Green party deputy leader Catherine Martin has said she will return to flying business class in the future “if necessary”, despite the higher carbon footprint generated by such flights.
s Martin, Minister of Media and Tourism, defended her decision to operate four business class flights to destinations including the United Arab Emirates, Argentina and America in the last year.
She argued that these long-haul trips have packed local itineraries and that she represents the Irish tourism industry. Taoiseach Micheál Martin jumped to Ms Martin’s defense at a news conference in Dublin Castle on Tuesday, claiming there had been a “challenge from certain cabinet members”.
When asked for a promise that she would only fly economy class in the future, Ms Martin refused, arguing she could not predict what the next tourism or trade mission would be like.
“I will not commit to one way or another under media pressure. I think it’s important that a minister who travels and represents governments, if it’s a packed itinerary, if it’s in line with politics then you have to take everything into account,” said the Dublin-Rathdown TD.
“It depends on the itinerary, it depends on the trade mission. If it is necessary, then yes. If it’s not needed, then absolutely not. It depends, every mission will be a different decision and that’s all I can tell you. I cannot predict what the next tourism or trade mission will be.”
Ms Martin said she is trying to limit her air travel as much as possible, but as the minister representing the tourism sector, she stressed the importance of promoting the industry abroad.
“Around 75 percent of our tourism income was actually there [pre-pandemic] by international tourists and this has been a sector that has been absolutely devastated in the last two years.
“I was on a tourism trade mission to keep an eye on Ireland reopening as a tourism destination because it is so incredibly important to us as a local industry.
“So the missions I’ve been involved with were designed to rebuild that sector, had very busy schedules and were on the ground from the start when I arrived in a region to the end and that’s why I This tourism industry did missions, but it was a packed itinerary and conformed to long-haul flight policy.
“Of course I fly economy for short-haul flights. But as I said, I’m doing everything I can in my personal capacity to limit my air travel.”
Defending his cabinet mates, Mr Martin said there were arguments for ministers flying in business class, which is responsible for three times more carbon emissions than economy seats, according to a World Bank study.
“Most of these missions are work-based. From here you have to go full speed ahead, in other words you work up to the point where you get on the plane and you will go full speed when you get off the plane,” he said.
When asked if he also flies business class, Green Party spokesman Eamon Ryan told the Irish Independent earlier this week that he did so “on one occasion” and did so “in accordance with public service guidelines”. have done.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/green-party-deputy-leader-catherine-martin-will-fly-business-class-again-if-its-needed-despite-higher-carbon-footprint-41833417.html Greens deputy leader Catherine Martin will return to flying business class “if necessary” despite the higher carbon footprint.