Three in five Irish say the energy crisis should take precedence over EU emissions targets

More than half of Irish citizens think EU countries should be allowed to delay meeting the union’s emissions reductions and other environmental targets to deal with the energy crisis, a new poll shows.

A Red C poll of 1,001 Irish adults, conducted in August and March, found that 58 per cent of Irish adults – or three in five – believe the energy crisis is taking precedence over emissions reduction targets.

And an overwhelming majority – 86 percent – are concerned that the cost-of-living crisis is hurting the EU economy.

The survey was commissioned by the EU NGO European Movement Ireland.

Its CEO Noelle O’Connell said: “This is undoubtedly a challenging time for people affected by both the cost of living crisis and the energy crisis. However, we must remember that the climate crisis has not gone away either.

“The European Commission last week put forward three proposals to bring down the cost of electricity for Europeans, including a cap on excess revenue from non-gas power producers, a windfall tax to recoup some of the huge profits energy companies are making , as well as a comprehensive reform of the electricity market.

“These measures are expected to raise up to €140 billion to protect homes and cushion the blow to consumers and businesses in the coming months,” she said.

“Hopefully this will help generate additional support from the Irish public for meeting critical EU environmental targets,” she added.

As the war in Ukraine approaches its seventh month, 65 percent of Irish people supported Ukraine joining the EU, with 62 percent of people agreeing that the EU should continue to allow more countries to join as member states.

Half of the Irish adults surveyed also think that given the current security situation in Europe, Ireland should increase its defense spending.

However, more than a third (34 percent) disagreed.

“While in some European countries such as Finland and Sweden there has been a reshaping of the national debate and policy changes in the areas of defense and security as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, public opinion in Ireland remains mixed,” said Ms O’ Connell.

She said a similar poll conducted in May found that 59 percent of respondents supported increased defense and security spending by EU member states. Three in five Irish say the energy crisis should take precedence over EU emissions targets

Fry Electronics Team

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