Addressing Climate Change is the way to maintain Economic Growth

May 14, 2007 at 11:37 am | Posted in Statements | Leave a comment

It is of great concern that the critical issue of global warming has not featured prominently in the general election campaign. Given the scale of the challenge global warming presents, it is essential that Ireland charts a clear and coherent strategy now. 

Addressing this issue is not simply about attempting to avert potential disasters and crises. If it is done wisely and intelligently, developing such a strategy would help us to achieve a greatly enhanced quality of life with a renewal of our communities and health. I call for us to follow the example of countries such as Norway, which has committed itself to being carbon neutral by 2050. 

Such radical moves to sustainability not only make social and environmental sense it also makes economic sense. The transition to sustainability will generate enormous economic activity and growth leading to enhanced employment, increased wealth and well-being. With rising fossil fuel costs, ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option for societies and economies. Being strategically positioned in this regard will confer clear social and competitive advantages if we commit ourselves to overhaul our energy, transportation, housing and manufacturing systems away from a reliance on fossil fuel. 

Sustainability makes economic sense. Responsible political leadership demands that it be the central issue at the heart of our planning and political debates.  

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