Seanad debates

Tuesday, 5 March 2024

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Energy Policy

1:00 pm

Photo of Alice-Mary HigginsAlice-Mary Higgins (Independent) | Oireachtas source

We stopped importing coal from Russia because of human rights concerns and international law and we fund the importation of coal from other places that are committing human rights violations. That is gross hypocrisy. As for the idea we are following developments and engaging with all sides, let us be clear we are driving human rights violations and we are funding a company that commits them. We are not dispassionately observing what might be happening. We are putting our money on the side of a fossil fuel company that has been found to breach human rights and is continuing to do so and we are going to do so until it finishes and shuts down. When it shuts down it will not be engaging with communities. It is clear the company's plan is to exit and leave a filthy, destroyed environment and desecrated communities. Then we will go shopping and find whatever other slightly under-the-radar, human-rights-violating place we can buy coal from. That seems to be the policy at the moment. This idea of observing and watching is absolutely unacceptable. I would like to know what the urgent measures we can take to address the human rights violations are rather than hear about the slow scaling-down of human rights violations. Let us stop now.


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