Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice says RTÉ’s climate change coverage is unfairly singling out rural Ireland for criticism as well as highlighting “unrealistic measures” to combat climate change.
“People have to live and work in rural Ireland. It cannot be totally sacrificed for people who live within the boundary of the M50 or other large cities.
“There is plenty of talk about planting, planting and more planting but a lot of plantings are being held up at the moment because of European court rulings and objections by so-called environmentalists.
“Are we going to see rural towns and villages decimated because nobody wants to live in the shadows of countless forests of Sitka Spruce?”
He added: “In the past week, we already have seen how this Government is content to wipe out the midlands by backing the closure of two peat-powered plants at the end of 2020 – in an effort to get a gold star from Europe for their efforts.
“This is despite the fact that Germany has just put a plan in place to phase out over 80 power plants which use black coal over the next 18 years or so.
“If this Government is allowed to continue on its current course, it will transform rural Ireland into a wilderness to act as a carbon sink for the rest of the country.
“People in rural Ireland are fed up of this Government’s lack of action when it comes to losing key employers and services, with little or no effort being made to replace them.
“And then, to top it all off, they are faced with the national broadcaster continuously pointing the finger at rural Ireland when it comes to climate change.
“It is high time that a stop is put to the vilification of rural Ireland and agriculture in this manner,” Fitzmaurice concluded.