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Climate laggard status of Government reaffirmed by EPA

06 June 2023

Labour Leader and spokesperson on Climate, Ivana Bacik TD, said today that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report showing Ireland is on course to fall short of its 2030 climate targets by a large margin provides further proof that the government is kicking the can on climate action.

Deputy Bacik said:

“It gives no one any pleasure to see that the Irish Government has retained its status as a climate laggard, following the report published by the EPA this morning. It is truly alarming. Notwithstanding the passage of the Climate Act, the EPA is clear: Ireland is on course to miss its 2030 climate targets by a considerable margin unless all sectors rapidly deliver, and sustain, further emission reductions.

"On our current trajectory, even if all sectors implement all their promised measures in full, we will only achieve a 29% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. That falls well short of our legally binding target of a 51% reduction.

“The key decade wherein we must drastically reduce emissions is well underway. Yet our rate of carbon emissions is going up, rather than down.

"There can be no further delay, as the EPA itself said, Ireland must implement effective policies and measures as quickly as possible. Everything we do needs to be considered through the lens of climate.

"The very fact that the publication and scrutiny of Ireland’s fiscal and carbon budgets are not aligned is troubling. We should scrutinise Budget 2024 in the context of our vital climate action targets to ensure that they were aligned.

“It is abundantly clear that there is no clarity of purpose within Government when it comes to climate and biodiversity. We saw that this week during statements on Nature Restoration Law and Irish Agriculture.

"Facing up to the climate crisis and filling the infrastructural gaps needed to house Ireland’s growing population requires a cohesive approach. Those on Government benches would want to accept that reality sooner rather than later if they are to make a dent in either of those challenges.

“This morning’s report is yet another reminder that climate progress demands a whole of government approach. We need to be both ambitious and practical. Government needs to catch the low hanging fruit in areas like retrofitting and public transport, while also implementing strong carbon budgets to inspire both systemic and individual behaviour change to protect our planet. The kicking of the can on climate has to stop."