Limerick council asked to build cost of emissions into developments

John Gilligan, Independent. Photo: Cian Reinhardt

A LIMERICK councillor has proposed that fines imposed for failing to meet EU carbon emissions targets should be absorbed in future building developments.

Cllr John Gilligan (Ind) made the call at this week’s meeting of Limerick City and County Council’s the Environmental Special Policy Committee during a briefing on the council’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

Proposing his motion, the City North councillor said; ” one of the problems I have is that there are major issues which need to be addressed and they are not being addressed.”

He said the Climate Change plan  “is probably the most important document we are going to produce. Climate experts believe we are close to the tipping point. David Attenborough is talking about the annihilation of a species – that species is called mankind.

” I’m fired up by the schools’ campaign which says there is no planet B. Any time we try to do something, the reaction is equally baffling. There was a suggestion that just one day a week should be meat free and the farming organisations went ballistic.

“This is what is passing for rational debate in Ireland. Unless we show urgency on this committee no-one else will”.

He added that he did not agree that councillors should be asked to give the Strategy the nod so it can get through by the September 13 deadline.

“One of the daftest proposals is that we pump water from the Shannon all the way to Dublin. The carbon emissions from that will see us paying massive fines, when there are carbon-free solutions.

” And the cost of the current proposal will make the children’s hospital bill look like child’s’ play.”

Senior Executive Officer Dara McGuigan, said that the September 13 deadline is to bring the document back to the full council for approval but in the meantime, it would be put out to public consultation and everyone, including elected members, would be entitled to comment on it.