Government Climate plan lacks ambition and relies on failed market based solutions
There has been quite a bit of fanfare about the government’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) with some environmental groups even welcoming it. Friends of the Earth called it the “biggest innovation in Irish climate policy in 20 years”.1 While it might contain a couple of good ideas, the CAP can be seen as a response to the growing pressure on the government from the movement on the streets and its concerns about losing votes to the Greens. It followed on from the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Change Report which was hailed by many as a significant breakthrough in that it was seen to generate a consensus across the political spectrum that serious action was needed. It also contained a proposal for an enhanced carbon tax leading to the left and Sinn Féin not signing up to the Report.
CAP is a catalogue of past failures and a completely inadequate response to the Climate Emergency. Three main problems with it are that:
It lacks ambition;
It lets big corporate players and big farmers off the hook;
It does not challenge the profit-driven system which has created the climate crisis and relies, in the main, on the private sector, to deliver;
It is not the state-lead Marshall Plan which many have been calling for to deal with climate change.