The publication of carbon budgets by the Government should be welcomed, but the devil will be in the detail, says Labour’s climate spokesperson Ivana Bacik.
Ahead of COP meeting this week, Deputy Bacik said a step change is required and government must work hard to provide clarity for people on the additional measures announced.
Deputy Bacik said: “Given the existential challenge posed by climate change the ppposition has by and large afforded a degree of cross party support to the government’s climate efforts, while being critical of areas where government can and should do better.
“Carbon budgets have been called for by people across the political spectrum and while we welcome the announcement of these budgets, it is a shame that they were published so late on a bank holiday during a week that the Oireachtas is not sitting,” she said.
“The devil will be in the detail on these budgets, chopping and changing plans is adding additional burden on people.
“Carbon budgets have to be clear and transparent. For example, as things stand, climate scientists do not understand how our agricultural strategy fits into our climate strategy.
“Climate budgets are as important as our annual budgets.
“This is a job not just for the Department of the Environment but for the Department of Finance and Public Expenditure as well to assist in delivering a whole of Government approach.
“Tax and spending policy must support climate goals.
“This approach should have taken place ahead of the fiscal budget announced earlier this month.
“We welcome the announcement of these carbon budgets and look forward to debating the details of same when the Oireachtas returns. There can be no further delay on implementing this much needed climate action.”