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19th November 2019 | Climate Change, Energy, Press Releases

Greens Slam Claim That Fracking Ban “Harms Elderly”


The Green Party has today criticised claims made in an Irish Examiner article, which stated that “calls to end fracking put our elderly population in jeopardy”.

Dublin Mid-West by-election candidate Cllr. Peter Kavanagh, a social gerontologist who has been working with older people for more than a decade, hit out at claims that ending fracking would cost lives among the older population.

“The idea that older people are put at risk by climate action, rather than inaction, is patently untrue,” said Cllr. Kavanagh. “Older people are at greater risk of COPD and other respiratory conditions due to air pollution, and are at no increased risk of death in winter when using alternatives to filthy fracked gas.”

The article, by David Nabhan of conservative platform Newsmax, pointed to the deaths of 3,000 older people in Britain every year as evidence that fracked gas is required, but Cllr. Kavanagh hit back at that claim.

“Fuel poverty is a disgrace, and it undoubtedly contributes to needless deaths every year, but it is not solved by allowing fracking, or the importation of fracked gas from abroad. A just transition to a carbon-neutral society involves everyone, with no generation left behind. Handing tax breaks and fat contracts to the fossil fuel industry only exacerbates a situation whereby older people struggle to heat their homes in winter.
“During the local elections in May, I was surprised at how many older people were considering voting Green. Many of them were making this decision for their children or grandchildren, but they also knew that business as usual would leave them as the most vulnerable in society.”