Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice believes the people of Ireland need to wake up to the consequences of the revised Climate Action Bill which was passed by Cabinet today.
Reacting to the news, the TD for Roscommon-Galway said: “Let no be codding themselves in this country; but under this new Climate Action Bill, we are putting ourselves in real danger of getting rid of jobs and turning the lights out.
“In this country at the moment we are importing biomass from as far away as South Africa. In some data centers, fuel is being brought in by the truckload – from abroad – as the electricity suppliers here cannot guarantee power.
“The fact of the matter is that the Ireland of the future that the dreamers are talking about will need 50% more electricity than we do at the moment – with 600,000 homes to be heated and 900,000 electric vehicles to be powered.
“First of all, we haven’t the lines to carry it on and secondly, we do not have the production capacity – contrary to the Tanaiste’s beliefs that this bill will turn us into energy exporter to other parts of the world.
“We are now gone down the road of jeopardising growing businesses and presenting a real possibility of the lights being turned off as we won’t have enough power. This happened recently in Germany, but they are taking action to rectify it.
“In Ireland however, we are moving away from natural gas with no exploration licences or further storage projects being considered. Despite their being talk in Europe of labelling natural gas as a sustainable energy source.”
When it comes to Agriculture and the sectoral approach which will supposedly be taken under this new bill, Fitzmaurice added: “The first thing we need to know is what exactly our sequestration figures are.
“I would challenge any government minister or official to show me where the sequestration values of grass growth cycles and hedgerows are accounted for under our emissions at the moment.
“So what we will basically be asking the agricultural community to do under this new plan is to cut back without having the correct picture.
“We must remember that technology has also moved on – with a new product currently being developed to reduce methane emissions produced in slatted sheds by up to 50% by one company in Galway.
“It appears now that Martin and Varadkar are pandering to a green agenda which will cripple this country at a time when the same three leaders and their parties have brought in incremental increases to the carbon tax in the coming years.
“For the farming community, the price of agricultural diesel last year stood at 35-40c per litre. We are currently heading for 70c per litre, with another carbon tax increase on the way in May.
“We also see the prices of raw materials for construction, such as steel and timber, rising by up to 50%. How can you have a sustainable economy and jobs being creating in those circumstances?
“It appears as if the Ireland we are heading for wants to be the good boys and girls of Europe. We are happy to import peat and biomass from far flung countries – despite the fact we could have produced it here. But as long as we are not producing it, that’s all that matters in the eyes of those pushing the green agenda.
“If the Irish people accept this, then large swathes of the country will be turned into theme parks.
“I would urge all in opposition to row against this fantasy bill which the Green Party have drawn up in a delusional world and that Martin and Varadkar – for the sake of power and not facing the electorate – are swallowing hook, line and sinker,” he concluded.
For further information contact Michael Fitzmaurice at 086-1914565