Speaking at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Culture, Heritage, and The Gaeltacht, Deputy Smyth called for a greater role for local authorities in tackling climate change.
She commented, “In true Fine Gael fashion the government made much of their climate action plan launch. While it is welcome that they have begun to take the climate breakdown seriously, questions remain about the plan.
“The report from the government is only the start of a community wide process. Changes should be included for local authorities and increase their responsibility in terms of climate actions.
“The government should look at dedicated Biodiversity Officers in all Local Authorities. Currently, most Environmental or Heritage Officers do play a role, but it is wide reaching and focus on climate action can understandably be limited.
“We need positive changes, but we need them now. My party colleagues and I believe that when it comes to the need to take immediate climate action and protect future generations, a slow transition could be detrimental not only to this country, but across Europe and around the globe,” concluded Deputy Smyth.