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Greens demand climate change law in new coalition deal

25 May 2009

The Sunday Business Post

by Pat Leahy

The Green Party is to demand the introduction of climate change legislation as its price for continuing in government with Fianna Fáil.

Green ministers will propose the plan for the legislation at talks on a new programme for government in the aftermath of the June 5 local and European elections.

A climate change bill would make government commitments to reduce carbon emissions and other measures to combat global warming legally binding. A similar law has been introduced in Britain.

Commitments in the existing programme for government to reduce carbon emissions are likely to be met, but mainly because of the economic contraction - particularly in the construction industry - rather than because of reduction measures.

The Greens want to enshrine further reductions in law before the economy recovers and the emissions begin to climb again.

The Greens' calls for a renegotiation of the programme for government are thought to be more than just an effort by the party to distance itself from an unpopular Fianna Fáil for the duration of the election campaign.

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