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Climate body calls for Government campaign to cut public fossil fuel use


Stock image PA

Stock image PA

Stock image PA

THE Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC) has called on the Government to launch an immediate campaign to get the public to cut their use of fossil fuels.

The independent body that advises Government said the move was necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but would also ease rising energy costs for consumers and reduce the risk of supply shortages.

It made the call after figures published by the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday showed a rise in emissions at a time when they are meant to be falling substantially year on year, showed

“Fossil fuels used in transport, buildings and electricity represent just under 50pc of emissions which must be reduced and this, combined with the increasing cost of fossil fuels and potential shortages, reinforces the need for a sea change in communities throughout Ireland,” the CCAC said.

“We need to urgently reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels thus benefiting society by shielding people from volatile energy prices, increasing our security of energy and supporting the achievement of our climate objective.

“There should be much a greater focus on overall demand reduction which saves money and addresses both the energy and climate challenge.”

The Government has already run a advertising campaign urging energy efficiency, on foot of calls by the EU and the International Energy Agency.

But CCAC chair, Marie Donnelly, called for a more concerted effort.

“The figures released today underline the urgency of action required to achieve our climate objective,” she said.

“Given the challenges that families and communities will face this winter, the Government should immediately launch an information campaign to identify ways in which everyone, including consumers, households and businesses, can reduce demand.

“It is crucially important that all sectors redouble their efforts to lower their greenhouse gas emissions.”

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The emissions figures show the country already used up almost a quarter of its current five-year allowance of greenhouse gases in 2021.

“This means the effort over the next four years must increase significantly,” the CCAC said.

The call comes a day after the European Commission asked member states to reduce their overall gas use by 15pc between now and next spring.

The move is primarily an effort to conserve supplies as the Ukraine crisis and disruption to energy supplies continues but would also have the effect of reducing emissions.

The request from Brussels could become a mandatory measure if rationing becomes necessary.

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