Environmental Pillar spokesperson Oisín Coghlan said:
“We are very concerned that Minister O’Dowd is acting as a cheerleader for fossil fuel exploration in the seas around Ireland. It is shocking that this promotion should come on the day when thousands of negotiators meet in Warsaw to negotiate on preventing dangerous climate change. The IPCC pointed out in September in its 5th Assessment Report that the global carbon budget is 1000 billion tonnes of carbon, and by 2011 over 531 billion tonnes of that budget had already been spent. The inescapable conclusion is that humanity has already discovered far more fossil fuels than we can safely extract.”
‘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 uptake of retrofitting insulation into our housing stock is going down rather than up,’ 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 Coghlan said.