Coalition agrees Climate Change Bill


The main provisions of the Climate Change Bill, one of the Green Party’s key legislative aims, were agreed by Government yesterday, according to Green leader and Minister for the Environment John Gormley.

He told the Dáil he expected the full text of the Bill to be formally approved by the Cabinet at its meeting next week and to be published shortly afterwards.

Mr Gormley said global transition to a low-carbon future was both essential and inevitable. “Failure to act is not an option for any responsible society,” he said. The Climate Change Bill would allow Ireland to provide political leadership.

He said while he appreciated there will be some who have concerns about the Bill, but he believed they had nothing to fear from such legislation. The Bill “poses absolutely no threat to the sustainable future of agriculture in Ireland,” he added.

Describing the Bill as “innovative and inspirational”, he said highlighted a short-term target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average 2.5 per cent per year by 2020 compared to 2008 emissions.

There will be a medium-term target to reduce emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 and a long-term target of 80 per cent by 2050, both compared to 1990 emissions.

He said a National Mitigation Plan would set out Government policies and measures in relation to mitigation; a National Adaptation plan will set out Government policies and measures in relation to adaptation; an Annual Transition Statement will provide accountability to the Oireachtas in relation to progress towards the transition goal, the targets and implementation of the national mitigation and adaptation plans.

Meanwhile, an expert advisory body will advise ministers and the Government in relation to functions under the Bill, including national mitigation and adaptation plans and annual transition statements.

Obligations will be placed on public bodies in relation to climate mitigation and adaptation.

“Further provisions on a number of issues are being considered by Government with a view to their introduction during the Bill’s passage through the Oireachtas,” he said.