Fine Gael’s radical climate bill will see you pay more for fuel, more for heat, more for services, more for cars



“This bill seeks to totally ban the sale of fossil fuel cars in Ireland by the year 2030. It also includes the adoption of a five-yearly carbon budgets, which will be legally required regardless of which party is in government.
This means even if the electorate voted out Fine Gael in lieu of another party, carbon budgets would still remain under Irish law. Government departments which fail to meet their climate quotas will be severely punished and will have their funding slashed.”
“The Bill aims to enshrine in law many aspects, such as banning the sale of fossil fuel cars by 2030.”
“The roll out of five-year carbon budgets for each department will also be a legal requirement. If they fail to met their target, the department will have to ‘buy out’ the difference from their financial budget.”
Adoption of five-yearly carbon budgets, it is envisaged, will be a legal requirement from 2021, regardless of government.”
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“The bill also talks about establishing a “Climate Action Council”, which they emphasise will have gender balance on its board. Even the Minister himself has described his own bill as “radical”, and said that this is the new priority for the Dáil term. Bruton claims he is aiming to have the Climate Bill enacted before the upcoming general election, saying “We must put in place a strong framework to ensure every sector, every policy, every decision delivers on the transformation that is required.”
“The Climate Action Council, which will have better gender balance and increased input from Met Éireann, will establish an advisory committee on climate adaptation to ensure the country is adequately prepared for the inevitable effects of global heating.”
“Minister Richard Bruton said that the bill is “radical” and a priority for the new Dáil term.”
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“Meanwhile Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice claims the bill will cripple the rural economy, and said that Minister Bruton is living in a dream world.”
“Commenting on today’s announcement, he said: “We cannot allow this Government to force through legislation which will cripple the rural economy.”
“There is no doubt that the agriculture sector will play its part when it comes to reducing emissions. But the minister has to stop living in a dream world.”
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The Roscommon–Galway TD claimed that the car manufacturer Mazda has noted that long-range batteries would be worse for the environment, when manufacturing and energy consumption is taken into account. He said: “While the minister seems intent on forging ahead with this legislation, he is seemingly ignoring other potential measures.”
“In relation to the ban on the sale of fossil fuel cars by 2030, representatives of Mazda – a well-known car manufacturer – have noted that long-range batteries would be worse for the environment, when manufacturing and energy consumption is taken into account.”
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Similarly, Offaly TD Carol Nolan claims that the logic of this proposal is to eventually ban the use of petrol or diesel farm vehicles. She said: “Is the Minister seriously contemplating asking farmers to charge their combine harvesters on the side of the road?”
Nolan also claimed that the proposal to force everyone to buy electric vehicles is being greeted with disbelief and genuine anger in many parts of the country, but specifically in rural Ireland.”
“Is the Minister seriously contemplating asking farmers to charge their combine harvesters on the side of the road?”
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The Government’s Climate Change Advisory Council recently recommended that we increase carbon tax by 300% over the next 10 years.
“The climate change watchdog has called for carbon tax to be increased from the current €20 to €35 per tonne of carbon dioxide in the upcoming Budget, increasing to €80 per tonne by 2030.”
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By the time this increase is completed, heating your home with oil will cost an additional €207 for a 900-litre refill. A bale of peat briquettes will cost an extra €2.00, the price of a bag of coal will increase by €9.60 and it will add €184 to your annual gas bill. But it doesn’t stop there: the carbon tax on a 60-litre refill will be an additional €13.76 per petrol refill and €15.72 for diesel.
The average price of a new car in the Republic of Ireland is about €20,000, but the cheapest electric cars at the moment have a retail price of around 50 grand. It’s way outside what most Irish people are able to afford.
“So what will it mean when the rates hit €80?
By that stage the carbon tax on a 60-litre refill of petrol will be €13.76, or €15.72 for diesel. As for home heating oil, it will add €207.28 to a 900-litre refill, €2.08 to that bale of peat briquettes, €9.60 to the bag of coal and €184 to your annual gas bill.”
“Unfortunately the cheapest, most popular electric cars at the moment have a retail price of approximately €50,000. You get a €10,000 grant and tax rebate, which brings them to €40,000. The average price of a new car that’s bought in the Republic is around €20,000.”
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Not only this, but AA Ireland has warned that this carbon tax increase will do almost nothing to reduce Ireland’s car usage.
Other critics have pointed out that Ireland’s total contributions to carbon emissions amount for 0.1% of the world total.
“AA Ireland has warned that the increase in carbon tax announced in Budget 2020 will do very little to reduce Ireland’s over-reliance on the private car, criticising the move as little more than a government cash-grab dressed up as a green initiative.”
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Minister Bruton has received severe backlash for floating the controversial idea of introducing a nationwide ban on all smoky fuels, including turf, peat and coal.
“The Government is to ask the public if it wants to ban the burning of all smoky fuels – including turf, peat, wood and coal – as it backs away from a nationwide ban on smoky coal only.”
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Well, under the United Nations’ Paris Agreement, Ireland has committed to massively reducing its CO2 emissions.
the Government is being forced to finalise its long-term climate strategy by the European Union. In fact, Ireland’s National Energy and Climate Plan for the next 10 years will soon be submitted to the EU commission.
“The greatest implications of the Climate Action (Amendment) Bill will lie with the transport, agriculture, housing and energy sectors, which are most responsible for rising Irish CO2 emissions that Ireland committed to reduce under the Paris Agreement.”
“Work is also continuing to finalise the Government’s long-term climate strategy to 2050, required by the EU. The Government has already backed the adoption of a net-zero target at EU level. A National Energy and Climate Plan for the period up to 2030 was supposed to be submitted to the European Commission by the end of 2020 but it will now be submitted “very early in 2020” a spokeswoman for Mr Bruton’s department confirmed.”