A new climate policy led by Donegal TD Thomas Pringle has been commended by the latest Climate Change Performance Index, which was otherwise an ’embarrassing’ result for Ireland.
The report examined a total of 56 countries and ranked them across a number of criteria to assess, to what extent, their actions were in line with commitments under the Paris Agreement 2015.
Ireland received a blow when it was rated as the worst-performing EU country in the CCPI. The country is listed among the very low performing countries when comes to climate action, ranked alongside Russia, Korea and Saudi Arabia.
The damning result for Ireland came with the comment: “Existing climate mitigation efforts will not enable Ireland to achieve either its EU 2020 or 2030 targets domestically. The long-standing lack of implementation of substantive measures to put the country on a well-below-2°C pathway results in a very low rating for Ireland’s national policy performance.”
“This latest international report is another deeply embarrassing blow to Ireland’s reputation as a good faith actor in terms of doing its fair share in tackling the global climate crisis”, according to John Gibbons, An Taisce’s Climate Change Committee spokesperson.
However, the report acknowledged the passing of Deputy Thomas Pringle’s Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill which has boosted Ireland’s contribution to international climate policy.
The Bill, soon to be signed as an Act by President Higgins, makes Ireland the first country in the world to divest public money from fossil fuel companies.
The Report further acknowledged the Citizens’ Assembly and their proposals being considered by the Climate Action Committee, of which Deputy Pringle is a member.
Speaking on the Report, Deputy Pringle says “the fact that my Bill has been acknowledged by international experts shows how positive ‘new politics’ has become and how proactive opposition and Independent members of the Dáil can be when it comes to legislating for the common good. Despite the Government’s refusal to take climate change seriously, Independent members of the Dáil and the Seanad are persistently stepping in to fill the void and holding the Government to account on this issue. The Government has a lot to thank for this marginal boost in its international profile, otherwise it would have ranked poorly in all categories contained in the Report.
“The Bill’s level of influence on international climate policy is further acknowledged. Not only does the Bill provide a symbolic show of strength by a small country against global fossil fuel companies, it’s also actively influencing climate change policy on an international stage.
“However, it is worth pointing out that as it stands existing climate mitigation efforts will not enable Ireland to achieve either its EU 2020 or 2030 targets domestically and should be a cause for concern for the Taoiseach and his Government. As it stands, Fine Gael are more concerned about expanding the economy to unsustainable levels and letting large scale polluters off the hook for the sake of capitalism. As my Bill has shown at all stages the public are well ahead of politicians – the public should see this Report as both acknowledgement and as encouragement for their campaigning to date,” concludes Pringle.Tags: