Part of the answer to Ireland's climate crisis is to "put a bloody jumper on", top civil servant Robert Watt told an environmental conference last week.
Watt may have been joking when he spoke at a conference on the budgetary impact of climate change organised by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, although he also said that he believed in confiscating mobile phones from his children if they left house lights on, so perhaps not.
The harsh reality of tackling climate change is that it will impose large costs on both consumers and the State budget at a time when finances are also being stretched by the rising health costs of an ageing population - as well as demands for more spending in areas like housing and education.
The European Commission unveiled a "climate law" yesterday to make the EU's 2050 net zero emissions target legally binding, a move that will have a huge impact on our lives.
The petrol car that you have just purchased could be worthless in a few years' time. Insurance costs for high-risk properties, perhaps including tens of thousands in Dublin, could rise sharply. And if you are buying a house, you are going to want to look closely at its BER rating, and pay less for one with a poor reading.
Far from being an idyllic green island, the State is in fact one of the dirtiest in Europe, emitting two-and-a-half times more carbon dioxide per capita than Sweden, the best-performing EU country.
It is not as if governments here have made brave decisions on the measures needed to tackle climate change, despite initial enthusiasm and a Citizens' Assembly on the issue.
A carbon tax was brought in for Budget 2010 at €15 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions, with plans to raise that figure to €25 by 2012 and to €30 a tonne by 2014.
The very fact that the Government raised it only to €26 a tonne in the 2020 Budget shows how scared it was of a backlash, bearing in mind the climbdown over water charges in the face of public protest.
It is going to take a brave government to push ahead with climate measures.
The first set of measures in the firing line to address climate change would be to stop spending government money on subsidising activities that actually undermine progress.
According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), total potentially environmentally damaging subsidies were estimated at €4.1bn in 2016.
"Supports to fossil fuel activities increased on a year-by-year basis from 2012 to 2016, from €2.3bn in 2012 to €2.5bn in 2016," the CSO said in a report.
"We should aggressively address those subsidies," Mr Watt, who is the secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, told the recent conference.
That would represent a substantial financial hit to the farming, fishing and trucking industries, as well as to those in receipt of the winter heating allowance, plus the airline industry, which doesn't pay carbon taxes on international fuel. There are also, remarkably, incentives for multi-storey car parks that are paid for by the Irish taxpayer.
At the same time as tackling subsidies that work to undermine the greening of the economy, a raft of costs will be faced by households, ranging from retrofitting houses to buying or leasing electric cars - and facing the prospect that your existing diesel or petrol-chugging vehicle will be worth nothing.
We went through the process of a Citizens' Assembly. This placed climate action at the centre of Irish policymaking through a new governmental architecture. It has increased Ireland's carbon tax and paved the way for a 'landmark' climate action plan and net-zero target, announced in summer 2019.
But the reality is that carbon taxes are going to have to rise sharply very soon.
Official data showed that Ireland generated 13.3 tonnes of CO2 equivalent for each person living here in 2017, the third worst performance in the EU.
To fix that, the glacial pace of increases to carbon dioxide levies here will have to increase.
A carbon tax is intended to correct for the social cost of energy pricing that is not covered by its private cost, i.e. its market price as the cost of a litre of fuel, for example, does not cover the damage it causes to the environment. The World Bank estimates that in order to reach the aims of the Paris Climate Agreement, carbon must be priced between $40-80 (€36-72) per tonne by 2020, and must be raised further to $50-100 by 2030.
Research by Barra Roantree and Maxime Bercholz at the Economic and Social Research Institute shows that Ireland will exceed its annual limit by around 25pc in 2020 and by more than 40pc in 2030 - with additional planned measures making little difference to the level of under-performance.
The problem with addressing this issue through carbon taxes is that it would hit the poor and those in rural areas hardest, as they spend more of their income on heating their houses and running their cars than the rich.
"Without compensation, households in the bottom half of the income distribution would on average see losses of around 0.25pc of total expenditure, compared to between 0.15pc and 0.22pc for those in the top half of the distribution," Roantree and Bercholz wrote.
Sinn Féin is opposed to carbon taxes and said in its election manifesto that they would "make people poorer, but it will not make the State greener or cleaner".
The party labelled it "a regressive tax, the sole purpose of which is to raise funds".
The Government has set aside 38pc of the money its Budget would raise this year from the increase to €26 a tonne to help mitigate the impact on poorer people. Then there are the higher costs for the Government.
Even so, the transition to a greener environment will be costly for those at the bottom of the income ladder.
"In Ireland, they will face very substantial cost increases before they can adapt," said Kurt Van Dender, who is the head of the Tax and Environment Unit at the OECD's Centre for Tax Policy and Administration. With the aim of getting people out of diesel and petrol cars and trucks, the Government is planning to have 840,000 passenger electric vehicles on the roads by 2030.
The State runs hefty subsidies for electric vehicles, including a purchase grant, vehicle registration tax relief, a toll incentive, a home charger installation grant and reduced motor tax rates.
The direct purchase subsidy is between €10,141 and €13,616, depending on the kind of electric vehicle bought, and the cost to the Exchequer is between €1.14bn and €1.36bn per 100,000 cars sold.
In addition to this, the growth in electric cars will reduce Exchequer revenues, with €1.5bn less revenue from motor tax, VAT and fuel oil tax between now and 2030, with annual losses reaching €500m by 2030, if the climate plan targets are reached.
"The more successful it is in changing behaviour, the less money it brings in," Martina Lawless, who is a member of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, said of climate taxes.
While the budgets of the State and of consumers are being squeezed, there is also a risk that the one industry that emerges as the big winner from this is finance.
The first green bond was issued by the European Investment Bank in 2007 for energy and energy-efficiency projects, and issuance has surged from less than $1bn in 2008 to $143bn in 2018.
The spread of green finance has triggered complaints of 'greenwashing', the use of environmental issues to cover up the continued damaging activities of companies.
A recent announcement by BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager with $7.4 trillion under management, that it would put environmental concerns at the heart of its investment approach, was accompanied by doubts over its existing green record - as its voting patterns on company boards indicated scant concern for the planet.
Some economists argue that financing the low-carbon transition with public debt is more feasible and sustainable with current low interest rates than handing the process over to private sector finance companies.
Despite these reservations, it would be foolish not to use private capital, and with over $30 trillion in socially responsible investment funds, that's a huge chunk of capital to mobilise.