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Hogan lays out timeline for climate legislation

6 Apr 2011

Phil hogan must produce climate legislation that Ireland can be proud of.

Other Questions - Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 729 No. 3

17. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when he will introduce climate change legislation; and if he will publish it before the end of 2011. [5816/11]

Deputy Phil Hogan: The programme for Government includes a commitment to publish climate legislation to give certainty and clarity with regard to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to be achieved in line with EU targets. In progressing this commitment, I intend to follow a transparent process which will provide an avenue for engagement for all stakeholders.

My priority in the climate area is, in the first instance, to undertake a review of Ireland's climate-related policies and measures in light of existing and anticipated national greenhouse gas mitigation targets. This process, which I have requested my Department to complete within three months, will underpin the development of future climate policy. My Department will then build on that process by, inter alia, exploring more fully the form and content of legislation that it would be appropriate to put in place to support the overall national effort in the climate area. In this context, I will take account of the work undertaken by the previous Government, which culminated in the publication of the Climate Change Response Bill 2010, although I do not agree with its contents. Given the support of parties on all sides of the House for climate legislation, it would be useful if we were able to move forward on an all-party basis if possible. Accordingly, once the new committee arrangements are in place I will write to the Chair of the relevant committee in this regard.

At this point, taking account of the importance of advancing this issue in an inclusive way, providing a more robust basis for galvanising a broad measure of support, I expect to be in a position to publish a consultation paper on climate legislation early next year, with the heads of a climate Bill following during the year and a final Bill to be published as quickly as possible thereafter.

Deputy Willie O'Dea: I note the Minister's remarks but does he expect the Bill to be published early or late in 2012?

Deputy Phil Hogan: I expect the Bill to be published in 2012. I cannot anticipate whether it will be early or late but I have obligations from the EU environment perspective to have targets put in place, not in prescriptive form, like the previous Government, but in respect of the sectoral policies that must be deployed to meet our Kyoto objectives which we are likely to meet, but equally the 2020 objectives which we are required to meet under the EU agreements to which we have signed up already.

Deputy Willie O'Dea: It will probably be late in 2012.

Deputy Phil Hogan: It will be in 2012.

Written Answers follow Adjournment Debate.

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