The Irish Times view on carbon taxes: waking up to the threat

Not taxing carbon would seriously undermine the State’s mitigation strategy and make it impossible to achieve what has been promised under the Paris Agreement

Campaigners stage a mass “die-in” in Dublin city centre on Sunday, urging the Government to take urgent action to prevent climate breakdown.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Campaigners stage a mass “die-in” in Dublin city centre on Sunday, urging the Government to take urgent action to prevent climate breakdown. Photograph: Alan Betson

The Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action has held a series of public hearings on how Ireland’s carbon emissions can be reduced. It has gathered advice and expertise, including from leading climatologists who underlined the need for swift, unprecedented actions to decarbonise our economy and society.

Asked to consider how recommendations on climate change from the Citizens’ Assembly can be adopted, the 22-member committee has an onerous task and is due to issue its report shortly. The committee is also seeking to reach cross-party consensus around the Government’s own climate plan. Of late, it has been trying to reach a position on carbon tax. The latter is a proven way to change polluting behaviour while reducing emissions, even where a fee for fossil fuel usage is levied and a dividend is given straight back to householders in a revenue-neutral way.

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