Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley has said that the publication of the Government’s draft National Mitigation Plan is nowhere near ambitious enough and is far from the roadmap that is required to move Ireland towards a better, greener future.

“What‘s needed are detailed, future proofed, sectoral policies that will deliver a reduction in Ireland’s carbon emissions. Instead, we got a rehash of already outdated policies.

“In addition to lacking any detail, this plan is without vision, and demonstrates the Government’s inability to think beyond the next election.

“Worryingly, the plan fails to see the opportunities, and capitalise on them, that climate change can present us.

“Take retrofitting for example. It is clear that not only does it massively help cut carbon emissions, but it also puts money back in people’s pockets by reducing the costs of heating homes, and creates jobs in the construction industry.

“I am concerned that in the areas of housing and transport, there is no clear path to success.

“There is a limited pilot scheme for rental accommodation, yet there is no mention of a complimentary scheme for social housing — which together comprise a huge portion of Ireland’s housing stock.

“Similarly, we know that people want to cut their transport carbon emissions, and either use public transport, cycling or walking to get around. Doing so not only helps to cut carbon emissions, but is a cheaper, healthier way to travel—and one that cuts down on congestion, too. Yet again, the plan in silent on how we make this happen.

“Where are the plans to incentivise electric vehicles and plug in hybrids, or the investment to provide a low emission public transport infrastructure? Where is the investment in cycling and walking lanes that are safe and accessible for all?” asked Dooley.

“Of course having a Mitigation Plan is a step in the right direction, but if the sum total of the plan is poorly thought out, rehashed, policies that lack vision, then we are heading in the wrong direction.

“Fianna Fáil will be putting forward common-sense, progressive proposals to ensure that Ireland’s transition to a low carbon society works for all, and delivers the biggest impact possible,” concluded Dooley.