Longford Leader Columnist Mattie Fox: It would be great if Government seized the nettle of emissions

Mattie Fox

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Mattie Fox

Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox

Ireland is the most dishonest country when it comes to the Paris Accord (the agreement made to counter damage to the environment). It seems as though the government are correct in their assessment that nobody notices much of what’s written or recorded anymore.

Whatever the reason, it’s time we woke up, before damage is irreversible.

We claim to be one of the greatest supporters of the Paris Accord, when in fact we are so out of touch with real politics that we aren’t even bothered by what we say.

Take Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach.

When Donald Trump ended America’s involvement in the Paris Accord, Leo caustically offered the following comment:

“Donald Trump mentioned that he was elected to represent Pittsburgh and not Paris, but whether you’re in Pittsburgh or Paris or Portlaoise, we all breathe the same air and we’re all affected by the same climate.”

It probably sounded good to anyone who knows nothing.

However, anyone who knows anything about climate emissions knows this was an amazingly brazen thing for the Taoiseach of Ireland to declare, when to date, Ireland is the biggest flouter of environmental standards.

We signed up to 20 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 from 2005 levels.

What has Ireland delivered?

Ireland is estimated to deliver, at best, a one per cent reduction by 2020. One per cent!

Farming takes the brunt of the “emission commentators”.

It’s once again proof that rural affairs are attacked at every single opportunity.

Reading the report and figures from the Environmental Protection Agency, at first glance anyone would be led to believe that Agriculture was the biggest offender.

Not so really.

In reality, the actual figures show that Transport with Energy, amount to 41% between them, while Agriculture amounts to 32%.

Separating Energy and Transport is misleading in terms of the return to Ireland’s overall infrastructure.

I know nobody can absorb too many statistics, but I would say that Energy has not been sufficiently looked at, coming in at 22%, while transport is an outrageous statistic at 19%.

Agriculture is blamed for all ills, and most definitely it too can be altered, should have been before now.

But to ignore that Energy & Transport, have cumulatively increased their share of the emissions hugely from 1990 to 2012 while in the same period Agriculture reduced its emissions, is somewhat disingenuous.

Not that any of the above strata of society can hold their heads up as any example. We have a scandalous attitude to carbon emissions in every utterance of politicians.

Nobody takes it seriously in this country. We continue to pay exorbitant amounts to “buy” our way out of bothering to make carbon a prioritised subject.

We only need to hear what Leo Varadkar thinks to know it’s not a priority.

All that said, some media commentators think that cattle can be trained to engage in less defecation, and indeed that perhaps they should be banned from lands altogether. I’ve even heard one genius say that it’s a pity they soil the land!

We must remember that Agriculture is a vital pillar of Irish life and society, and its effects are felt far and wide.

Happiness is also worth something......

In short we desperately need to be educated to the fact that diesel cars are an awful blight on the country.

If everyone drove petrol, it would lessen the carbon emissions immeasurably, overnight.

We also need to be educated to the benefits of proper housing, which is insulated to minimum standards which must be set down, by government.

Having electric or semi electric cars would change the face of Ireland overnight, emissions-wise.

A 2.5 litre Lexus car, for example does 54 miles to the gallon. Driven normally. Drive it frugally and it will return up to 60 mpg.

Be great if Government seized the nettle of emissions.