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Dan Boyle says he'll vote with the Opposition if the Government doesn't agree Climate Bill within two weeks

8 Oct 2010

Senator Dan Boyle

In the Seanad yesterday, Senator Bacik, in the absence of any sign of the Government Climate Bill called for a debate on the Climate Protection Bill she first introduced three years this week. Of most interest is what Dan Boyle said in response, essentially saying next time Senator Bacik calls a vote to force a debate on her legislation he'll vote with her if the Government hasn't agreed its Bill by then, given his "personal frustration on this matter".

Taken from the Oireachtas website Parliamentary Debates page for the Seanad on 7 October 2010.

Senator Ivana Bacik: I ask that the Order of Business be amended to allow a debate on No. 12. It is time, in this the second day of a two-day sitting, that we debated some legislation. There is all party consensus on this Bill. My colleague in the other House, Deputy Liz McManus, pointed out yesterday that a Joint Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security report sets out a text for a climate change Bill. Deputy McManus proposes to put that legislation before the Dáil. There is cross-party agreement on the need for binding commitments in legislation on this and successive Governments to reduce carbon emissions year on year. We are obliged at international level to sign up to this type of binding commitment. I do not understand the reason we cannot have such a debate today or the reason we cannot reach some consensus on this matter at a time when the Government is seeking agreement from the Opposition on all manner of other issues on which it would be most inappropriate for us to agree. The climate protection legislation is something on which we all agree. Let us have that debate today.
Senator Dan Boyle:
...On the call for a debate on the climate change legislation or the Bill proposed by Senator Bacik, it would be in order to have such debate, especially given the Cancun discussions will take place in the coming months. The difficulty is not a political one. There are ongoing meetings of senior officials of various Departments on this legislation. The heads of the Bill have been largely agreed. There is one area of disagreement which appears to relate to who is responsible for what in departmental terms. I am confident this disagreement can be overcome within the next fortnight or so. The difficulty with debating alternative legislation is that not alone do we have Senator Bacik's Bill in this House, the Joint Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security is considering producing a second version of its Bill.

Senator Joe O'Toole: We are frustrated with the lack of progress being made by the Government.

Senator Ivana Bacik: Hear, hear.

An Cathaoirleach: Senator Boyle, without interruption, please.

Senator Donie Cassidy: There is only one Deputy Leader in the House.

Senator Dan Boyle: We have three potential Bills to debate before the Government presents the heads of the legislation it is fully intent on providing. This situation should be resolved within two weeks. If not, I would be prepared to support debate on the alternative legislation.

Senator Dominic Hannigan: Is Senator Boyle saying he will vote with us?

Senator Dan Boyle: I am stating my personal frustration on this matter. People can take that whichever way they want.

Senator Ivana Bacik: An end to oppositional politics.


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