Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action & Environment Timmy Dooley TD has raised concerns about certain actions and timelines set out in the government’s latest climate action plan.

The document follows on from a report from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change, which was published in March this year.

Deputy Dooley said, “This new plan is finally an indication that the government may be about to treat the climate breakdown with the seriousness it deserves in that it integrates several recommendations from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action. This includes measures to ramp up home retrofits, as well as significantly improved governance measures to make sure government actually delivers on its commitments.

“However, I am concerned that certain actions and timelines from the cross-party Oireachtas report have not been fully incorporated. This plan deliberately excludes a commitment to put a new “net zero” 2050 target into promised amending legislation this year. How can we send a clear signal to business and international investors if we appear to be questioning the need to put a Paris-aligned targets in legislation?

“Climate action is not simply an all-of government challenge, it is a cross-societal opportunity and all levels of society must be supported increase to change their behaviour away from the usage of fossil fuels. There are real costs of delayed action, such as congestion and air pollution.

“In relation to the carbon tax, it is positive that the government has recognised Fianna Fáil’s central concern that an increase to 2030 cannot be treated as a silver bullet. The introduction of protective measures prior to a carbon tax increase was a key priority for Fianna Fáil in the Oireachtas Committee on climate action.

“This report is merely the start of the process. The litmus test of government action will be how quickly Fine Gael moves to put necessary legislation and policies in place. Fianna Fáil believes that when it comes to the need to take immediate climate action and protect future generations, a slow transition could be detrimental not only to this country, but across Europe and around the globe”, concluded Deputy Dooley.