I welcome the Ceann Comhairle's remarks. He has this party's full support in the work ahead. I thank the Clerk of the Dáil and everyone involved in the work this week. There will be time this afternoon to reflect further on that report.
The report issued overnight by the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, shows that Ireland will exceed its climate change emissions targets by up to 6% for 2018, which is the third year in a row we will have exceeded those targets. We are 5 million tonnes in excess of the target to which we all signed up. The bottom line is that emissions are increasing in several sectors. Our climate response seems to be more spin than substance and is completely at odds with our international requirements. There was a small reduction in output in 2018, but that more to do with a plant being out of commission for repairs than a policy response by the Government. The EPA has again highlighted that we are likely to miss our 2020 climate commitment by well over 90%, which shows how far away we are from the Government's aspirations and spin. That failure, in turn, will result in penalties of hundreds of millions of euro that could be spent elsewhere. The analysis confirms that Ireland has "drifted off target", to quote the Tánaiste's colleague, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Deputy Bruton, during the nine years the Government has been in office. It shows that the Government is wedded to our climate laggard tag. The Tánaiste may point to the new climate plan, but we have yet to see much of the substance behind that plan's aspirations, implementation plans that can be measured, or targets against which agencies and sectors can be held. What is the Tánaiste's response to the EPA report? Has the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment measured where the 2019 figures stand at this stage in the year? What plans does the Government have to reduce the 2019 and 2020 figures in order that we can send a signal that we are taking our responsibilities seriously?