People Before Profit TD and member of the Oireachtas Climate Action Committee Bríd Smith has said that Leo Varadkar is set to “display the hypocrisy of his government on the climate emergency on the world stage at the UN Climate Action Summit” today in New York.
“For the Taoiseach to head over to New York for the UN Climate Summit and to brag about imposing a carbon tax on ordinary people who do not have an alternative to carbon to heat their homes is really quite shocking and is the height of hypocrisy.
“The Taoiseach’s spin around his government’s so called action on climate change really goes up in smoke when you look at what they are actually doing.
“His government has blocked the Climate Emergency Bill to keep fossil fuels in the ground, they are supporting continued exploration for more fossil fuels and are about to sign up to support the building of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals in Ireland that will house fracked gas from America.
“The Dáil has legislated to ban fracking and yet his government are intending on building Liquefied Natural Gas terminals in Cork and Shannon to import and store US fracked gas from Donald Trump. Leo Varadkar says that they want to transition to a low carbon economy, then why are they building these LNG terminals which will lock us into a fossil fuel future?”
Speaking on the carbon tax on individuals and fuel poverty the TD said:
“The government is hell bent on imposing a carbon tax on ordinary people whilst refusing to conduct a report that I and others have requested on the actual figures around fuel poverty in this country. They have no idea about the rate of actual fuel poverty in Ireland and yet they are insisting on a carbon tax which will push people further into fuel poverty and will subjugate those at risk of fuel poverty.”
Instead of more PR and spin Deputy Smith said real measures would include a carbon tax on the profits of fossil fuel and related industries.
She said: “The problem is systemic, not individual.”
The TD outlined some of the measures that her party, People Before Profit, have proposed to begin to reduce Ireland’s co2 emissions:
- Pass the Climate Emergency Measures Bill and ban further fossil fuel exploration
- Massive retro fit housing programme
- Increase subsidies to public transport, increase amount of buses dramatically and make public transport free
- Impose a carbon tax on the fossil fuel and related industries
- Invest in renewable energy infrastructure and a Just Transition for workers
- Massive Afforestation plan planting broadleaf native trees