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Greens Leader Vows To ‘Eat His Hat’ If Ireland Doesn’t Halt Oil, Gas Exploration

Eamon Ryan

Eamon Ryan, the leader of the Green Party in Ireland, said on Wednesday that he would be discussing climate action with all parties and will ‘eat his hat’ if Ireland doesn’t stop issuing licenses for new oil and gas exploration drilling in its waters within a year.

“I will eat my hat if within a year we have not stopped the issues of new oil and gas explorations,” Ryan said during a speech at the MacGill Summer School in Ireland, as carried by Independent.ie.

According to Ryan, oil and gas exploration would not survive in the program for Irish government negotiations, “no matter who is in it.”

Earlier this year, Ireland declared a climate emergency, with Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton calling climate change the greatest challenge facing mankind.

Bruton was at MacGill today, where a student confronted him with a speech that received a standing ovation. Sixteen-year-old Conal O’Boyle said, as carried by The Journal, “Of course, we have a civic responsibility to recycle and ensure that our towns and villages are litter free, but Mary in Dingle or John in Castlebar can not pull the plug on oil exploration off the west coast.”

It’s up to the government and legislators to implement policies reducing emissions, O’Boyle said, adding that the ruling party in Ireland is “trying to pass the buck onto the everyday citizen of the country, when ultimately, the buck stops with them.”

Related: Reuters: OPEC Cuts Weigh On Arab Oil Producing Economies

Bruton, for his part, tweeted today, “Ireland has not been lacking in ambition, but in delivery. There has been no coherent strategy that would in fact deliver on commitments made. We cannot countenance another such failure. That is why the government’s Climate Action Plan has taken a completely different approach.”

Under the plan, Ireland will have by 2030 five times the amount of renewables in its grid and 33 percent of cars will be either fully electric or hybrids, Bruton said, and added:

“No new car purchased from that year on, will be fuelled by fossils, compared to 98% that are purchased today. All the plastic in your local supermarket will be fully recyclable. Food waste will be halved. 30% of our homes will be fuelled by renewable heat vs 2% today.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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