Wednesday, 23 September 2020
Ceisteanna - Questions
The same mantra that is being used to oppose one Bill is being used to bring in another Bill. The programme for Government commits to an average seven-year reduction in emissions and will define how five-year carbon budgets will be set. It provides that a net emissions target for 2050 will be set out in law. The longer those provisions are delayed, the harder it is going to be to implement them. I believe there will be a delay in getting this done. It is something I strongly support and want to support. I was the person, as Minister, who brought in the initial climate change legislation, making Ireland only the second country in Europe to do so, and I signed up to the Conference of the Parties, COP, on behalf of this country.
When will it be introduced? Will the Taoiseach inform the House on which date inn the next two weeks it will be brought in and when it will go to Government?
The Taoiseach has already flagged that carbon tax will increase again this year. How will we ensure fuel poverty is dealt with? Will the Government ensure the fuel allowance is increased? Will it commit to increasing the fuel allowance season? Four extra weeks were granted last year. Will the fuel allowance apply from October to April again this year?
What is the position regarding the just transition group that has been set up? On a personal level, I remind the Taoiseach that Littleton, County Tipperary, is not to be forgotten about as part of that process. The plant there had to close its operation as part of this process as well. The midlands are often talked about where peat production is concerned but Littleton, as I am sure the Taoiseach is aware, is another area that was badly affected. I had to fight to have it included in the just transition work.