Friday 19 October 2018

We're sitting before a turf fire with the floodlights on

Ireland is 'completely off course' in achieving emissions targets - we need policies put in place, writes David Robbins

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Stock image

David Robbins

And it was all going so well. The Government must have thought it had this climate change thing licked. There was the announcement last Monday of Cabinet agreement on renewable energy incentives, the decision to divest from fossil fuels and the setting up of a new Oireachtas committee on climate change.

There was even a new podcast featuring Mary Robinson and comedian Maeve Higgins on how women were leading the fight against climate change, and Minister for Climate Change Denis Naughten gave a rousing speech on Ireland's commitment to the UN's sustainability goals.

And just a few weeks before that, there was the launch of the Ireland 2040 National Development Plan, in which €22bn in climate investment was promised. After the Taoiseach accepted Ireland was perceived as a laggard on climate during a speech to the EU in January, things had turned around. Hardly a day went by without some new climate initiative.

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