Environment Committee divided on specific targets for emissions reductions by 2050
New unpublished report also backs views of Government that Irish agriculture is a special case
Michael McCarthy: The committee, chaired by the Labour TD, was asked to consider draft proposals for climate change legislation and an accompanying detailed report prepared by the secretariat of the National Economic and Social Council.
A parliamentary committee examining proposals for new climate change legislation is divided on the issue of setting binding targets for emissions reductions for 2050.
In a forthcoming report, the all-party Committee on the Environment makes no recommendations on 2050 targets, notwithstanding that the vast majority of submissions from, and presentations made by, individuals and organisations called for targets by this date of at least 80 per cent below 1990 baseline levels.
The committee, chaired by Labour TD Michael McCarthy, was asked to consider draft proposals for climate change legislation and an accompanying detailed report prepared by the secretariat of the National Economic and Social Council.
The report, which has been seen by The Irish Times, will be published later this month.
The most controversial aspect of the Government proposal was that unlike the previous three efforts at legislation, no set targets were specified for greenhouse gas emissions reductions for 2050, or the intermediate stages in between.
This aspect of the draft plans for the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill attracted a raft of criticism from environmentalists and agencies working in developing countries or for climate justice.
The committee received 45 submissions and heard presentations and evidence from almost 30 individuals and groups earlier this year.
The report refers to the concern expressed by many to the absence of targets and points out that there was no apparent Constitutional impediment to the inclusion of binding targets.
“The absence of a strategic target for 2050 was considered by many witnesses to militate against principles of climate justice, especially when viewed form the developing world,” it states.
The Committee noted that the EU roadmap has not yet been agreed by all member states.