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All party commitment on passing climate law is welcome

17 Feb 2011

Robust climate legislation is key element of political reform

Friends of the Earth has welcomed the commitment from all the main political parties to pass climate change legislation in the new Dáil. Fine Gael, Labour and the Green Party have all included climate legislation in their election manifestos. Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin reaffirmed his party's commitment to a climate law in a letter to Friends of the Earth, and Gerry Adams and Joe Higgins have both signed a candidate commitment on climate action promoted by the Stop Climate Chaos coalition. Read what each party has said here.

Commenting, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisín Coghlan, said

"Great strides were made in the last Dáil in building cross-party support for climate legislation and it's good to see that reflected in the commitments parties are making now. In 2007 only the Labour party included a climate law in their manifesto. This time all six main parties have committed in writing to pass legislation in the new Dáil".

Friends of the Earth believes a strong climate law is key to sustainable jobs and prosperity for the 21st century. There could be no clearer signal to investors that Ireland is intent on becoming an attractive location for green enterprise and innovation. It is also a key contribution to effective political reform. It challenges the silo-thinking in Departments that hampers cross-government action on complex problems. It will also strengthen the accountability of the Government to the Oireachtas and the role of independent expertise in policy-making.

"Our recent experience has shown that the Irish political system is not good at assessing risks, identifying future challenges and planning to meet them. A strong climate law is the equivalent of the banking regulation we should have had five or 10 years ago. It will prevent the next bubble, one driven by a belief that pollution can rise forever without leading to a crash. And it's the only way to ensure Irish Governments take timely action to meet our EU and international obligations", Mr Coghlan concluded.

Friends of the Earth is running an online action enabling people to email their local candidates asking them to personally commit to action on climate change.

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