Brid Smith TD, who is on the Dail committee that deals with Climate and the Environment, has warmly welcomed the work of the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Action. The TD said today that the recommendations that were endorsed by an overwhelming majority show that ordinary people, when presented with the scientific facts and possible actions are prepared to take action.
“The problem is not that people cannot be motivated to address climate change; it is that Governments and vested interests such as giant oil and gas corporations are stopping real action needed.
“The Citizens’ Assembly gets it, they understand the urgency and the causes of climate change. We have four years before the carbon budget is exceeded and we become locked into a 1.5-degree global temperature rise. That means more record heatwaves, more devastating droughts and storms, and rising sea levels. People are willing to act but big business and Government lethargy aren’t.”
The TD pointed out that while the assembly say the importance of public transport in tackling claimed change “we have a government that continues to show disinterest in rail and buses, continues to spend less than we were in 2008 on providing the services and is happy to allow strikes in every transport sector that are directly caused by gross underinvestment while spending multiples on roads.”
Deputy Smith singled out the recommendation on micro-generation of renewables: “This is a slap in the face for the Minister and Government whose existing policy explicitly rejects this and instead looks only to big business and incentives for profit-seeking companies. We need to bring every village, town and city in on a renewable revolution and not rely on big business.”
Deputy Smith said that the upcoming Bonn conference would show the weaknesses of the Paris Treaty and the inability of global corporations to effectively curb emission from fossil fuels and the inability of governments everywhere to take effective action. “The continued reliance on so-called market mechanisms is bringing humanity to the brink of catastrophic and irreversible climate change. We need to start challenging the fossil fuel corporations and the profits they are addicted to. Instead of looking at carbon taxes which will hit ordinary people or small farmers we need to look at taxing the profits of fossil fuel and the giant Agri-food corporations and using those resources to switch to renewables, fund public transport and reorganise food production away from the needs of big business and to sustainable methods that can encourage and reward farmers that switch over.”
Press Release- Bríd Smith TD, People Before Profit
Contact- Bríd Smith TD- 087 909 0166
Nick Lee (Press Officer)- 087 615 6473
Deputy Smith will be part of an Irish Parliamentary delegation going to the COP23 Conference in Bonn this weekend which will discuss the Paris Treaty and current targets to limit Co2 emissions.