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Labour Publishes climate change bill

14 Jan 2009

The Irish Times

Ireland must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by some 80 per cent by 2050 if "catastrophic" climate change is to be averted, the Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said today.

The Taoiseach would be made accountable for Ireland's climate change targets under a bill published today by the party.

The draft legislation sets a national objective of an 80 per cent reduction in emissions by 2050, along with an interim target of 30 per cent by 2020.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, Ireland is committed to remaining 13 per cent above its 1990 emissions levels. But recent figures show we are currently 25.5 per cent above those, Labour said.

Party leader Eamon Gilmore said the targets laid down in the bill were "in line with what the science demands if we are to avert catastrophic climate change".

"Tackling climate change is the biggest challenge of our age. Ireland has made commitments internationally which we have not lived up to, as the record shows."

Mr Gilmore said good intentions were "simply not enough".

"What we require is a robust framework which will translate aspirations into action. It needs to be driven from the very top in a co-ordinated integrated fashion and it needs to be grounded in legislation. That's what our climate change bill is all about."

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