Spectacular U-turn puts Hogan at odds with Gilmore on climate law
3 Nov 2011
Tánaiste reaffirmed Government commitment to law in 2012 just two weeks ago
Today's sudden announcement by Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, that climate legislation is to be long-fingered, is a spectacular U-turn from his previously stated positions. It also puts him at odds with Government policy as restated by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore just two weeks ago, when he said Government would "deliver on climate change legislation in 2012".
Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to clear up this unwelcome uncertainty by stating that the draft climate Bill will be published in early 2012.
Commenting, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisín Coghlan, said
"Has Minister Hogan's spectacular u-turn been agreed by Government? Just two weeks ago Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore reiterated the Government's commitment to deliver climate legislation in 2012. A few months ago Minister Hogan himself was saying he would see the climate law passed in 2012."
"Minister Hogan's action today has introduced huge uncertainty into climate policy just when strong Government direction is needed if Ireland is to make the most of the economic opportunities in building a low-carbon recovery. A robust climate law can be a cornerstone of that recovery and make Ireland a hub for green enterprise and investment."
"What's needed now is for the Government to state that a draft climate Bill will be published in the first quarter of 2012. Phil Hogan himself said today that it would be relatively easy to do that."
"Over 10 years ago the Government developed policies that would have delivered our Kyoto target but in the absence of domestic legislation failed to implement them, relying instead on purchasing offsets and on the side effects of the economic crash. With even more challenging targets in place for 2020 the minister seems determined learn nothing from that failure".
Mr Coghlan concluded.
Listen to a fantastic interview with leading climate scientist, Prof John Sweeney, on Thursday's Drivetime. It starts at the 1hour, 50 minute mark.
Read the Irish Times editorial "Backtracking on climate change".
1. Both Labour and Fine Gael manifestos contained commitments to climate legislation.
2. The Programme for Government states "We will publish a Climate Change Bill which will provide certainty surrounding government policy and provide a clear pathway for emissions reductions, in line with negotiated EU 2020 targets." http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/eng/Publications/Publications_2011/Programme_for_Government_2011.html
3. The climate change bill is at the top of the Dept of Environment section of List C of the Legislative programme. http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/eng/Taoiseach_and_Government/Government_Legislation_Programme/SECTION_C11.html
4. After he was elected Phil Hogan restated his intention to pass a climate change bill http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0323/1224292846983.html
5. Eamon Gilmore reiterated the Government commitment to delivering on climate legislaton earlier this month. http://www.foe.ie/news/2011/10/21/tanaiste-reaffirms-goverment-commitment-to-climate-legislation-in-2012/