Sunday 23 October 2016

Special interests must not thwart climate deal

Published 14/12/2015 | 02:30

Enda Kenny at COP21
Enda Kenny at COP21

The climate change deal reached in Paris has many detractors, but most agree it marks a major step towards global efforts to finally tackle climate change.

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Though small, Ireland must play its part to reduce global carbon emissions and to decarbonise the Irish economy for future generations.

That won't be easy in a country where agricultural emissions comprise a third of total emissions, with plans to increase the national herd by at least 300,000, thereby increasing emissions further. Every sector of the economy, from housing and energy security to transport, will have to respond to emissions targets or face future levies.

As with every crisis, however, there will be many opportunities, including job creation, as we wean ourselves off our fossil fuel dependency. The Government's scheme to retrofit homes to make them more energy efficient is one such example, and there are many more.

But we will not reduce emissions unless we have a political vision and leadership to reach and exceed those targets - national, sectoral and special interests must not be allowed to steer us from that course.

Irish Independent

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