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Energy reports puncture complacency on climate perfomance

12 Dec 2006

Commenting on SEI reports published today which show Ireland's energy-related carbon emissions growing faster than energy usage for the first time since 2001, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan, said:

"The SEI figures remove the last figleaf covering the Government's shameful failure to control Ireland's climate pollution. These reports must puncture the bubble of complacency and denial surrounding Minister Roche on Ireland's climate change performance. Otherwise the Government's new climate action plan due in the New Year won't be worth the paper it's written on.

"Not only have our greenhouse emissions risen by almost twice the amount allowed under the Kyoto Protocol, but these figures confirm that Irish emissions are moving in the wrong direction, rising in line with economic growth.

"Minister Roche has recently made much of the fact that emissions haven't risen as fast as economic growth since 1990, the baseline for our Kyoto commitment. This argument is similar to that used by Presisent Bush when he reneged on Kyoto. Now even that crumb of comfort is being swept away.

"It's time for a fundamental re-think of Government policy across all areas if Ireland is to do its fair share to prevent climate chaos. The transformation needed over the next 20 years is as big as the one Ireland has experienced in the last 20 years. As the Stern report emphasised if we start now the opportunties far outweigh the costs. If we fail to act the following 20 years will see an even bigger adjustment, forced on us by climate and energy shocks, with far more disruptive and uncertain conseqeunces".

The SEI reports come on the same day as a study which predicts that the North Pole could be open ocean without any ice in summer as early as 2040 beacuse of accelerating climate change.

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