the encouragement from them for the proliferation of data centres is bordering on climate criminality. Generally speaking, the problem isn’t failure to implement the government’s plan, the problem is the plan.”
The TD pointed out that a transport emission increase of 19% between 2021 and 2022 showed the urgent need for radical and imaginative steps.
She said: “Placing hopes in the arrival of 1 million EVs is insane and guarantees more failures in the coming years. We need to switch massively to public transport, and we need to bring a whole generation with us in making this switch, a policy or even a ambition to provide free and frequent public transport is one measure that could have a profound impact in the coming years.”
The TD also said the scale and ambition of retrofitting programmes needed radical overhaul: “Once again, reliance on personal behavioral changes or individual investments is going to ensure we fail. We need to be able to say that the upfront costs of retrofitting will be paid by the state and then target those households in most need and with the poorest energy efficiency. This needs to be done by a national retrofitting body.”
In agriculture, the TD said the most glaring failure here is the continued policy of making our food system dependent on the needs of large processors and business interests. “We need an agricultural policy that is aimed at giving farmers and rural communities a sustainable future and an environmentally sound policy based on food sovereignty. That means confronting and dismantling the large beef and dairy processors and corporates for whom, in reality, our food policy is built around.”