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Groundswell against more carbon taxes
Fighting talk from Ring
Whether the Minister for
Rural and Community
Development, Michael Ring,
is right or not about people
talking down rural Ireland,
he will not be one of them...
not while he is in Govern-
ment, anyway. He insisted
at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis
that the rural population is
growing and that almost
sixty percent of new jobs
created since 2016 have
been outside of Dublin.
Minister Ring makes a robust case for the idea that rural
Ireland is finally emerging from `The Great Recession'.
But is he right? Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Business,
Enterprise & Innovation, Billy Kelleher TD, quotes CSO
figures showing that 60 per cent of new jobs created in
the past twelve months have been in the greater Dublin
area. The population may be growing in some rural
areas but there is little doubt that Dublin is growing at
a far faster and potentially unsustainable rate, in terms
of housing and infrastructure. Whatever about the con-
tradictory statistics, delivering a quick solution to the
rural broadband plan impasse would do more for rural
Ireland than most of the government's other initiatives,
including the additional 1 billion allocated for the new
Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
Opposition to increasing carbon taxes, as
outlined in last month's IFM editorial,
is growing. Hot on the heels of the
transport sector criticising the
blunt carbon tax approach to
climate change mitigation, and
how it will affect competitiveness
in the transport sector, the
renewable energy sector has
also outlined its opposition to
more carbon taxes. Pat Smith,
Chairman of the Micro Renewable
Energy Federation, has said that
incentivising homes, businesses
and farmers to adopt renewable
technologies is a better way to address
climate action in Ireland. Mr. Smith
said the experience in other countries who
are on top of their game in meeting climate action
targets shows clearly that encouragement and supports
are the way forward: "Millions of tonnes of carbon can
be displaced annually by the Government putting the
necessary supports in place to get farmers
and business communities across
the country to adopt renewable
technologies. Solar PV and battery
storage can supply a significant
proportion of the energy
requirements for thousands of
farms businesses. Livestock
and tillage farmers should be
encouraged to adopt renewable
green gas production on farms
using anaerobic digestion (AD)
technologies. Incentives that
reward farmers and businesses who
install renewable energy systems,
rather than tax increases, are needed."
Rural dwellers will be inordinately hit
by more carbon taxes and we already have
amongst the highest petrol and diesel taxes in Europe.
The fact that the Government has no intention of using
the carbon taxes to encourage the defossilisation of the
economy only adds insult to injury.
Benefit dinner
honours Aidan Connolly
The Annual New York UCD Smurfit benefit dinner
took place last month. This year's honourees were
Aidan Connolly, Chief Innovation officer of Alltech
and Helen Doody of Kepos Capital. Connolly has
worked for Alltech for almost 30 years and recently
announced that he was leaving the company to pursue
other interests. He has extensive
experience having worked
for Alltech in Brazil, France,
Ireland, and the US, and over
the past number of years and
has played an integral role in
Alltech's growth, expansion and
innovation. Aidan has lectured
in Harvard and the UCD Smurfit
school, and ran the Alltech Mini
MBA programme for many years.
Recently he oversaw the Pearse
Lyons accelerator program
which offered a mentoring
service to a number of
fledging companies across
the food and technology