Calls for urgency in Ireland’s response to climate emergency

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

Labour Party leader, Ivana Bacik, has called for urgency in Ireland’s national response to the climate emergency.

This message follows the warning by independent experts to the government that it must do more to deliver on its Programme for Government climate commitments.

 “The government’s climate performance is still not good enough. We need to see much more ambitious targets and a much greater sense of urgency if we are to avert the worst impacts of the climate emergency,” said Ms Bacik.

 “The government needs to ensure a just transition to support communities who will have to do the most to facilitate the change we need.

“It must also treat the sectoral emissions targets and carbon budgets with the seriousness needed. There is simply no time to delay.

 “We see from the report of these experts, who were commissioned by Friends of the Earth, that there has been a decline in progress on transport commitments this year, which is particularly concerning.

“A lack of spending on active transport infrastructure and a rebound of greenhouse gas emissions in this sector have been identified as underlying this shortcoming. We know that investment in public transport is of the utmost importance.

 “Courage and more drastic measures are needed to assist people in making the shift to less harmful means of transport.”

The Labour leader proposed the introduction of a ‘climate ticket’ for public transport, which would grant people unlimited public transport, across modes, for just €9 per month.

“We estimate that the carbon emissions savings of such a policy would be equivalent to removing 23,000 cars off our roads,” she stated.

“In tandem with greater provision of public transport in areas which are currently underserviced, the potential of this policy is even greater.

“It’s time this government was brave enough to take radical steps towards a cleaner future.”

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