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EPA calls for a move to a low carbon economy

6 Apr 2009

The Irish Times

by Tim O Brien

ECONOMIC RECOVERY when it comes must involve Ireland developing a low-carbon "smart, green economy", the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said yesterday.

Launching the agency's annual highlights for 2008, EPA director general Dr Mary Kelly said the environment was "an asset under threat" and early warnings about the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change "must be heeded".

While she said there was little indication of the scale of the economic crisis the world was facing in early 2008, Dr Kelly warned that the economic crisis was now coinciding "with a climate-change crisis and an ecosystems crisis".

She said the State investment in environmental infrastructure must now be given priority to ensure Ireland "in the first instance catches up to European norms in key areas like waste-water treatment and the provision of good-quality drinking water to all consumers".

Dr Kelly said "fundamental change" was required to ensure that economic recovery was based on low-carbon, sustainable principles.

She said there were clearly many economic and social advantages in developing a green economy.

She claimed Ireland had a real opportunity to become a world leader in renewable energies and to position itself as a net exporter of energy in years to come.

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