Archive for the 'Climate Change' Category

Government must commit to sustaining ‘green jobs’


There was some good news on the jobs front on Friday with the publication of a report by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) showing that thousands of jobs had been created since 2009 through energy saving schemes. The report demonstrates the success of the initiative Eamon Ryan took in creating these energy saving schemes when he was Minister for Energy.

The report shows that over 6,000 jobs have been created through the Home Energy Savings Scheme and the Small & Medium Enterprise Programme. It demonstrates that the individual energy saving measures have resulted in householders saving an average of €450. Since the schemes were introduced in 2009, over 100,000 homes have upgraded insulation, boilers or heating controls. Almost 1,500 SMEs have received advice on how to reduce their energy costs. The measures have also resulted in significant cuts in carbon emissions where they have been applied. 

The challenge now is to ensure that these successes are carried forward. As the report itself demonstrates, the schemes save much more than they cost. For every €1 spent by SEAI, there is a net €5 benefit to society”.

The Green Party has always argued that changing how we use energy can be good for the economy, the consumer and the environment. This report shows that measures we took in government are creating jobs, saving money and reducing emissions. Now it’s up to the current Government to commit to sustaining this green jobs success story. If I’m elected as the new TD for Dublin West, I will use my position to ensure that energy efficiency programmes are strengthened.

Press Release – Home Energy Saving Scheme will create jobs, fight climate change and save householders money – O’Gorman


Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has warmly welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Energy, Eamon Ryan of a major new Home Energy Saving Scheme.

“The new Home Energy Saving Scheme is a major initiative pursued by the Green Party which will create jobs in the building sector, help Ireland reduce its carbon emissions and save householders up to €700 per year”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“€100 million is being made available by the Minister for Energy in 2009 for people to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes through alterations such as roof or wall insulation, efficient boilers or room control heating systems. The money will be divided into two schemes, one directed at private homes and a second directed at local authority rented accommodation or private homes with low incomes (Warmer Homes Scheme). Grants from the Home Energy Saving Scheme will be available to householders from March, but those interested in availing of them can register with Sustainable Energy Ireland immediately”.

“In the current economic crisis, this new scheme makes real sense. Energy efficiency has a huge potential for our economy, and better insulation will lead to warmer and more comfortable homes, lower gas and electricity bills and many more jobs in our communities. There is also the major benefit that this scheme will allow us take a step to reducing our carbon emissions to meet our commitments under the Kyoto Protocol”.

“I would urge anyone interested in this scheme to look up the Sustainable Energy Website and register their interest in the grants now”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.


Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

High resolution pictures of Roderic are available at:

Editors Note: measures and the fixed grant rate

Roof Insulation: €250
Cavity Wall Insulation: €400
Internal Wall Insulation: €2,500
External Wall Insulation: €4,000
High Efficiency Boiler with Heating Controls Upgrade: €700
Heating Controls Upgrade Only: €500
Building Energy Rating Assessment: €200

Time up for energy inefficient lightbulbs

I was pleased to see that last week, John Gormley launched a consultation paper regarding the introduction of a ban on old, energy inefficient lightbulbs.

From March 2009, there will be a ban on the manufacture of energy inefficient bulbs of 75W or more. From that stage on, only energy-efficient bulbs of that size will be available to buy. I see this as a small but important move towards Ireland reducing its carbon emissions

Not only will these lightbulbs be better for the environment but they will save consumers money in the long run. The best energy efficient bulbs last 10 times longer than traditional bulbs and run on 20% of the electricity.

The full practicalities of the ban are being implemented in cooperation with Irish bulb producers. This ensures that the market will have sufficient time to respond to the new measures and that supplies to consumers will not be disrupted.

n launching this consultation process, Minister Gormley has been able to answer some of the concerns that have sprung up about the introduction of the ban. For example, traditional light bulbs will not be banned on fittings where there is no energy efficient alternative. Further, as regards disposal, most energy efficient lightbulbs, including all CFLs, are covered by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive (WEEE). This means that they can be disposed of at recycling centres free of charge. Used CFLs can also be returned to any outlet that sells them.

I’m also glad to see that the Labour Party is finally rolling in behind the scheme. As I pointed out here, initially Labour were very critical of this proposal, even though it formed part of the Labour Party General Election Manifesto. I’m pleased that they now recognise the benefits of this more by John Gormley.

Press Release – Time to stop flushing money down the toilet – O’Gorman


Time to stop flushing money down the toilet – O’Gorman

Green Party Castleknock Ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has welcomed the announcement that the Minister for Environment, John Gormley, is make the use of water saving, dual flush toilet cisterns compulsory from later in the year.

“I know that after the summer we’ve just have, people don’t really want to hear about saving water. However, I think this is a really beneficial decision from the Minister for the Environment”.

“Currently, more than one third of the drinking water we treat here in Ireland is used to flush toilets. This new regulation will mean that all new toilet cisterns must be supplied with a dual flush. Dual flush toilet cisterns have a mechanism that allows two modes of operation, involving a 6 litres and a 4 litres flush. By contrast, current single flush cisterns generally use between 6 litres and 9 litres per flush”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“It’s estimated that if the dual flush toilets are installed in all new dwellings, it should reduce drinking water consumption by approximately 10% in these dwellings, or by almost 500 million litres of drinking water every year. This is beneficial both from the environmental point of view in saving water, but also as a means of saving money as it is expensive to treat water to ensure it is safe to drink. It’s ridiculous that so much treated drinking water is literally being flushed down the toilet each year and it is great to see that much of this waste will now be avoided”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.


Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

Press Release – Commitment for new planning guidelines on flood prevention welcomed – O’Gorman


Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has welcomed the commitment from the Department of the Environment to swiftly publish planning guidelines on flood prevention.

“I’m pleased to see that the Department of the Environment has been working on developing new planning guidelines to deal with flood prevention already, and will have these ready for publication in September or October. The reality of climate change is that Ireland is going to suffer from more and more extreme weather events, and this fact needs to be taken into account in development”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“The guidelines are being developed in conjunction with the Office of Public Works. They will require local authorities to include flood risk areas in their development plans. This will put local authorities in a better position to deal with emergency situations like we have experienced over the last two weeks”.

O’Gorman also highlighted how overdevelopment could have made a significant contribution to the major flooding in the Dublin area.

“Some of the worst of the flooding in the Dublin area over the last two weeks has occurred in places which have seen major building work over the past years, including along the N3 beside the Blanchardstown Centre and along the Finglas Road towards the Tolka valley. The fact that huge patches of green space have been concreted over and many trees and hedges have been removed means that there is nothing left to soak up rain water, and as such it lodges on roads”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.


Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

Press Release – O’Gorman congratulates St Patricks NS on Carbon Footprint Analysis


Green Party Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman has congratulated the students and teachers of St. Patricks NS, Diswellstown on the way they have worked to reduce the schools carbon emissions. He was speaking at the launch of the schools Carbon Footprint Analysis.

“The Green Schools Committee in St. Patricks have done a fantastic job. Through their actions, they have implemented a three stream recycling system, with bins for organic, recyclable and landfill waste. The students have also been very active in persuading their parents assist them walk or cycle to school, rather than take the car. All these actions have contributed to a very low level of carbon emissions from the school. These kids are really leading the way in fighting climate change. The idea of a carbon audit for schools is really positive as it both allows them identify ways of being more environmentally friendly, but also save money”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“The audit also demonstrates the success of investing in shared facilities like St. Patricks NS, which also acts as a community facility for the Diswellstown area. This is shown by the fact that, even when compared with some of the most environmentally friendly schools in the UK, St. Patricks has a significantly lower rate of carbon emissions”.

“The Minister for Transport has recently announced his intention to allocate up to €2 million each year to assist the transport aspect of the Green Schools Programme. It is really important that we get as many children as possible out of the car and walking and cycling to school. The pupils and parents of St Patricks NS have demonstrated this is possible and I am pleased that the Government has committed to providing the money to support this”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman


Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777


Press Release – Vehicle labelling gives motorists’ choice – O’Gorman


Vehicle labelling gives motorists’ choice – O’Gorman

Green Party Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman, has welcomed the launch by the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley TD, of the new labelling system for cars, indicating their carbon emissions and the amount of Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and Motor Tax that must be paid on them.

“This new system means that motorists continue to have choice. Those that want to drive cars with really high carbon emissions still can, but they have to pay a tax rate that reflects the damage their choice does to the environment. However, those that make the choice to switch to cars with a more environmentally friendly engine will actually end up saving money”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“The new labelling system is similar to the one currently used for large electrical equipment like fridges and washing machines. Vehicles are divided into 7 bands, corresponding to the amount of carbon they emit. These bands are then used to calculate how much VRT or Motor Tax must be paid. For example, motor tax on a car in the most efficient A band will be approximately € 100 each year whereas motor tax rate on the least efficient G band will be € 2,000 per year”.

“Similarly, VRT for a car in the efficient A band will be 14% its open market selling price whereas the VRT for the less efficient G band cars will be 36% the open market selling price”.

“The personal choices each one of us makes in our lives all influence the amount of carbon we emit and as such, our contribution to climate change. By implementing this new system, the Government is showing that it will reward motorists who make the decision to be more green in their choice of car”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.


Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

Press Release – Fuel Poverty must be addressed in budget – O’Gorman


Green Party Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman has called on the Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan and the Minister for Energy, Eamon Ryan, to address the issue of fuel poverty in the upcoming budget. He was speaking in response to a report from Sustainable Energy Ireland which showed that in 2005, over 140,000 homes were at risk of fuel poverty.

“I am calling on the Minister for Finance to take action in the forthcoming budget to deal with the issue of fuel poverty. We have all witnessed the massive increase in fuel prices over recent months and all the indications are that this is going to continue. The report launched by Sustainable Energy Ireland during the week indicates that in 2005, over 140,000 homes were at risk of fuel poverty. Fuel poverty is defined as having to spend more than 10% of disposable income on heating your home to an acceptable level.

“Considering the increase in fuel prices since 2005, I think we can expect that the proportion of homes at risk of fuel poverty will have significantly increased. As such, it is vital that the Minister for Finance examines ways in which various social welfare payments can be used address this issue. No one should ever be left feeling that they cannot afford to heat their home to a comfortable level”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

Roderic O’Gorman also commented on some medium and long term policies designed to deal with difficulties faced by consumers in dealing with the increasing oil and gas prices.

“Since entering into Government a year ago, my party colleagues John Gormley and Eamon Ryan have both been working in their departments to ensure that in the medium to long term, houses are much more energy efficient in Ireland. A number of initiatives have looked at ensuring higher standards in new housing”.

“However, for existing housing stock, Minister Ryan has initiated an insulation programme which will see € 100 million provided in grants to allow people improve the insulation on their houses. Not only will this scheme be good for the environment by cutting carbon emissions, it will also allow people save substantial amounts of money in heating their homes”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.


Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777