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Gormley's Carbon Budget speech is welcome but where is the Climate Bill

16 Dec 2010

Friends of the Earth has welcomed the strong statement from Minister John Gormley as he introduced the annual Carbon Budget today, but the environmental justice organisation expressed concern that the promised Climate Change Bill has still not been published.

Commenting, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan

"The Minister gave a strong speech today. I hope the Climate Bill will be as strong when it is finally published. And the latest promise to publish the Bill next week simply must be kept for the Government to retain any credibility on this issue."

On the proposed content of the Bill as outlined in the speech, Friends of the Earth, had this to say:

While the proposed reductions between now and 2020 are less than promised in the Programme for Government the emphasis on actually delivering these reductions in Ireland without purchasing offset credits overseas is welcome.

The absence of any legally-binding target between now and 2020 is alarming. Annual legally-binding targets may not be practical, but the final Bill must have legally-binding 5-year targets to be effective. If a Government can serve a five-year term without ever facing a legal target it would render the Bill toothless.

There's no mention of carbon budgets in the minister's description of the Bill. We believe five-year carbon budgets are the most effective way to manage the transition that the Bill is intended to achieve.

Minister Gormley had written to opposition and Government deputies and Friends of the Earth to say the Climate Bill would be published "before the end of the current Dáil session", that is today. Instead we got another, albeit more detailed, IOU. The Minister has simply got to keep his word this time and publish the Bill before Christmas.

Read Minister Gormley's annual Carbon Budget statement.

We've launched a "Fighting Fund" to keep up the pressure to publish and pass the Bill. Read more and make a donation here.


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