Update on our Faster and Fairer Climate Action Campaign
Posted by Oisín Coghlan on July 22, 2021 at 04:44 PM
Ireland has a new Climate Law!
Friends of the Earth has been campaigning for a strong Climate Law for 14 years - and this has been a major focus of our climate work in recent months - with much success! On Friday 16th July Ireland’s new Climate Bill passed its final vote - with all parties in the Seanad supporting it. Just a few weeks earlier the Dáil had passed the Bill by an incredible 129 votes to 10!
It was a landmark moment in Irish climate policy, and one of the biggest victories the environmental movement has had since defeating nuclear power at Carnsore over 40 years ago. And it wouldn’t have happened without the tireless action of Friends of the Earth supporters - who have taken action with us time and time again. Every email or conversation with a TD, every e-action taken, every euro donated, it has all made a difference. Over the last few months we have had to fight very hard to stop the Government watering down the Bill in the face of sustained lobbying by big polluters. We didn’t win every battle, not every line of the Bill is written the way we would write it. But all the core elements we have been campaigning for since 2007 are there and the final Bill is so much stronger than the previous 2015 law.
There’s no doubt about it - the Climate Bill’s passage into law marks the end of a marathon campaign by Friends of the Earth. But it only gets us to the starting line in the race of a lifetime: the sprint to zero pollution. Our work starts now to use the Climate Law to make sure the Government actually adopts and implements the policies and measures we need to eliminate emissions. This starts with the Climate Action Plan the Government is obliged to produce under the new law.
Our work on the Climate Action Plan Consultation
Friends of the Earth produced a detailed submission to the Government’s consultation on its new Climate Action Plan. We put forward detailed policy recommendations across all sectors. And we emphasised the importance of public and stakeholder engagement - calling for more Government resources to be dedicated to public participation and reaching marginalised voices.
Working with the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, we hosted a series of webinars to support people and local groups to make their own submissions to the Climate Action Plan Consultation. We also produced several resources to aid people in making their submissions. Over 3,000 submissions were made!
Agriculture and Food Policy in Ireland
Alongside our work on the Climate Law and the Climate Action Consultation, we have engaged in public and media discussion about agriculture and food policy. We were pleased to be involved in publishing a joint report 'Towards a new agriculture and food policy for Ireland' with several other organisations and coalitions.
EPA Climate Conference
Áine O’Gorman from our Movement Building Circle presented a session at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate conference. She talked about what we have learned from mobilizing people to take action on climate over the last year. You can watch the video from the conference here.