Jennifer Whitmore TD

The government excels at climate rhetoric, but this is not matched with climate action

Social Democrats Spokesperson for Climate, Jennifer Whitmore TD, has described the findings of the Environmental Protection Agency’s report as disappointing, but not surprising.

Deputy Whitmore was commenting today after the EPA published its 2022 Greenhouse Gas Inventory report.

“Emissions have come down by 1.9% in all sectors except transport. While any reduction is welcome, we need to be realistic about the scale of the climate crisis and acknowledge that we are not seeing sufficient cuts in our carbon emissions. We know we need a 6% to 7% reduction in carbon emissions annually if we are serious about meeting our overall targets.

“Just two years in to our carbon budget for 2021 to 2025, we have already used nearly half. In order to make up for previous failures to reach our targets, we now need to make an annual reduction of 12.4% to meet our carbon reduction targets for this period. That level of reduction is going to be near impossible.

“It is also important to note that the reductions in residential and agriculture, while welcome, are not driven by government policy. These reductions result from higher energy prices and a mild winter. There are significant questions to be asked about what will happen when energy prices go back to pre-2023 rates.

“The reductions we are seeing are reactionary – to reduction to price signals in the energy market and the war in Ukraine. Those are extraordinary energy events. We are not seeing a well-planned, well-managed market shift led by the government to sustain long-term reductions in carbon emissions.

“Back in June, the EPA released its analysis of the government’s Climate Action Plan. It said the government’s targets were wholly inadequate. Instead of reaching the 51% reduction we need, we will see, at best, a 29% reduction in emissions.

“It is clear the government is not doing enough. While they excel at climate rhetoric, it is not matched with climate action. This disappointingly low reduction in emissions is therefore not a surprise.”

14 July, 2023


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