The Social Democrats have today launched their ‘Greener and Fairer’ Climate Policy with wide-ranging proposals to address what they describe as the fundamental issue facing our country and our planet. The party says that creating a sustainable society requires everyone to play their part but at the same time it is important to ensure that too high a burden doesn’t fall on the shoulders of ordinary and low-income households. The policy criticises the report on carbon tax from the All-Party Oireachtas Committee, saying it wasn’t poverty-proofed as initially intended and therefore has not laid out a clear path to ensure a fair mechanism in applying the tax.

Party co-leader Catherine Murphy said:

“The Climate Crisis is the single biggest threat to our environment, to our standards of living and to our existence. The actions we take or fail to take now will affect our country and our planet for generations.

“The vast majority of people are anxious to make changes wherever possible to help address the climate emergency but at the same time it’s important that people are supported and encouraged to make changes in a way that is fair and doesn’t place an undue financial burden on ordinary households.

“One of our proposals is for a front-loaded ‘pay as you safe’ home insulation scheme – this is a very practical mechanism which would allow households to make significant energy savings in their home but without having to find a lump-sum to pay for the insulation works. These are the kind of things which help people make changes but to do so in a way that doesn’t place a burden on household income.”

Cllr Gary Gannon said:

“Every single day I talk to people who care about the environment, but they also need assurances on the bread and butter issues affecting their daily lives – the real concern for many is that the cost of living is already so high they are fearful of any green agenda which may see further levies or financial burdens.

“The Social Democrats policy proposes an overhaul of community recycling and a means to ensure that big industry works to improve their recycling capabilities for things like single-use plastics.  The changes must be made, but not at the expense of ordinary households and small businesses.”

[ENDS] 3rd Feb 2020

NOTES: The policy document Greener and Fairer is available here.

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