Friends of the Earth Welcomes climate bill's first step in the Dáil
5 Feb 2009
"Government should support this bill or introduce its own"
Friends of the Earth has welcomed the announcement that Eamon Gilmore moved the First Stage of the Labour Party's Climate Change Bill in the Dáil today, Thursday 5th February. The extensive bill, running to over 36 sections, would put into law targets for cutting Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. It also makes the Taoiseach responsible for setting the carbon budgets and accountable to the Dail for their implementation.
Friends of the Earth believes that a law is needed to ensure that every government department is committed to tackling climate change and that this and all future governments keep the issue at the heart of policy-making.
Welcoming this first step on the road to the bill becoming law, the organisation's Director, Oisín Coghlan, said:
"A climate change law would be the foundation stone of a low-carbon economy that would provide sustainable 21st century jobs.
"The economic crisis has sent us back top the drawing board. As we redesign the way our economy works must make sure we there is no return to business as usual. Our recovery has to be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable or else the next crash will be a climate crash and there will be no way back from that.
"Friends of the Earth is looking forward to the bill being debated in the Dáil where we expect to see support from the all 93 TDs who have expressed support for such a law by signing the Stop Climate Chaos call to action. The Government has been looking for cross-party support on climate policy. This bill offers the perfect opprotunity to make that rhetoric reality. The Government should support this bill or introduce its own."
2009 is a particularly important year for climate change policy. UN Negotiations to agree a sucessor to the Kyoto Protocol will culminate with a summit in Copenhagen in December. A law is the only thing that will give Ireland credibility at these international talks. After a three year campaign by Friends of the Earth, a climate change law was passed in Britain last year.