23 November 2012: The publication today of the Government’s policy statement on growth and employment in the Green Economy has failed to deliver on the promised Green Economy Plan, according to the Environmental Pillar, a coalition of 26 national environmental NGOs.
The Environmental Pillar is disappointed that the policy statement, Delivering Our Green Potential, is largely just a restatement of existing policies and not the required plan of action for greening the wider economy. This was a commitment under the Action Plan for Jobs 2012.
Greening the entire economy would be a driver for competitiveness, security of supply and sustainable employment.
“The Government has missed an opportunity to show leadership in moving Ireland towards a sustainable economic future, which will protect the environment and the well-being of our citizens,” said Siobhán Egan, speaking on behalf of the Environmental Pillar.
Whilst the policy statement includes many fine aspirations it does not provide the tools needed for change. For example, it fails to give any indication of the need for major tax reform.
“We need a shift away from taxes on employment towards the raising of taxes on the consumption of natural resources and on activities that harm the environment. We are totally dependent on the environment to provide us with clean waters, healthy soils, a stable climate and a thriving diversity of plants and animals. Those who damage the environment should pay the costs rather than the tax payer, and those who are in a position to protect our natural capital should be supported to do so,” Ms Egan continued.
The Environmental Pillar’s recommendations for the 2013 Budget can be found here.