An Independent TD has slammed Government policies to cut carbon emissions.
It comes amid a growing debate about plans for new carbon taxes, at a time when fuel costs are rising sharply.
ESRI research suggests any such taxes would push more people into fuel poverty.
Estimates show that a 1% increase in fuel prices for residential heating due to a carbon tax will raise the proportion of people experiencing fuel poverty from 11.5% to 12%.
The ESRI says policies, such as carbon taxation, could actually increase the challenge of eradicating fuel poverty.
"Little is known about the effects of carbon taxation, improvements in energy efficiency, changes in energy consumption, and lump-sum transfers on fuel poverty or poverty in general", it says.
Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae told The Hard Shoulder some of the policies being pursued do not make sense.
"I'm not a climate change denier, but... I live in the real world of dealing with the problems that people have.
"And when I have people in front of me with tears in their eyes wondering how are they going to manage that upsets me.
"When I peel back some of that they have done - 'they' being the people who say 'We have to do this and we have to achieve this target by this date' - look at what they're actually after doing.
"Last week we proved it - we brought in 4,000 tonnes of peat from Latvia to supply our horticultural industry, where we have 17,000 people working.
"And at the same time we're exporting peat out to Germany, and at the same time we can't supply our own peat in this country - we're selling peat briquettes from Germany.
"Talk about shooting ourselves in the foot, we've shot every toe off our feet over the last number of months.
"And it's signed into law and into legislation, and is going to be there for a long time.
"It does not make sense to bring in measures that are so crazy that the alternatives are absolutely ludicrous.
"And I will give you the one example: stop making peat briquettes in Ireland but import them from Germany and sell them here ad lib."
'It's not going to work that way'
Deputy Healy-Rae says his constituents are already struggling as it is.
"The people that I'm working for and that I'm there to speak up for are finding it extremely difficult to manage at present.
"ESB bills are going up, the cost of fuel is going up, the cost of filling an oil tank has more than doubled in the last year, gas prices have gone up."
And he says suggestions that money raised from carbon taxes will help reduce costs for the most vulnerable are untrue.
"It's not going to work that way - and what's going to happen is we're going to have a situation where homeowners, young people with young families, are going to find it extremely hard to live.
"And all they're going to hear for the next number of years, up to 2030, is increases, increases, increases in the cost of living - and all in the efforts of reducing our carbon.
"It is going to be extremely difficult on those people".