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19th June 2019 | Climate Change, Energy, Environment, Press Releases

Green MEPs respond to European Commission’s recommendations on Ireland’s draft National Climate and Energy Plan

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Newly elected Irish Green MEPs Ciarán Cuffe and Grace O’Sullivan responded today to the European Commission’s recommendations on Ireland’s draft National Climate and Energy Plan.

Green Party MEP for Ireland South Grace O’Sullivan: “One thing which the Commission’s recommendations highlight is the need for more work on emissions from land, including peatlands. The Commission points out on page six of the working paper that the draft plan only partly explains how the amount of LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry) credits would be achieved. As the Joint Oireachtas Committee recommended, we need a national land use plan to set out how we manage our land to absorb and store carbon and restore biodiversity.”

Green Party MEP for Dublin Ciarán Cuffe: “The Commission draws attention in its working paper to its previous recommendation in the European Semester process highlighting the need to invest in low carbon and energy transition, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and sustainable transport.

“Both the draft NECP and the Climate Action Plan launched this week fail to reorient transport investment to promote public transport. The Citizens’ Assembly recommended that investment prioritise public transport over roads in a 2 to 1 ratio. Earlier this month, the Dáil recommended that the National Development Plan be revised to prioritise public transport. The Commission is repeating its recommendation to prioritise sustainable transport. It is time for the Government to listen to the chorus of advice.”

Green Party MEP for Ireland South Grace O’Sullivan went on to say, “The Commission highlights that the plan is not up to scratch in its handling of the justice aspects of the transition to a low-carbon society. It says the plan should ‘integrate just and fair transition aspects better’ and ‘particularly address the impact of the transition on the populations living in carbon-intensive regions’.

“The Government should take up the advice of the Joint Oireachtas Committee, in line with the Green Party’s Just Transition Bill and establish a Just Transition Commission.”

The European Commission National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) can be read here.