Councillor James Byrne.
Drogheda Councillor James Byrne (FF) says that the Minister for the Environment, Richard Bruton TD, needs to stand up to vested interests and act now or the Government’s Action Plan on Climate Change will be seen to be just a load of hot (polluted) air.
At a recent meeting of Louth County Council Byrne put forward a motion to extend the smoky coal ban to the entire county - at present it only applies to the greater Drogheda and Dundalk areas.
The response he got from the Council was that it was not a matter for them but rather the responsibility of the Minister for the Environment, Richard Bruton T.D.
“Now they may have thought I was guided by the fact that the Council did introduce the initial ban in 1990 but actually it was advice given by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Leader’s Questions in June during which he stated “there are existing legal provisions that allow cities and counties to pursue the ban if they so wish” Cllr. Byrne said.
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“I have written to his office seeking clarification on this but the only response I got was that it was being passed on to Minister Bruton’s office. If it was a mistake on the Taoiseach’s part he won’t acknowledge it.
“No response has been forthcoming since from Minister Bruton’s office and not a word from the Minister himself on leading us to a nationwide ban on the burning of such fossil fuels if indeed it does fall under his remit.
“If you read the Government’s Action Plan on Climate Change published earlier this summer you would think they were anxious to press on with a reduction in Ireland’s carbon emissions.
“The plan talks of ‘rapidly reducing our reliance on carbon’ with over 180 actions to be taken. This is one action that could be implemented quickly.
“One way or the other Minister needs to stand up to vested interests who have been given sufficient notice and act now or the Government’s latest plan will be seen to be just a load of hot (polluted) air.”