[Sinn Fein]

10th January 2003

Morgan calls on Cullen to show real commitment to environmental principles

Sinn Fein TD and Environment spokesperson Arthur Morgan has criticised coalition Environment Minister Martin Cullen for his short sighted comments about Government failures to act on the Kyoto Protocol on climate change . Deputy Morgan said:

Minister Cullen s claim that there is OEno get out of jail card after his and previous governments spent years ignoring international commitments on green houses gases is pathetic. He seems to have forgotten that it is the job of government to govern and it was Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats who spent years ignoring their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We need real commitment to an environmentally sustainable future for Ireland, not the piecemeal approach currently being adopted. Yes we need to investigate the best way to introduce energy taxes, but with this government there is always the fear that it will be the weakest and least well off who end up being penalised not those who are actually creating the greatest amount of emissions.

There is a need for a comprehensive approach to this problem. For example if minister Cullen has suddenly had a conversion to environmental principles will he commit himself to adopting a zero waste strategy for waste management and will he call on Finance minister McCreevy to rescind the decision in the budget to withdraw Tax relief for wind energy producers or raise the targets for generating electricity from renewable resources.

We need a fulltime environment minister with real vision and commitment not a short-term short-sightedness.

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