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Hogan must begin work on legislation now to meet deadline

30 Apr 2012

Friends of the Earth has called on the Government to begin drafting climate legislation immediately in order to meet the deadline of the fourth quarter of this year, as promised in Minister Hogan's Roadmap in January. On the day the public consultation on climate policy and legislation closes, the environmental justice organisation has criticised what it calls "a lost year" and said the Government has run out of excuses to delay.

Commenting on the close of the consultation, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan said
"Minister Hogan's Roadmap promises a draft climate law in the fourth quarter of 2012. To deliver that his officials need to start the drafting process now - they never tired of telling us it can't be rushed in the past"

"All Minister Hogan has delivered on climate change is a lost year. All we have is a departmental review which tells us what we already know - Ireland has to act now to meet its 2020 emissions targets. And a public consultation that tells him what he already knows - people want a strong climate law to ensure Ireland acts in a planned and timely fashion, apart from some big polluters who want Ireland to do as little as possible for as long as possible. The minister can't delay any longer- he has to chose between the public interest and vested interests.

"The EPA's latest projections show Ireland may overshoot its 2020 target as early as 2015. The minister has spent a year delaying action rather than getting to grips with the challenges and opportunities that Ireland faces. Now it's time to deliver on the Government's promises - a strong climate law and real policies to cut emissions."

Friends of the Earth criticised both the need for the consultation and the way it was carried out. It was launched less than a year after the results of the last public consultation on climate legislation were published. In January the Minister promised an "open and inclusive" process. Instead, the Department launched a 63 question online survey which drove all but the most determined geeks and wonks to distraction. The Minister's excuse for delay has been the need to build public acceptance and stakeholder buy-in. We await the results with interest but it seems unlikely either objective was much advanced.

ENDS

Notes
The Friends of the Earth submission to the public consultation on climate policy and legislation is here: http://www.foe.ie/documents/submission-to-2012-public-consultation-on-climate-change-policy-and-legislation/

"Key reasons for and key elements of effective climate legislation" by Oisin Coghlan is here: http://www.foe.ie/documents/oisin-coghlan-friends-of-the-earth-key-reasons-for-and-key-elements-of-effective-climate-legislation-iiea-20120416/

The Departmental summary of the results of the last consultation on climate legislation is here. The concluding paragraph states: "Some of the views expressed were conflicting, with those representing the business and farming sectors in favour of less stringent targets, and the Non Governmental Organisations and the general public in favour of strengthening the targets along with other elements of the Bill."

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