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EPA report highlights inadequacy of Government response to climate crisis

8 Oct 2008

Taxpayers will pay a high price for continuing inaction.

Environmental charity Friends of the Earth has said today's EPA report highlights the lack of decisive Government action to deal with the climate crisis, "the greatest challenge facing humanity" according to the report.

Friends of the Earth director Oisin Coghlan commented:

"The Government has pledged to reduce Ireland's carbon footprint by 3% a year. But this report shows our emissions spiralling further out of control unless the Government takes decisive action to turn the situation around. It's now clear that we need a climate change law, like the one being adopted in Britain later this month, to drive policy forward."

Continuing inaction comes with a real price for taxpayers. Based on the EPA's projections taxpayers will face a bill of 125 million euro a year between now and 2012 for our failure to meet our current Kyoto commitments. That figure will rise to between 200 and 300 million euro a year by 2020 as new EU targets start to bite.

"The Government needs to put a price on carbon to reward those who reduce their footprint and penalise those who pollute profligately. It's much fairer that the polluter pays for our Kyoto failure and not the ordinary taxpayer. The Government has promised a carbon levy. Next week's Budget is the time to introduce it", Mr Coghlan continued.

"A carbon levy on its own won't be enough to ensure Ireland meets its targets, but it would demonstrate the the Government is serious about taking action and send an important signal of intent to business and consumers", Coghlan concluded.

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