Shane Coleman: 'We don't care about global warming as a nation'

A new report says Ireland will fall short of targets to cut 51% of carbon emissions by 2030 to help offset the effects of global warming
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.00 28 May 2024

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Shane Coleman: 'We don't care...

Shane Coleman: 'We don't care about global warming as a nation'

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.00 28 May 2024

Share this article

People in Ireland 'don't care' about global warming, Newstalk Breakfast presenter Shane Coleman has said.

A new report shows the country is on course to fall short of its targets to cut 51% of carbon emissions by 2030, even if most measures from the Climate Action Plan were implemented.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the first two carbon budgets, which aim to support the 51% reduction, are projected to be exceeded by between 17% and 27%.


Sectoral emissions ceilings for 2025 and 2030 also look set to be exceeded in almost all cases including agriculture, electricity, industry and transport.

Shane Coleman said the issue is not seen as important on a national level.

"It's not a surprise, we are a laggard when it comes to addressing this issue," he said.

"I know what people are going to say: 'What's the point in us doing anything if China are opening up coal stations?'

"I think there's too much whataboutery; I think everybody needs to play a part."

'We can't see global warming'

Shane said as people can't see it they don't take it seriously.

"I think the problem is we can't actually see global warming - people are dying already because of global warming on the planet - but we don't see it, it's not there in front of us," he said.

"Whenever there's a poll done [about] what the issues are global warming is well down that list.

"I don't think we care about it as a nation".

Shane said he believes everyone needs to do better.

"Government aren't going to push it through if there's no public support for it - that's the reality.

"I think we all need to do better: the [Re-turn] bottle scheme - I mean look at the palaver over that," he added.

'Implement the policies'

EPA spokesperson Mary Frances Rochford told the show Ireland should focus on existing plans before moving on to new ones.

"What we need initially is to implement the policies and plans that are set out there," she said.

"The fact that those plans are there is a good thing.

"What we have identified is that our projections this year are very similar to the projections that we published in last year's report, in terms of the achievement of the 29% reduction.

"So we need to get into the space where we're moving from having good plans in place and ambition in place to implementing those and realising the benefits of the reduction in those emissions".

'Additional plans'

Ms Rochford said there are still a number of unknowns.

"What the projections were not able to do was to include a number of measures that were set out in the Climate Action Plan that had no associated plans or pathway for implementation," she said.

"They are initiates like diversification in agriculture, for example.

"So before we start thinking about additional plans we need to implement the ones we know about.

"We need to then firm up on the plans that have been indicated but we haven't identified that pathway".

She added that such an approach will get us "significantly further but not to the 51%".

The report says faster implementation of measures is necessary to meet both national and EU targets.

Main image: Air pollution from factory emissions. Image: Robert Evans / Alamy

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Carbon Emissions Carbon Reductions Climate Action Plan EPA Environmental Protection Agency Global Warming Newstalk Breakfast Shane Coleman

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