I AM ASHAMED of the record we have on climate change and mortified that I will be representing Ireland at European level in Bonn this weekend on this issue. We have failed shamefully, even in our limited committments to honor the (quite mild) Paris agreement. The government’s National Mitigation Plan on Climate Action is a giant work of fiction and they should hang their heads in shame

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“Government can no longer remain inactive on climate,” says Brid Smith TD

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.

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Bríd asked the Minister WHY NOT LEAVE IT IN THE GROUND? It was so sneaky; just after the Dáil rose for the Summer he granted a license for oil and gas exploration at sea, to a company owned by O’Reilly Jnr. Before the Dáil rose, the NO FRACKING Bill was passed, the Bill that would prevent fossil fuel extraction on land. So its okay at sea?? And there was no satisfactory answer forthcoming. How could there be to betrayal, not just of campaigners but of the people and planet itself. Shameful!

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I questioned Minister Naughton on the policies that our government pursues that make matters worse, rather than better, in relation to emissions that cause global warming. I asked about transport policies and cows, in particular. The video here shortens some of the waffle I got by way of reply, but the evident lack of joined-up thinking is appalling – and very scary.

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Brid Smith TD reports from her committee meeting earlier:  “I’m deeply suspicious about the report on fracking as presented this evening by the EPA and CDM – a company themselves engaged in fracking – to an Oireachteas committee that I’m on. The committee deals with environment and climate change; the Dáil has decided to ban fracking, so why are we now considering how it might be done ‘safely’ ? There is no safe fracking. There is no justification for increasing fossil fuel use. Leave it in the ground.”

 

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In Dail Eireann, Bríd spoke up not only for tillage farmers but against the decades of neglect and continued undermining of rural communities – eg post office closures and transport cuts. More recently the threat posed by banks and ‘vulutre funds’ give lie to the government’s concern for rural issues – FF & FG support these vultures a lot quicker than they do small farmers and rural communites.

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Brid questioned the Taoiseach about some real risks ignored in the Draft National Risks Assessment Plan, especially in the light of Trump’s election. She focusses on two issues, climate change and multinational corporations and argues that we greatly underestimate the threat posed by both – ignoring the effects of climate change and of facilitating tax evasion and avoidance of giant mutinationals.

 

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energypost.eu, March Climate in Rome Italy

While disappointed that my amendments didn’t succeed in changing the new Energy Bill, I am happy that we made some progress on challenging the corporate bias in state agencies like the SEAI (Sustainable energy Agency). The new bill states that people with experience in the fight against climate change and the environment will be sought for board vacancies. I understand there are two vacancies coming up and I would urge all interested from the “Environmental pillar” to apply and see if we can put climate and other environmental issues into the heart of this important state agency.Read more »

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