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Friends of the Earth Welcomes Motion at Green Party Convention

6 Mar 2009

Greens to debate support for a climate law in Wexford this weekend

Friends of the Earth has welcomed the announcement that the Green Party convention this weekend will debate a motion that supports a climate law as the best means of ensuring Ireland meets its greenhouse gas reduction targets. The motion is being proposed by the Limerick branch of the Party.

Oisin Coghlan, Friends of the Earth Director, said:

"We're delighted to see the green party getting serious about a climate law. The Green ministers in government may be working hard to reduce Ireland's emissions but a law is the only thing that will ensure a whole of government approach."

"A law would provide a lasting legal framework that would put regard for climate protection front and centre of this and all future governments. Putting in place firm legislation on climate change is the kind of lasting green legacy this party will want to leave."

Labour moved the first stage of an extensive climate change bill in the Dáil last month. Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to support Labour's bill or introduce their own.

Molly Walsh, Friends of the Earth Policy Officer, said:

"This is a pivotal year for action on climate change. The UN summit on climate change is being held in Copenhagen in December to negotiate a successor to the Kyoto agreement. Putting a law in place will show the kind of commitment that is needed to build trust between developed and developing countries in these climate negotiations."

A climate law was passed in the UK last Autumn after a three year campaign by Friends of the Earth. That campaign is now spread across 17 European countries and the Belgian climate minister recently announced that the government there would be introducing a law.

Notes

1. The full text of motion 28 at the Green Party convention is
"The convention recognises that a climate law would be the best means of ensuring that Ireland meets its greenhouse gas reduction targets. A climate law, which would be binding on each department and minister, will make it much more feasible for government to deliver on Kyoto and the new international treaty due to be signed later this year in Copenhagen."

2. Friends of the Earth will be available for comment at the Green Party convention this year and looks forward to a lively debate on tackling climate change, on and off the conference floor.

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