Addressing the conference on health reform
Welcoming Gerry 'Ginger' McLaughlin to the Labour team after enjoying footage of his famous try
Yesterday we launched the "But, are you happy ?" campaign and are really trying to modernise the way we're getting our message across. Of course the policy documents and press releases are all still available on the website but maybe they don't excite everyone in the same way!
To see how high tech we've become watch this clip !
and see the campaign website here
On the eve of the conference itself, Labour TDs and new candidates met in the Helix for a talk on climate change by Duncan Stewart. Eamon Gilmore also spoke of Labour's environment polices. Since last September, Labour has been working on a Blueprint for Action on Climate Change. What in practical terms do we need to do, as a country, as a community, and as individuals to significantly reduce carbon emissions? We intend to publish that Blueprint in the near future and to use it as the basis for action on climate by Labour in Government after the General Election.
- We will commit ourselves to new, National targets, as follows
- To meet our existing Kyoto target of 13% + by the due date in 2012.
- To reduce Greenhouse gas emissions to their 1990 level by 2016
- To bring greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below the 1990 level by 2020 and
Targets alone are meaningless, unless we understand what they mean, and are acted upon. I think many people now realise that scale of the climate change problem but there are not enough yet who fully grasp the enormous scale of the response which is required.
Duncan Stewart, myself and Pat chatting before the Friday night opening of the conference
As Eamon explained, to get to the 2020 target (and this is likely to be a mandatory EU target), Ireland will need to cut its Carbon Emissions by 25 million tonnes. But what is 25 million tonnes of Carbon? Take all of the emissions from transport i.e. every car, truck, bus and train in the country - that comes to 12.5 million tonnes - so even if in the morning we could stop every emission from every mode of transport - we would still be only half way to the target!!
To reduce our carbon emissions to the levels which are necessary will require enormous courage, leadership and new thinking from the next Government. It will require the understanding, and the cooperation of individuals, and especially of those who are active in the economy.