Sir, – Ireland is set to fall well short of its 2020 EU greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and may be fined around €455 million as a result. This is taxpayers’ money that could have been spent on essential services such as housing and health or invested in sustainable industries.
Both Minister for Climate Action Denis Naughten and the Irish Farmers’ Association have criticised the Green Party for, in their view, setting these targets too high in 2009.
They did not point out that the targets were unanimously agreed across the EU and were based on each country’s GDP.
In any case, we should be aiming to increase our targets, not reduce them, in line with the increasing urgency of climate action.
These claims cannot gloss over the shameful fact that our emissions are rising significantly at a time when they are expected to be falling sharply.
As well as reneging on our responsibility to address the most serious issue of our time, we are missing out on the immense economic rewards of the new industrial revolution in renewable energy taking place in Europe and Scandinavia. – Yours, etc,