Sinn Féin Criticise 'Missed Opportunity' Of Climate Action Plan

The government's Climate Action Plan has been described as a "missed opportunity" by Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams.

Criticising the plan, which was announced today, 18 June, Mr Adams said: "While the plan contains some positive proposals overall, it lacks the ambition needed to meet the climate change challenges facing the island of Ireland and the world in the next decades.

"Four years ago, 197 countries came together in Paris to map out an agreement to hold the rise in global average temperatures to 'well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels' and to make a significant effort to keep it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

"Last October, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that we have only 12 years to limit climate change before the people of the world face extreme droughts, heat, floods, increased food insecurity and water supply, and increased poverty for hundreds of millions of citizens.

"The National Biodiversity Data Centre reports that one third of our bee species on the island of Ireland – which are essential for pollination – is either regionally extinct or vulnerable.

"The evidence is overwhelming. Humanity faces greater challenges than ever before. Without resolute action, millions are at risk.

"The government's Climate Action Plan lacks ambition and will not address the substantive issues of pollution, over-consumption, or corporate responsibility. It contains no commitment to a large scale capital plan to develop renewable energy like biogas, biomass, wind, or solar on the scale which is required.

"There is a big emphasis on the objective of having 100% electric cars on the roads by 2030, but little in the way of detail about how the government plans to achieve this objective.

"Similarly with Carbon Tax. It looks as if the government will increase this tax in a phased manner over the coming years but there was no detail today on when or how this will be done. Sinn Féin is very critical of this approach. There has been a carbon tax for nine years and, during that time, greenhouse gas emissions have increased. We need affordable alternatives to carbon which means investment in public transport.

"Sinn Féin's approach is clear; we want to see 80% of our energy produced by renewables by 2030. This has to be done in a manner that protects lower income families and ensures that ordinary people do not carry an unjust share of the burden."

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