"How long do the Greens put up with the foot-dragging on Climate Bill before walking?"
7 Oct 2010
One year on from new Programme for Government and still no Climate Bill
Friends of the Earth has called on the Government to confirm when the long-delayed Climate Bill will be published. The call comes one year to the week after the renewed Programme for Government contained a commitment to introduce climate change legislation. This was presented at the time as a significant achievement for the Green Party in Government. Despite a Government announcement that the Bill would be passed in 2010, deadline after deadline has since been missed. And a Cabinet Committee meeting called for yesterday to discuss the draft bill was cancelled without explanation.
Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan, said
"There's not much point saving the banks if you let the climate go to hell. Climate change was the reason the Greens went into Government. I hope it won't be the reason they leave, but you have to wonder how long they will put up with whatever foot-dragging is going on behind the scenes. The political deal for a climate law was done a year ago. It's time for the Government to deliver."
Today, the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, of which Friends of the Earth is a founding member, announced that the 84th TD has now signed their Climate Commitment, meaning an absolute majority of Dáil deputies have declared their support for a strong climate law for Ireland. The signatories include 26 Fianna Fail TDs and 5 of the 6 Green deputies.
"A solid majority of Fianna Fáil backbenchers have expressed support for a strong climate law. There has been strong cross-party support for legislation from the Oireachtas Committee, who are going to publish their own Bill next week. Irish Corporate Leaders on Climate Change have come out strongly in favour of it. We know that the bulk of drafting work was done by June: Minister Cuffe said so at the EPA conference. You have to ask who is holding up the Bill's approval and publication?", Mr Coghlan continued.
Friends of the Earth has called for the Programme for Government commitment to be turned into a Climate Bill that sets legally-binding five-year targets for carbon emissions, rules out wasting tax-payers money overseas buying offset permits, and establishes an independent expert commission to advise the Government on targets and the measures required to live within the resulting carbon budget.