Patrick Costello TD for Dublin South Central was speaking following reports in the media that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael TDs will not back high sectoral emission reductions on agriculture, set by the Climate Change Advisory Committee.
He began, “The introduction of the Climate Action Act was one of the key policies of this Government, and indeed the main reason the Green Party agreed to join the coalition. This received cross-party support in the Oireachtas. The implementation of 51% combined carbon reduction target across all sectors is now the law of the land”.
“Over the weekend I heard concerning reports that our coalition partners were unwilling to support the higher reduction targets for the agriculture industry. The question therefore arises – if agriculture is given lower emission targets, what other sectors will take up the shortfall? These are hard levels of reduction we must reach; we need a clear answer as to which sector will carry the extra load if we give agriculture a pass”.
Speaking about the internal opposition within Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to the proposed cuts Costello stated, “All of these TDs voted for the Climate Action Act in the Dáil. None of them voiced opposition to the measures at any stage during this process. To do so now is both perplexing and disappointing.”
Reflecting on the vote for the Climate Action Act Costello had a message for the opposition, “I am calling on all the opposition parties to support the sectoral targets just as they supported the legislation underpinning it. By doing so the opposition can demonstrate that they are interested in real lasting change and saving our planet. To do otherwise would be simply playing games.”
Concluding Deputy Costello remarked, “The time for action was yesterday, our planet cannot afford any further delays in introducing this emission cuts. We don’t have climate change, we have a climate crisis, “the world is on fire due to climate change as we can see in various reports. We need action from our leaders now, not later.”