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Government stands indicted by EPA's new climate pollution figures

31 May 2018

Citizens' Assembly report on climate must be acted on immediately

Friends of the Earth has said that 20 years of government inaction has been exposed by new figures from the EPA which show Ireland will miss its 2020 climate pollution target by 19 percentage points, and that without new policies our emissions will still be higher in 2030 than they were in 1990.

Commenting on the EPA figures, Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth said:

"Leo Varadkar's government stands indicted by these figures, which are shocking but not surprising given government inaction on climate pollution.

"Ireland agreed to its first climate pollution target exactly 20 years ago next week. But this EPA report says that in 2025 our emissions will still be as high as they were in 1998. They will not have dopped by one tonne in almost 30 years.

"Ireland's long-running climate policy crisis is now an emergency. The Government must immediately take on board the common sense but far-reaching proposals in the Citizens' Assembly report which was presented to the Oireachtas last month.

"The Citizens Assembly's report on climate change must be taken as seriously by the political system as the Assembly's report on the 8th amendment. There is a proposal for a dedicated Oireachtas committee to take the recommendations forward, as was done in the case of the 8th amendment. That committee must be set up and resourced as a matter of urgency.

"The EPA is saying we will miss our 2020 targets by 19 percentage points. More worrying still, the best case scenario for 2030 is that our pollution will still be 10% above 1990 levels when the Government's own objective is to be on a pathway to 80% below 1990 levels.

"That would cost Irish taxpayers billions of euro in fines and, more importantly, expose our citizens to unacceptable levels of risk from storms and floods exacerbated by climate change."

ENDS

Notes

1.
The EPA press release is online here: http://www.epa.ie/newsandevents/news/name,64049,en.html

2. The full EPA report can be downloaded here: http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/air/airemissions/ghgprojections2017-2035/#d.en.64043

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