you are here : home » news »

Environmentalists can't promote carbon tax increases if Government promotes new fossil fuel exploration

26 Jun 2019

Friends of the Earth
For immediate release
26 June 2019

Environmentalists can't promote carbon tax increases if Government promotes new fossil fuel exploration


Fine Gael position is "either immoral or implausible"

The Environmental Pillar of Social Partnership has told Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at today's National Economic Dialogue (NED) in Dublin Castle that environmentalists will find it difficult if not impossible to promote an increase in the consumer carbon tax if the Government continues to block debate on the Climate Emergency Bill which would end the issuing of new licences to explore for more fossil fuels which we cannot afford to burn.

Speaking at the NED, Oisin Coghlan, a spokesperson for the Environmental Pillar said:

"It's not tenable that the Government would say to consumers and households that they will face increasing carbon taxes on using fossil fuels and at the same time continue to encourage fossil fuel companies to start new searches for oil and gas that wouldn't come on stream until the 2030s, when we simply can't afford to burn it.

"The most generous projections by the likes of the Governor of the Bank of England and the CEO of the International Energy Agency are that we have to leave at least two thirds of existing reserves of fossil fuels, already on the books of companies and states, in the ground to give ourselves a decent chance of keeping global warming to under 2 degrees. Hard-nosed number crunchers says its more likely 80%. And it's much higher again if we are serious about the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees.

"When the Irish Government says it still wants to issue licences for companies to start looking for more oil and gas that wouldn't come on stream until the 2030s, it is either saying it is not serious about implementing the Paris Agreement to avoid climate chaos or it is saying that Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela of the US should forgo extracting some of the oil and gas they have already found in order that Ireland can have a share of the shrinking oil and gas pie.

"The first is immoral, the second is implausible."

The Dáil has twice voted to progress the Climate Emergency Bill to 3rd stage where TDs could refine and amend it, but the Government is blocking debate by abusing an arcane parliamentary procedure called a "money message". It is not too late for the Government to withdraw its assertion that a money message is required or to issue the money message and allow TDs get on with their job. Any legitimate concerns about property rights, energy security and our decarbonization pathway can be best dealt with in the legislative process itself, rather than by blocking that process and the will of the majority of the Dáil.

ENDS

For more information or interviews contact Oisín Coghlan on 086-852 9528

Oisín's contribution to the NED plenary is online here: https://soundcloud.com/oisincoghlan/ned-2019-making-carbon-tax-fair-and-ending-fossil-fuel-exploration

Digital Revolutionaries