Ireland ‘tired of being considered laggards’ on climate action – Ryan

First phase of Climate Action Bill to start next summer says Green Party leader

Eamon Ryan said he expected the Climate Action Bill to move through the Houses of the Oireachtas within weeks. File photograph: Julien Behal photography

Eamon Ryan said he expected the Climate Action Bill to move through the Houses of the Oireachtas within weeks. File photograph: Julien Behal photography

 

Green party leader and Minister for Transport, Climate and Environment Eamon Ryan has said that he expects the Climate Action Bill to pass through the houses of the Oireachtas in a few weeks and for the first phase to commence in the summer.

Ireland was starting to show leadership on the issue, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland. “We are tired of being considered laggards.”

It would take several decades for Ireland to become carbon neutral, but 2021 was the year that the first of the three five-year plans needed to commence, so there was a timeline urgency.

Plans to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in emissions should be a target that the public would embrace enthusiastically, not a “hardship posting”.

Ireland already had energy systems in place across the country that could make a difference, he said.

“We will be up there among the leaders” he said of Thursday’s Earth Day conference.

“This is happening. We are starting to show leadership.”

Mr Ryan said that if the country began falling behind in some sectors, then policies would be implemented to “catch up.”

The future of agriculture was an opportunity to support nature. A lot of the work on the Climate Action Bill had already been done by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change, which had spent a lot of time talking to experts and had come up with 74 recommendations, many of which had been incorporated in the Bill, explained Mr Ryan.

The new action plan needed to be in place this summer, he said.

On the issue of the amount of red tape which farmers faced when changing style of farming, he acknowledged that the regulations needed to change and his colleague Pippa Hackett would deliver a change to regulations and supports to farmers.

The Climate Action Bill was saying to the public service that they needed to be prepared to act fast and collaboratively.

There would be a need to innovate and experiment and it was up to Ireland to show leadership.