Green Party calls for a climate law
10 Mar 2009
"Party now has the mandate, the leverage and the opportunity to deliver on climate change"
Friends of the Earth has welcomed the Green Party vote in favour of introducing a climate change law. Delegates at the party's annual convention in Wexford overwhelmingly adopted a motion calling for the introduction of a climate law as "the best means of ensuring that Ireland meets its greenhouse gas reduction targets". Later this year, party leader John Gormley will represent Ireland at a landmark UN summit to agree a successor to the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012. Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to pass a climate law before Copenhagen to demonstrate that Ireland is serious about doing its fair share to prevent runaway climate change.
Welcoming the vote, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan said:
"The Green Party now has the mandate, the leverage and the opportunity to deliver a lasting legal framework to tackle climate change."
"Green Party leverage in government has increased in recent months with the defection of Fianna Fail backbenchers. Party members have now voted to use that leverage to deliver on one of the party's core principles. The approach of the UN summit in Copenhagen is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate Ireland's commitment to action by introducing a climate change bill in the Oireachtas."
"It was striking that John Gormley did not utter the words climate change in his leader's speech last night. It is re-assuring therefore that party members today called for a climate law that would bind all Ministers in this and all future governments to play their part in reducing Ireland's emissions."
"John Gormley will represent Ireland at the UN summit in Copenhagen to agree a new global deal to prevent runaway climate change. Friends of the Earth's message to Minister Gormley is 'Don't go to Copenhagen without doing your homework'."
Given we have such a poor record on taking action to meet our Kyoto commitment Friends of the Earth believe only a law will restore Ireland's credibility in the talks to agree a successor to Kyoto. 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.
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.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.