Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action & Environment Timmy Dooley says the government can no longer disregard the need for urgent action on climate change after thousands of students took to the streets of towns and cities across the country to highlight their anger with the current lacklustre approach.

Deputy Dooley, who joined students in Ennis, said, “We need to take inspiration from the young people out demonstrating today – it’s their generation and the generations after that will be impacted most by the government’s failure to respond to the climate change crisis. Instead of berating them for taking a day off school, we should be listening to their message and ideas.

“I spoke with dozens of students today and all of them were angry and frustrated by the lack of urgency shown by the government to date.

“As a result of Fine Gael’s indifference on the issue, Ireland was without a co-ordinated strategy to tackle growing emissions for almost a decade. This failure to deliver on our commitments will result in significant financial penalties for Ireland.

“Fianna Fáil has set out a range of measures we would undertake, including a special fund for non-governmental environmental organisations, greater supports for home retrofits, more investment in sustainable public transport and an independent taskforce to deliver co-ordinated planning and supports to ensure a just transition for workers and communities affected by the phase out of fossil fuels.

“We have also repeatedly called on the government to set out clear targets for when Ireland will be a fossil free country

“It is essential that Fine Gael Ministers listen to the message from students today and ensure that the government makes a commitment to specific and ambitious climate actions at next week’s high level UN Summit”, concluded Deputy Dooley.