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  • Northside East

Climate Action Plan unveiled: what they said

Friday, 28th June, 2019 7:00pm

ALL eyes were on Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, last week when the Government published its Climate Action Plan, which aims to give Irish people a “cleaner, safer and more sustainable future”.

The far-reaching plan sets out over 180 actions, together with hundreds of sub-actions, that need to be taken at a time when the warning signs are growing, and the time for taking action is rapidly reducing. 

See below some of the reaction from public representatives and interested groups, and also, Opinion on Page 4.

Green Party spokesperson on Climate Change, Cllr David Healy 

"The Climate Action Plan proposes to deal with transport emissions by switching diesel engines to electric engines. 

It doesn't consider the other problems with our transport system especially the human costs, including congestion, affordability, public health, social isolation, quality of life, and economic costs. 

It doesn't acknowledge the resource issues involved in substituting the entire transport fleet, including the use of rare metals in batteries.”

Dublin Fingal TD Alan Farrell (FG)  

“Fine Gael is driving unprecedented cross-party collaboration on climate action and the Government is now stepping up the response. 

The publication of the all-of-Government climate plan is a landmark moment in the fight against climate breakdown. 

This plan will give Irish people a cleaner, safer and more sustainable future and will benefit generations of people in north county Dublin. Ultimately this is about securing a better, healthier, more resilient future for the whole country.”

Social Democrats co-leader, Catherine Murphy TD 

“We welcome that the Government’s plan to tackle the climate emergency has got this far. Having a plan is a good start. But clearly the Government has not worked out a lot of things and it will be all about the implementation. 

So far, this Government have not impressed on implementing major infrastructure or change projects.” 

Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) Director General, Brian Cooke 

“The Motor Industry continues to be supportive of the drive towards zero emissions transport. The Climate Action Plan is hugely ambitious and it is important that we get greater clarity on the detail of any proposals, both short term and long term.

The industry is a key stakeholder, as the provider of vehicles to this project, and in particular welcomes the State’s commitment to supporting the implementation of an extensive nationwide charging infrastructure that will support the roll-out of these vehicles. 

The Plan underlines the big growth in zero-emitting vehicles will happen from 2024 onward, and in that context, it is important that the State and the industry start an engagement process now to consider policies that will support change both pre and post 2024.”

Friends of the Earth Director Oisín Coghlan  

This plan is the biggest innovation in Irish climate policy in 20 years. 

The key is not simply the measures themselves but the new mechanisms to ensure we actually deliver them: the legally-binding five-year limits on total pollution; the Delivery Board chaired by the Taoiseach's Department; the external Climate Action Council to advise and monitor Government; the powerful Oireachtas Committee to call Ministers and top officials to account; and the promise to put our 2050 target into law.

"If these governance reforms had been adopted 12 years ago, when Friends of the Earth first proposed them, Ireland would not now be missing our 2020 targets by a country mile.” 

Verona Murphy, President of the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) 

“The Government have made it clear that the purpose behind the possible introduction of carbon tax and diesel price equalisation is to nudge people and business towards electric vehicles and other alternatives to diesel.  There is no readily available alternative to diesel for the haulage industry and there wont be for decades to come. 

“That said, there is a solution to this challenge that is readily available and that is Euro VI Diesel – the most cost effective, carbon and energy efficient vehicle for use in heavy goods transport.”

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