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Climate statement a damp squib. Next week's climate action plan must deliver.

8 Dec 2016

Minister Naughten's inaugural climate statement was a damp squib

Next week's action plan faces 5 tests of credibility

Friends of the Earth have reacted with dismay to Minister Naughten's first Annual Transition Statement on climate action, presented to the Oireachtas this week.
The debate in the Seanad is here. The statement published in the Oireachtas library is here .

Commenting, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan said:

"There was just no sense of urgency in today's climate statement.

"If Minister Naughten can't get Enda Kenny's Government to commit to real action we may as well have Trump as Taoiseach.

"Enda Kenny's two Governments have literally made no plan to meet our 2020 EU targets which the Minister admitted we will overshoot this year or next. The last climate action plan expired in 2012.

"The Government's own objective of an 80% cut in CO2 emissions by 2050 requires year-on-year reductions of 5% a year, every year, starting in 2017. Instead Ireland's emissions rose 4% last year.

"There was no indication today that the draft plan the Government will add up to anything like our fair share of climate action. In fact there were no concrete actions in today's speech at all.

5 tests with logo

"In advance of today's Ministerial statement, the first under the Climate Action Act passed a year ago, the Stop Climate Chaos coalition identified 5 key questions to test the credibility of the Government's climate action plans. At best, those questions remained unanswered this evening.

"We can only hope that the Minister was keeping his powder dry for his big plan next week. Today's statement was a damp squib".

Notes The Stop Climate Chaos briefing is here: The 5 questions for the credibility of the Government's action plan are

  1. Does the new plan add up to doing our fair share?
  2. Does it start the phase out of fossil fuels?
  3. Does it ramp up renewable energy and kick-start community ownership?
  4. Does it put agriculture on a path to carbon neutrality?
  5. Does it realign transport investment to reduce emissions?

Media coverage:

Irish Times: Government climate change statement slated
London Times Ireland: Minister accused of hot air over emissions
Newstalk: Government slammed over climate change statement

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