Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan said a major change of attitude is needed from Fine Gael on climate action, saying “the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland report shows us that Fine Gael isn’t even trying to reach the 2020 renewable energy targets. Their failure to reach the very modest target of 16% renewable energy by 2020, well below the EU average of 20%, will now cost Irish taxpayers hundreds of millions. This is money that we should be putting into climate action measures.”
Lynn Boylan said:
“We have known for at least three years now that Ireland will not meet its 2020 renewable energy or climate targets, and all we have seen from Fine Gael is a shrugging of shoulders and a lot of waffle about climate action.
“The total inaction of Fine Gael means that Ireland is only expected to reach 13% renewable energy by 2020, and that is shocking when you consider that we were given a very modest target of 16% renewable energy to achieve when the EU average is to achieve 20%.
“90% of our energy is still coming from fossil fuels. This is in a country where we have so much renewable energy potential and could actually be aiming for complete energy sovereignty. We need to rapidly increase the adoption of renewables, especially in the heating sector.
“We also need to see a change of attitude from Fine Gael in the European Parliament where they have repeatedly voted against climate action measures including having binding renewable energy targets. They are so out of touch that they are now trying to move the focus on 2050 targets, something, which completely ignores the urgency of the climate emergency
“The EU system of cap and trade, given its failure to set direct goal-based binding targets for Member States, means that countries like Ireland just won’t bother when they know they can just buy credits for non-compliance. What’s commonly misperceived as fines for noncompliance, is actually the Irish government being obliged to buy credits.
“The European Investment Bank should also be releasing funds for massive state investment in the energy sector, to front-load our actions on renewables.”