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SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Varadkar 'inspired' by Irish children taking an interest in climate action

Leo Varadkar is "inspired and enthused" by the fact that Irish children are taking an interest in climate action.

The Taoiseach has said he would be supporting young people from across the country who plan to strike next week as part of a global climate-change protest.

Mr Varadkar said the one-day strike by school children which aims to highlight a lack of action by adults on climate issues is "welcome" and he would be listening to what young Irish people have to say on March 15.

"These are young people standing up to adults. They are children, pupils and students telling all the adults in all parties to get our act together and to do more about climate change because it is their future that is in jeopardy. That is why I support what they are doing and why we all must listen to what they are saying," Mr Varadkar told the Dáil.

He added: "I am inspired and enthused by the fact that young people, students and school pupils are taking a real interest in climate action, that they are going to protest and that they are putting it up to all of us in all parties, and to all adults, to do more when it comes to climate action."

However, Mr Varadkar hit out at Paul Murphy and the Solidarity-PBP grouping claiming they are "climate tax deniers and who deny the fact that a carbon tax or climate charge must be part of the solution to climate change".

"We know that a carbon charge alone will not solve climate change but we equally know, and the science tells us, that without it we cannot achieve our objectives. It must be part of the solution," said Mr Varadkar.

But Mr Murphy said using climate change as a "green-washing exercise" to try to introduce more regressive taxation "will not wash" with the public.