I wrote last week about some updates on the Climate Bill. I mentioned that 2021 should be the year when Ireland finally gets a new, stronger, Climate Law. I was pretty apprehensive about putting those words on paper - fearing I may be tempting fate! Well….unfortunately I was right to be apprehensive. The Government is currently making its final decisions on the Climate Law and some alarm bells are starting to ring . Unless we apply strong pressure now, there’s a risk that the Climate Law could be watered down. So can you take this e-action I shared last week without delay? Asking your TDs to ensure the Government listens to the Joint Committee on Climate Action’s recommendations to strengthen the Climate Bill - instead of doing the opposite and making it weaker.
I’m almost scared to say it out loud - for fear of jinxing things. But here goes anyway….2021 should finally be the year that Ireland gets a new, stronger, Climate Law. I’ve got to admit, when the draft law was published last autumn I was disappointed. But a huge movement rose up, determined to make this law better. The actions of Friends of the Earth supporters - along with countless other activists, groups and organisations - were immense. Whether you took an e-action, called your TD or took part in the TD Lobby in December, your action has made a real difference.
The Oireachtas Committee tasked with scrutinizing the draft Climate Law really felt our pressure! This Committee has now produced a very good report, with a list of recommendations to strengthen the law. Having this report is a powerful tool in our campaigning tool box. Now we just need to use it! It’s crucial that the Government accepts the report’s recommendations - and addresses some remaining weaknesses in the Bill. So could you email your TDs asking them to ensure the Government does this? The Government will make its final decisions on the Climate Law in the next couple of weeks - so there’s no time to lose!
We’ve reached a critical juncture in our campaign for renewable, community owned energy. In a matter of months we could finally have a support scheme for small renewable energy microgenerators. But this scheme could end up being very good - or pretty bad. The difference hangs in our collective hands!
We've been campaigning for this type of scheme for years. And now - finally - the Government has agreed that it’s needed!
There’s no denying it, the last few weeks have been very difficult. We’re living through a period where every glimmer of hope we can find is precious - and to be treasured. With that in mind, we wanted to share the recording of a webinar that we hosted just before Christmas - Hopeful Chats about Climate Change. People left the webinar feeling very hopeful - and it continues to give us hope when we think back about it now! You can watch it back here in your own time.
Dr Cara Augustenborg did a super job of chairing the discussion and spoke from her own experience as a climate scientist, activist and mother.
The Order of Business for the Dail this week indicates a Government motion on Tuesday 15th to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada, including its highly controversial mechanism allowing companies to sue an EU member state when they consider their interests are affected by new policies and regulations adopted by a national government. This is a highly significant step which effectively compromises Irish sovereignty and creates a major vulnerability for a country such as Ireland highly dependent on foreign direct investment. Ireland has been able to attract very high levels of foreign direct investment without conceding to such mechanisms, save under the Energy Charter Treaty. Ironically, it therefore is massively exposed if the further elements of the CETA agreement are ratified and come into effect. Accordingly, I am urging TDs to seek a postponement of the vote to enable time for an informed, considered, debate on the merits and implications of ratification, to be held later in 2021.
The dedication and commitment of constituents from across Ireland made the day!
Over 1000 constituents from across Ireland met their TDs on 7th December during a mass online Lobby for Faster and Fairer Climate Action. They voiced their climate concerns and demanded that loopholes in the 2020 Climate Action Bill be closed.