Ireland Dublins down on climate action
It’s Tuesday, June 18, and Ireland has a plan to clean up its climate act.
Ireland announced an ambitious new plan on Monday that aims to slash the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and pave the way for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The centerpiece for the plan, which includes nearly 200 measures, is an annual increase in the country’s carbon tax. It also aims to retrofit 500,000 homes, get 70 percent of its electricity from renewables, eliminate gas- and diesel-fueled cars, and ban single-use plastic.
Ireland still depends on the dirtiest of fossil fuels — peat and coal, so there is no surprise that it’s facing fines of nearly $280 million for failing to meet the European Union’s emission targets. But the new plan lays out a path to hit the E.U.’s 2030 goals. The targets reportedly put Ireland on footing with some of the world’s most ambitious carbon-cutters: Sweden, the U.K., and California.
Leo Varadkar, the country’s taoiseach (translation: prime minister), admitted Ireland has been a laggard, and that it’s past time to catch up. “Climate change is a major threat of life, ” he said in a video about the plan, “so we have to take climate action now.”
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