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The Government is good at producing documents and headlines on climate action but falls down badly on delivery

The updated Climate Action Plan, due to be published next week, must reflect the new reality that Ireland’s emissions have increased and key carbon reduction targets continue to be missed by the Government, according to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on Climate, said:

“In the Dáil today, I asked Minister Eamon Ryan for a breakdown of all carbon reduction targets achieved as a result of measures implemented in the 2021 Climate Action Plan. I am deeply concerned that the Minister seems to believe that targets are being met and he is slowly turning the ship around.

“Unfortunately, the opposite is the case. This Government is good at producing documents and making headline statements on climate change but falls down badly when it comes to delivering. It was recently reported that up to a quarter of the targets set out in the 2021 Climate Action Plan had been missed.

“Only today, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) revealed that the State’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 5.4 percent in 2021 and could even increase by as much as 6 percent.

“In his response to me today, the Minister claimed that the National Retrofitting Plan is on target to upgrade 27,000 homes this year. However, he also acknowledged that not all these properties have been brought up to a B2 energy rating. This makes it highly unlikely that the Government will meet its own target of retrofitting 500,000 homes to B2 standard by 2030.

“It defies logic that the Government has not significantly ramped-up investment in a nationwide solar panel programme, as proposed by the Social Democrats. This would reduce household energy bills by up to 40 percent and help Ireland achieve its carbon reduction targets.

“An all-of-Government response is required if we are to meet our climate ambitions. This will mean making hard decisions in the face of political and other obstacles impeding our progress.”

December 15, 2022

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