Sinn Féin accused of "climate denial" in stinging criticism of indecision on emissions 4 months ago

Sinn Féin accused of "climate denial" in stinging criticism of indecision on emissions

An Taisce accused the political party of a "bad faith delay on climate action".

Sinn Féin has been accused of dragging its feet when coming to a position on climate action after revealing that the party has yet to take a position on reductions in emissions in the agricultural sector.

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Darren O'Rourke, the Climate Spokesperson for the party, revealed the lack of a position on the topic following the publishing of Sinn Féin's Energy Poverty Strategy Bill 2022.

Party leaders are set to meet on Tuesday (26 July) to decide on reductions in different sectors of the country in a bid to reach the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 51% by 2030.

The results of the talks will be discussed at Cabinet on Wednesday.

O'Rourke said that the lack of a position was not "cynical", and that the party required more information before committing to a position on the matter.

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The spokesperson confirmed he had a meeting with the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), and shared with them that Sinn Féin had yet to come to a decision as well.

The lack of commitment to a position has been heavily criticised, in particular by An Taisce.

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"If Sinn Fein or Darren O'Rourke need further clarification on the science of climate collapse, our inbox (or that of literally the entire scientific community) is open," the organisation tweeted.

"Bad faith delay on climate action = climate denial."

The heritage group called on Government to commit to a 30% reduction in carbon emissions, saying that there is " there is no room for exceptionalism".

“Given the unprecedented rate of energy poverty in Ireland, foisting such an additional financial burden on any sector, and on society as a whole, so agriculture can get special treatment is inequitable and unjust,” said Dr. Elaine McGoff, Natural Environment Officer for An Taisce.

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“Whatever the outcome, if there is one big winner that likely means a lot of losers in terms of share of the finite budget.”

“Cutting agricultural methane substantially by 2030 is especially critical if we want to limit warming in the short to medium term, but the radical changes that agriculture must undergo will require careful and rapid implementation of a ‘just transition', with clear supports and structures in place to assist farmers with that transition."