We need to tackle climate change at the EU level.
The threat from climate change towers over all other issues. The EU provides the only platform on which Ireland can make its contribution to decarbonisation.
And yet, the political will to take bold action is absent. The Taoiseach acknowledged that Ireland is a climate ‘laggard’. Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions are going in the wrong direction.
The Government’s National Mitigation Plan does not set sectoral targets. This is a critical failing and ensures that there is little chance of Ireland meeting its obligations.
Cities and private industry are taking the lead where Governments have failed.
But our own local authorities need to do more. For example, there have been no successful Irish applications to the EU’s Urban Innovative Actions Programme worth €372million. And only Fingal County Council has succeeded in attracting funding from the European Investment Bank.
The Financial services industry in Ireland employs 42,000 people. I will work with the industry to ensure that it plays a lead role in sustainable and responsible investment and getting to a zero-carbon economy.
Changing consumer behaviour has a significant role to play in our battle to combat the threat of climate change. Ireland has a good track record in this regard. As early as 2002, Fianna Fáil introduced the very successful Plastic Bags levy.
The European Parliament has recently approved ambitious measures to tackle marine litter coming from 10 single-use plastic products most often found on European beaches. This development will receive wide approval in Ireland where growing groups of our citizens give up their time to clean our beaches.
The work of those groups and others who care to their environment is immensely important to our sustainability.
As your MEP, I will campaign for:
– Increased investment in retrofitting 50,000 houses per annum.
– Electrification of Dublin’s public transport system using green energy.
– The Cycling for all campaign.
– Increases in Carbon tax to 2030 rising to €80 per tonne.
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How we tackle climate change is up for grabs, but we need your help.