Comments show that political will to take necessary climate action is absent
Comments at the COP26 summit by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD, that Ireland will sign a global pledge to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030, but this will not be a national pledge is “a poor attempt at spin”, according to People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith.
The People Before Profit Climate spokesperson said that An Taoiseach’s statement that Ireland can be a climate leader, will sign up to a global 30% methane emissions cut pledge by 2030, but will not commit to cutting the national herd and support small farmers through the just transition and will not legislate to ban LNG terminals shows that the political will to take the radical action to turn the grand climate rhetoric in to meaningful action is absent.
The TD said that Ireland needs to move quickly to take the radical action to reduce its emissions. She pointed out that free and frequent public transport, a ban on the construction of LNG terminals and the proliferation of data centres, and a mass retrofitting of Ireland’s housing stock along with other actions was necessary to meet our emissions goals.
She said: “The comments by An Taoiseach at the COP26 conference, that Ireland can be a climate leader and will sign a global pledge to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030, but that this is a not a national pledge, is a very poor attempt at spin and shows us that the political will is not there to deliver on climate action.
“The government need to take action against big agri producers who are the main producers of methane in this country and they need to take measures to protect small family farms. We will also be watching to see if they will tackle the issue of fossil fuel production which is the central issue in the climate crisis.
“The climate movement understand the need to take radical action and that we cannot fool the planet. If we do not cut the herd and legislate to stop the building of LNG infrastructure, then we will not be able to actually curb our methane emissions.”
Solidarity TD, Mick Barry, who will be attending the COP26 summit, said: “The Government delegation has trotted off to Glasgow waving Climate Action Plan promises high in the air and posing as one of the best boys in the global classroom. It’s a sham and the methane deal being signed off on today shows it is a sham. Micheál Martin is signing the deal for methane cuts of 30% but all the while his handlers are briefing the Irish media that this is a global target and not a national target.
“Ireland is the 4th higher emitter of methane from agriculture in the world. Ireland should sign the methane deal and announce that it will cut Irish methane emissions by 30%. The Government have to decide here as to whose interests the put first – the interests of the next generation or the interests of agribusiness and Ireland’s big dairy farmers.”
Paul Murphy TD, who spoke about the issues of testing and tracing in schools, said: “We are calling on the government to recommence the testing and tracing in schools, creches and preschools in order to try and control the spread of Covid-19. It was a big mistake to discontinue this in September and now the Coivd numbers are going through the roof. We have to try and regain control over the spread of this virus.
“We also need the government to provide that necessary investment into ventilation in schools and we need HEPA filters in schools. German and the state of Victoria in Australia, for example, are providing substantial resources to schools for ventilation. Germans highest subsidy amount is €500,000 per location. In Ireland we are not even monitoring the situation in schools now.”