June 15th, 2017
The new Taoiseach should delay implementing the Government’s climate action plan until it includes concrete steps to rapidly cut Ireland’s emissions, a new climate alliance has said.
The alliance – made up of the Environmental Pillar, Dochas, The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and Stop Climate Chaos – wrote to the new Taoiseach calling for a meeting in order to take advantage of this “moment of opportunity to reset and strengthen Irish climate policy”.
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten submitted the draft National Mitigation Plan in June 2017.
The letter comes in the wake of the Environmental Protection Agency‘s (EPA) latest emissions findings which states that it is “unlikely” Ireland will meet 2020 and 2030 targets set by the European Union. Ireland may face potential fines of up to €6 billion for non-compliance with our 2020 and 2030 targets.
The new alliance hopes to secure the Taoiseach’s support in order to address the implementation gap which has undermined Irish climate policy. They’re calling for more ambitious strategies and open public debate.
Friends of the Earth Director, Oisín Coghlan believes that the new Taoiseach holds more progressive views on climate change and is urging swift action.
“I think Leo gets climate change, in the same way, other leaders of his generation do. But so far Ireland’s climate action is closer to Trump than Trudeau,” he said.
He added that new climate plan is the “first test of whether the generational shift at the top of Irish politics actually signals a step-change in Irish climate action”.
“The draft plan put out for consultation earlier this year was hopeless. Over 3,500 people made a submission asking for a new plan to make us proud.”
Friends of the Earth Ireland is a member organisation of both the Environmental Pillar and Stop Climate Chaos Coalition.
The Environmental Pillar, together with Stop Climate Chaos, has previously outlined its findings on the draft Plan in a submission sent as part of a public consultation which closed in April.
The joint submission found that the proposed approach requires fundamental changes and states that a new plan should be brought forward urgently.
The groups’ submission stated that the current draft Plan largely fails to meet obligations set in the Climate Act and the Paris Agreement. and EU targets, and will leave us facing increasing emissions increases up to, and beyond, 2050.