This Government will not deliver for our planet
29 July 2022
Labour leader and climate spokesperson Ivana Bacik said today is a sad day as Government has failed to do what needs to be done to protect the planet.
Responding to the news that Cabinet has agreed a 25% emissions reduction target for the agriculture sector, Deputy Bacik said the time for tinkering around the edges has passed.
Deputy Bacik said:
“It’s unfortunate that Government has landed on just a 25% emissions target for the Agriculture sector when all the science is clear – the sector must have reductions of closer to 30% to have some hope of offsetting the impact of climate change. We needed to see Government move above 25% to ensure a fair spread of targets throughout the economy. More drastic and less achievable emissions cuts will be required from other sectors as a result of lobbying by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael TDs and Senators, as well as lobby groups with an interest in maintaining the Status Quo.
“Delay and a tendency to over-compromise on climate have characterised this Government’s approach since 2020. While the Green Party has fought the good fight on this, it’s clear that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael seem unable and unwilling to do what is necessary to support communities through the urgent transition to a more sustainable economy.
“Labour is very clear that every sector will have to play a fair share in cutting emissions in order to achieve the overall 51% reduction enshrined in our climate legislation. This is not about pitting sectors against each other. In fact, most people working in the agriculture sector are prepared to start the process to make these changes. They are thinking to the future for their children and grandchildren, as we all are.
“Everything must change and it is how we embrace that change that will be vital to safeguarding the planet into the future. Government must examine our food strategy, greener ways of farming, our afforestation targets, as well as a Just Transition to protect the livelihoods of our farming communities, while also lowering emissions.
“There is only one possible economy in the future. That is an economy that operates on a carbon-neutral basis. As we take the next step in achieving this goal, we need to bring everyone together. It is deeply disappointing that we are falling at the first hurdle. At this stage, what is of utmost importance is that sectoral emissions ceilings are just that. All Government Departments should be aiming to cut emissions by at least as much as is stipulated by these agreements, with no slippage whatsoever.”