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Climate Bill a 'lame effort' says Christian Aid

26 Feb 2013

Christian Aid today described the Heads of Bill for the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill as a 'lame effort', and accused the government of having fluffed their lines.

The international development agency also expressed concern at how such a weak Bill might be perceived internationally.

'The decision to go without targets is hard to fathom. Minister Hogan conducted extensive consultations over the last two years in preparing for this Bill. 90% of those consulted expressed support for targets for the years 2030 and 2050 to be enshrined in law, but when the moment came, Minister Hogan opted to ignore their view', Sorley McCaughey, Head of Policy and Advocacy at Christian Aid said.

'The countries suffering at the coal face of climate change are already concerned at rich countries' inability to make good on their commitments to generate the finance needed to help them adapt to climate change - trust is being eroded. Introducing a weak Climate Bill in Ireland - a country with one of the highest levels of emissions per capita - will do nothing to help rebuild that trust.

'One would have to wonder how easy it will be for Ireland to talk with moral authority and credibility about climate change internationally when our own Bill is really quite lightweight. We have invested a lot of time and energy at international negotiations arguing for ambitious targets globally, but have failed to see that ambition reflected in our own Bill', Mr McCaughey said.

'The reality is that per capita Ireland is among the world's worst polluters. While we welcome the publication of the Heads of Bill, the absence of specific targets for 2030 and 2050 does not give the impression that we appreciate fully our responsibility to address climate change. A bill without targets is a rather lame effort.'

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. We believe that the underlying causes of poverty were made by, and can be ended by, human action. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.ie

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