Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle welcomes inclusion of 5 Donegal schools in energy-saving scheme but says more needed to address climate change

 

Thomas Pringle TD – March 29th, 2019

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Independent TD for Donegal Thomas Pringle has today welcomed the announcement that five schools in Donegal will partake in an energy-saving pilot scheme rolled out by the Department of Climate Action but says that more investment is needed so that schools and public buildings can generate renewable energy, not just reduce it.

The pilot scheme will see a total of seventeen schools benefit from the €7 million fund targeting energy use reduction by 33%, test retrofit solutions and improve efficiency.

Speaking on the pilot scheme Deputy Pringle said “I’m delighted to see that five schools in Donegal will receive funding under this pilot project in an effort to reduce energy consumption but I believe if the Minister was serious about addressing climate change more funding should be provided to ensure schools can generate renewable energy to sell on the grid and provide much-needed funding.

“It’s interesting that the Department of Climate Action is funding this scheme because when I went to visit a school in Tipperary that had heat to heat exchangers the Department of Education could not and would not see the benefit of renewable energy generation and the potential of schools selling back energy onto the grid. In terms of infrastructure we are way off course in transitioning schools and public builds to rely on renewable energy sources.

“Schools are important institutions in our communities and have already fostered future leaders as the younger generation begin to take on campaigns calling for greater climate action. Students from schools across Ireland and across the globe have been partaking in climate strikes demanding that Governments act now on climate change.

“This week I hosted a number of students from Inishowen who had organised a climate strike in Lifford a few weeks before and who presented to the Climate Action Committee which I am a member. It was clear to the students that Fine Gael do not have climate action as a priority and are not responding adequately to the threats of climate change.

“While I welcome the announcement today I would urge the Minister to seriously rethink the limited scale this scheme and consider proving funding to transform energy infrastructure in this country that truly reflects the need to transition to a low carbon economy” concludes Pringle.

ENDS

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