“The Social Democrats are determined to work to combat climate change at local government level, through ambitious Climate Change Adaption Strategies for councils that promote both environmental sustainability and affordability.”

The Social Democrats have accused the Fine Gael government of sleep walking into a climate disaster after an official report today predicts that Ireland is not on target to meet its EU renewable energy targets for 2020.

Party co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said:

“The Sustainable Energy Authority is predicting today that only 13% of the country’s energy will be derived from renewable sources next year. That’s three percentage points short of Ireland’s European target of 16%.

“The Fine Gael government is shirking its responsibility to our planet and the country, and is sleep walking into a climate disaster. Ireland’s over-reliance on non-renewable heating is a major contributory factor to these poor results. We need to see substantially increased support for off shore wind, blue energy, electric cars, and a fair level of carbon tax that penalises polluters but doesn’t push people into poverty. The National Development Plan must be reoriented to favour public transport over roads.”

The party’s spokesperson on Energy and Climate Change, Fingal Cllr Cian O’Callaghan added:

“The Social Democrats are determined to work to combat climate change at local government level, through ambitious Climate Change Adaption Strategies for councils that promote both environmental sustainability and affordability.

“In our manifesto for Cleaner Greener Communities we focus on investing in public transport and promoting safe cycling to reduce emissions, ambitious targets to reduce plastic production, a new grants scheme for insulating homes and council-led ‘energy communities’ schemes to encourage bulk switching to cleaner energy.”

ENDS

16th May 2019