Following the emergence of details around the revised Climate Action Bill 2021 today (Tuesday, March 23), one TD has said that people “need to wake-up to the consequences” of the bill.
The bill was passed by cabinet today, which provoked a highly critical response from independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.
“Under this new Climate Action Bill, we are putting ourselves in real danger of getting rid of jobs and turning the lights out,” Fitzmaurice claimed.
In this country at the moment, we are importing biomass from as far away as South Africa. In some data centers, fuel is being brought in by the truckload – from abroad – as the electricity suppliers here cannot guarantee power.
“The fact of the matter is that the Ireland of the future that the ‘dreamers’ are talking about will need 50% more electricity than we do at the moment – with 600,000 homes to be heated and 900,000 electric vehicles to be powered,” the Roscommon-Galway TD argued.
According to Fitzmaurice, Ireland does not have the line capacity or production capacity to meet this requirement.
“We are now gone down the road of jeopardising growing businesses and presenting a real possibility of the lights being turned off as we won’t have enough power,” he warned.
On the issue of agriculture specifically, Fitzmaurice said that farmers will have to cut back on emissions “without having the correct picture”.
“I would challenge any government minister or official to show me where the sequestration values of grass growth cycles and hedgerows are accounted for under our emissions at the moment.
“For the farming community, the price of agricultural diesel last year stood at 35c/L to 40c/L. We are currently heading for 70c/L, with another carbon tax increase on the way in May,” he highlighted.
The deputy continued: “We also see the prices of raw materials for construction, such as steel and timber, rising by up to 50%. How can you have a sustainable economy and jobs being creating in those circumstances?
It appears as if the Ireland we are heading for wants to be the good boys and girls of Europe. We are happy to import peat and biomass from far-flung countries – despite the fact we could have produced it here. But as long as we are not producing it, that’s all that matters [to some].
“If the Irish people accept this, then large swathes of the country will be turned into theme parks. I would urge all in opposition to row against this fantasy bill,” Fitzmaurice concluded.