The long-awaited Government climate action plan will be launched today. We have, as recent elections and spreading protests show, deceived ourselves and betrayed our children on this crisis for years and years.
Yesterday’s report that we face carbon emission fines of almost €7bn over a decade frames this failure in a way that might finally turn platitudes into action. Accountancy might succeed where politics and science — and living in an echo chamber — have failed.
Any contribution we might make to averting climate collapse is proportionate but we, ourselves alone, are responsible for looming fines.
Government expects we will exceed carbon targets by up to 75m tons by 2030. This attracts fines of €1.7bn once our carbon credits are considered but credits have tripled in price in a year because demand is rising.
That sanction is insignificant compared to the cultural change needed.
We are still arguing about grants to cut an unsustainable beef herd and the daft 65% increase in farm production set by Food Harvest 2025 is unchanged.
In a country with 2.68m vehicles, we have fewer than 1,100 public charge points for electric cars suggesting an electric car is just expensive virtue signalling when it should be a central element of transport policy.
There are myriad examples of our head-in-the-carbon-fuels denial so hard-nosed education programme allied to a far firmer attitude to lobbyists is needed quickly. After all, there’s more than money at stake.