Low Carbon Economy

4th November, 2010

Climate change is a reality and the earth is warming as a result of human development. Fine Gael recognises, as does the wider international community, that we must change the nature of our economy so that the days of countless chimney stacks bellowing green house gas emissions into the atmosphere are over.

A low carbon economy is a competitive economy. Those countries that can make themselves more environmentally sustainable will have the edge over others. The Government’s record of transforming the Irish economy into a low carbon economy have been atrocious. Recent reductions in emissions have only been achieved from the collapse of the economy. There has been no significant improvement in our energy-consumption patterns.

As a reflection of our weak progress to date Ireland has been tasked with some of the most ambitious carbon reduction targets in the Kyoto and EU 2020 programmes.

What Ireland needs is a comprehensive plan to change the course of the entire economy. Minor policy initiatives such as banning inefficient light bulbs and tax reliefs of bicycles will never achieve anything of relevance. Ireland needs wholesale and radical change.