Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has described the report from the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) which ranked Ireland last in addressing climate change in the EU and among the worst in the world as a colossal embarrassment and another wake up call to government.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“The report from the CCPI ranked Ireland as one of the worst in the world when it comes to addressing climate change.

“This is not only a colossal embarrassment but it is also going to cost the Irish taxpayer in financial terms because we are failing to meet EU emissions and renewable energy targets for 2020. This should act as a wake up call to the government but while they are quick to talk the talk they are to slow to move on steps that will address our carbon use

“The Irish government are quick to sign international agreements and climate conventions but when it comes to delivery and practical steps to combat climate change they have failed to meet targets or introduce the necessary changes.

“Although we are a small state in global terms, we as an island should lead by example. It is frustrating that we continue to import billions worth of fossil fuels each year while we have a wide variety of renewable energy sources available to use which are lying underdeveloped and unused.

“Even basic steps are being overlooked with future development plans not being climate proofed. Simple steps like having a facility for homes who harness excess power being able to transfer the excess to the national grid is an obvious place to start. Sinn Féin introduced a Bill to do this in November and the government must continue to support its passages through all legislative stages.  A quicker roll out of retrofit schemes of homes is another basic step that needs to be developed, encouraged and requires greater state intervention.

“Sources such as offshore wind, hydro, biogas and solar need to be developed and will form an important part of our energy mix. Pilot schemes on these sources simply will not cut it at this stage and they need to be mainstreamed.

“South Dublin County Council are in the process of introducing a pilot heat transfer system with Amazon, a system that is common around the world but is a first for Ireland. Legislation for the rollout of possible thermal heat has also been promised but has failed to be produced.”

Crowe continued:

“To address climate change clear action must be taken on a cross departmental basis and the aim for government must be to develop broad sources of renewable energy technologies.

“We need to specify our energy sources going forward. Alongside this we need to see the opportunities we have available to us on this island in the move to greater renewable energy.

“This is in terms of job creation, security of energy supply and improving the national and global environment around us, but this government simply shows little vision and a lack of ambition.”