1st November 2021

Government response to climate change too timid – say Chambers Ireland ahead of COP 26

Chambers Ireland, the voice of business throughout Ireland, has welcomed the Government’s renewed focus on climate action which accompanies the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference.

Our national efforts have been too timid in the face of the climate change challenges that are before us. Without concerted action, at all levels of government, the carbon-dioxide emission reduction commitments we have set for ourselves as a country will not be met.

Repeated governments have been blind to the risks that are before us and have ignored the potential for our economy and society to be transformed by the green transition.

Speaking this afternoon, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot

“The time for incrementalism has long since passed. Government needs to deliver action on the policy areas that are holding us back.

“Our planning system needs reform. It must be resourced sufficiently so that it can deliver quality decisions fairly. There needs to be expanded capacity to ensure that nationally important projects can be completed on a timescale that will allow for the necessary upgrades of our electrical transmission networks, our transport networks, and our water networks if we are to be able to cope with the challenges that climate change will place on us.

“Planning system reform is also needed if we are to limit the impact we are having on our environment. The ambition of our National Development Plan needs to be accompanied by capacity building within the appropriate departments and agencies.

“Progress must be made on offshore renewable energy legislation, we have some of the best wind energy resources available on the globe, but our legal regime is holding us back.

“There has been far too little action across successive Governments. The Finance Bill for 2022 coming before the Dáil this week is a reminder of the gap between sentiment and activity when it comes to taking action on climate.

“We have yet to see a credible response to the challenge of climate change from the State. Unfortunately, the longer the delay before we take action the more disruptive and expensive that response will need to be. Hesitation at the national level is making the challenge of transition greater for everyone.”

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