System Change Not Climate Change

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Carbon Taxes Are Supported By The Petroleum Industry Proving They Are Socially Regressive And Ineffective.

  • Carbon taxes don’t challenge the economic system. Capitalism requires endless growth and expansion powered by an ever expanding use of energy – most of which comes from burning fossil fuels. Capitalism is the major driver of climate change, but this is never mentioned in the debate about carbon taxes.
  • Carbon taxes are not effective. Carbon taxes are meant to encourage people to move away from fossil fuels by making them more expensive, but most people can’t afford to switch without major new investment. Installing alternative energy (solar panels etc.) and buying electric cars are expensive projects beyond the reach of many working people. The state would need a massive investment programme – including grants worth thousands of euro- to shift people’s behaviour, but this is not part of the government’s current plan.
  • Carbon taxes target the wrong people. Big corporations are responsible for our current reliance on fossil fuels, but carbon taxes let these primary polluters completely off the hook. Instead, carbon taxes focus on consumers who often have no other option but to burn oil and gas to fuel their cars and heat their homes.
  • Carbon taxes are regressive. Taxes on consumption hit the poorest people hardest. The government have said they will have some form of rebate system but no-one believes this will make carbon taxes fair or equitable.
    Exxonmobil estimates that an effective carbon tax would increase the cost of petrol to €460 a litre – far too high for any government to accept.

People Before Profit would do things very differently. Our commitment to this generation and the next is to move to a carbon neutral economy by 2035. This is a massive undertaking which will need decisive action led by government and the corporate sector. To demonstrate our commitment to this process, People Before Profit recently proposed a bill to leave all remaining fossil fuels in the ground. This was initially passed by a majority of TD’s but right wing politicians have now blocked it at committee stage.