13 June 2013: In reaction to a speech that Minister Rabbitte gave to over 70 companies yesterday, where he championed the benefits of further fossil fuel exploration around Ireland’s coasts, Environmental Pillar spokesperson Michael Ewing said:
“We are very concerned that Minister Rabbitte is acting as a cheerleader for fossil fuel exploration in the seas around Ireland. It is ironic that this promotion should come only a day after Fatih Birol, the Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency, told climate negotiators gathered in Bonn that to limit climate change we must not extract two thirds of the fossil fuel reserves which we have already discovered.’
‘It is depressing that this Government’s effort is being put into fossil fuel exploration while our energy efficiency policy is failing and that, due to a reduction in the grant rates, the rate of thermal retrofit of our woeful housing stock is declining rather than accelerating,’ he continued.
‘In line with its Green Economy Strategy, the Government should be focussing on the renewable energy potential of the seas around Ireland, which offer long-term sustainable green jobs,” Mr Ewing said.