Friday 22 September 2017

Green economy only way to emerge from recession, says commissioner

EU Climate Change Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has warned that unless Ireland makes deep cuts in its greenhouse gas emissions and reduces consumption of fossil fuels it will never emerge from recession.

Those who believed it would be "business as usual" were "very much mistaken", she said, but making the switch to a low-carbon economy would result in new jobs being created.

Speaking in Dublin yesterday, the Commissioner for Climate Action also said that Government investment in retrofitting homes with better insulation and heating system would create employment.

"Our competitors in Korea, China and Brazil are making changes. I'm sure we can create new green jobs. If we invest in retrofitting houses these jobs stay local, they cannot be outsourced.

"The last 12 months have been the hottest ever recorded. If we combat climate change in an intelligent manner, we can push for innovation and create jobs."

Her comments came after the heads of some of the State's biggest companies including Bord Gais and KPMG urged the Government to publish a new climate change law which would give "certainty" to business keen to invest. The group has written to Taoiseach Brian Cowen saying the legislation is "urgent" as it will bring clarity.

Paul Melia

Irish Independent

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