Dáil debates

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions

 

2:35 pm

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

-----of measures taken by Government in recent weeks that will make a difference. These will be followed by the publication of the Government's climate plan in the coming weeks. Government wants sensible climate action, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions rather than legislation which pays lip service to doing so. It wants sensible climate action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions but which does not cost us our jobs, make us poorer, or make us less secure. The difficulty we have with the legislation the Deputy is putting forward is that it will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions at all. We all know and acknowledge that we will need to continue using natural gas for decades to come. Some 30% of our energy mix is now renewable and, with major effort, we can get to 70% by 2030. We will, however, still need to use natural gas as part of our energy mix for decades to come. Homes and businesses around the country will still use natural gas as part of their energy mix. The question arises, if we will still have to use natural gas, a proposal which any reasonable person or climate scientist will accept, should we use our own or should we use natural gas imported from shale sands in North America, from the Middle East or from Russia? We believe that, if we have to use it, it makes more sense to use our own on grounds of cost, energy security and the environment-----

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