Call to introduce carbon tax


CLIMATE CHANGE:FRIENDS OF the Earth has warned that the Government must address the climate crisis with the same urgency as the financial crisis in today's budget.

The group's director, Oisín Coghlan, said there were key issues on climate change and carbon tax that Mr Lenihan needed to address, despite the financial downturn. "It would be fatally short-sighted if the immediate economic emergency consumed policy makers to the extent that they postponed action on a threat that poses an even greater threat to 21st century lifestyles, livelihoods and lives."

Friends of the Earth said the Minister should acknowledge that Ireland is on course to miss its Kyoto target by up to five million tonnes of CO2 each year and this would cost the taxpayer about €700 million between now and 2012.

"Will Minister Lenihan introduce the carbon levy promised in the programme for government to make the polluter pay for the overshoot rather than the taxpayer? In deciding which investment decisions to prioritise and which to postpone, will the Government keep its promise to factor in the carbon impact in the cost-benefit analysis?" he asked.