The Rural Independent group of TDs has said it estimates the government’s Climate Action Plan will cost taxpayers €125 billion “in one way or another”.
They have warned the plan will have a “profound impact” on every rural community, whilst claiming that it will do “absolutely nothing” to reduce global GHG emissions.
The TDs also described the costly Climate actions as Fianna Fáil’s and Fine Gael’s “political death warrant” – saying the costs of the plan will be three times that of the bank bailout. This will “ramp up” living costs for every Irish citizen, they say.
Mattie Mc Grath, TD for Tipperary, who is leader of the Rural Independent Group said: “Lofty rhetoric is expected from the Greens. However, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are now selling rural communities down the swanny, just to hold onto power. “
“Ministers, who are insulated from the pain, have today hammered every sector crucial to rural life, including agriculture and transportation, with increased living costs, ending both turf-cutting and rural one-off housing, as part of their plan.”
“Our initial appraisal of the government’s 200-page climate action plan shows it disproportionately targets all rural residents for skyrocketing increases to living costs and removal of ways to earn a living.”
“Warnings by our group around the damaging impact of climate change policies and devolution of power to an unelected quango have now come to pass. This plan outlines a deep reduction in emissions to transportation and agriculture.”
The emissions reduction targets for agriculture, he said, will “extensively eradicate” farms and carry “a significant risk” of damaging the rural economy.
He pointed to KPMG research, which shows that a 30% emission reduction target potentially means a staggering €3.8 billion hit for the rural economy.
“This is primarily due to the current technology no longer being sufficient, the transition unplanned with the only outcome resulting in deep cuts to the national cattle herd.”
“The government has been using slippery language around any potential cut to the national cattle herd, such as claiming a ‘sustainable’ solution would be optimal.”
“The Agriculture Minister has announced that funding under the new CAP 2023-2027 would only fund 40% of the suckler herd. We will not be fooled by such cynical spin.”
“In fact, when asked at a press conference [this week] to clarify potential cuts to the national herd due to the climate action targets, the Taoiseach failed miserably to confirm that no cuts would occur.”
Depury McGrath said the Climate Action Plan also has a “bitter bias” against the common car, given the requirement to shift to electric vehicles.
“This is despite a lack of charging stations, unreliable electricity supply and skyrocketing electric costs, not to mention the high price of these new cars,” he said.
“To add further irony, manufacturing of EVs results in even more emissions than the car will actually reduce in its lifetime, according to research by the Hoover think-tank. Therefore, such logic is completely insane.”