People Before Profit have proposed legislation to ban private jets in Ireland – but some claim this is just ‘luxury politics’.
The party proposed banning private jets from Irish airspace, with the exception of training pilots, for national security, for medical evacuations and for private jets belonging to the State.
People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy said, “the window of opportunity to have a liveable future for humanity is extremely rapidly closing.”
“It's the poorest people in the world who are suffering the consequences in the most harsh way,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.
“We need to tackle the conspicuous consumption of the rich [and] in a way the epitome of social and climate inequality is the use of private jets.”
Deputy Murphy said the average private jet flying in or out of Ireland emits over 10 tonnes of carbon – which is the equivalent of what the average Irish person emits in a year.
“This is absolutely obscene. It's absolutely unnecessary,” he said. “We need to take action.”
Current affairs commentator Keith Mills described the proposed legislation as “luxury politics aimed at rich and successful people [who] often bring jobs into Ireland”.
“This proposal is about Irish airspace... it covers anybody flying from the UK to North America,” he said. “This is going to force these flights around Irish airspace, taking on extra miles extra carbon just because the far left want to turn Ireland into some pure environmental space.”
Mr Mills said the proposal is “only typical token politics” and does not address real issues contributing to climate change.
"Do something useful"
“If People Before Profit really care about the environment, do something useful,” he said. “A scheme for free public transport if you give up your car.”
“Do something about our sewers or bring in a nuclear power plant... replace all the carbon involved in our power creation.”
Deputy Murphy said the richest people in Irish society need to set an example for others.
“People would prefer to be in high quality, frequent electrified public transport, as opposed to sitting in cars,” he said.
“[But] if those at the top aren't seen to take action to have their emissions reduced then you have a real hard time getting other people to buy it.”