Statements by Taoiseach and Minister for Health on climate change benefits show government ‘haven’t a clue’ about the climate crisis
People Before Profit TD and member of the Oireachtas Climate Action Committee, Bríd Smith, has slammed comments, reported in the Sunday Business Post, by Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris, who said that there would be some benefits to climate change.
The TD who is the sponsor of the Climate Emergency Measures Bill, to ban the further issuing of licenses for fossil fuel exploration, said that the government “haven’t a clue about the danger and urgency of the climate crisis- the ignorance of the science and implications of climate change is breathtaking and depressing”.
She said that despite the fanfare around the governments climate action plan, which the TD has been very critical of, the mask has slipped on the governments actual climate policy measures.
She noted that the Taoiseach’s comments at the UN around banning oil exploration where contradicted by Minister for State Sean Canney, and Department officials, at a fossil fuel conference last week, who were at pains to reassure the fossil fuel industry that they felt Ireland’s waters were ‘under explored’.
She also pointed to the attempts by the government to import Liquefied Natural Gas from the US, despite banning fracking here.
She said: “These ridiculous and dangerous comments by the Taoiseach and Simon Harris are a window into the governments thinking on the climate crisis. These comments show us clearly that the government, the people in charge of bringing our emissions down and implementing effective mitigation strategies, are simply blind to what climate change is doing and will do to this country and others around the world.
“The ridiculousness of this statement that climate change could have some benefits is just unbelievable and coming from the Taoiseach is really quite shocking.
“We can see that not only are the government at pains to reassure the fossil fuel industry in Ireland that it will be business as usual but they want to bring in more fossil fuel to this country through Shannon LNG.
“Ireland and this government remain laggards in the fight against climate change. Comments by the Taoiseach show that he and his government are not able to deal with the massive climate crisis we face because they just don’t understand the crisis and they are wedded to the fossil fuel industry.”