C: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) https://bit.ly/3Rmy5ba

Leinster House staff feel the chill of Government’s climate policy

Heating in Leinster House will not be switched on as planned because of the Government’s climate action targets, the energy crisis, and the national effort to reduce energy consumption, staff have been told. Members of the Parliamentary community were informed of the news by the Facilities Management Unit in an email seen by Gript, which reads:

“We have had several enquiries about heating in the Leinster House complex. The heating is traditionally turned on on 1st October each year. In view of the government’s climate action targets, the energy crisis and the national effort to reduce energy consumption, and also to offset increases in energy costs, the heat will not be turned on until next Monday at the earliest”.

Staff were further told that heating would be ‘actively managed’ by staff:

“It is important that the Oireachtas shows leadership in this relation to the government’s climate action targets and the national effort to reduce consumption. The Facilities Management Unit will actively manage heating throughout the 2022/2023 heating season.” 

In reaction to the development, a member of staff in Ireland’s Parliamentary House had an amusing take on what he jokingly dubbed the ‘stunning and brave’ action from the Facilities Unit at Ireland’s Parliament building to tackle climate change.

The member of staff said: “Most of us thought the frostiness in Leinster House was a result of the bitter Budget atmosphere between the Greens, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael leaking through the vents. 

“It turns out however that we were all being involuntarily conscripted into meeting the 3 Dear Leaders climate ambition, and that our perishing was in the national interest. 

“I did suggest burning copies of the net zero carbon strategy; only to be told the material, much like the contents, was so toxic it probably wouldn’t be the best idea.

“It did cheer my heart to see the tears frozen on Eamon Ryan’s face later in the day when he found out the stunning and brave action that Leinster House Facilities Unit had taken. Like little diamonds on his cheek they were.

‘Take that Xi Jinping‘ he said. ‘Leinster House leads the way’”.

Another member of staff at Parliament Buildings shared their reaction, sharing their dissatisfaction with the news:

Leadership’ means the staff have to freeze…our office is literally freezing.”

Back in November, in an editorial penned by Gript, our editors described the Government’s controversial Climate Action Plan as “a stunning act of national self-harm”.

The measure means that over the next slightly less than a decade, the Irish Government will spend a staggering €150billion on a plan to reduce Irish emissions by half. This compares to the total cost of Ireland’s bank bailout during the 2008 recession which totalled €41.7 billion. Yet, with less than a tenth of the vote, “the Green Party has managed to convince its hapless senior partners to commit to a spending spree three times larger, and with little hope of success”, our editorial pointed out.

“The scale of the proposed spending is astounding, and unprecedented in the history of the state. The goals of the plan are not yet even fixed, with no certainty as to the scale of the emissions reductions to be achieved. Most worryingly, even a cursory glance at the details of this plan reveals it for what can genuinely be described as an outbreak of national insanity,” our editors said in the piece which can be read in full here.

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