Summary of reactions to the Government's Climate Action Bill
28 Feb 2013
The Government's Climate Action Bill was published on Tuesday 26th February. Here is a summary of the main reactions.
"The Heads of the Climate Change Bill agreed at Cabinet today represent a gutless reaction to tackling Ireland's greenhouse emissions problem. The lack of targets means that this is a toothless bill."
Professor John Sweeney, President of An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland stated "After procrastinating for over a year by the expedient measure of commissioning the NESC Secretariat (not the full NESC Council) to deliver supportive recommendations, the proposals will completely lack substance or any significant effective steps to address the scale of the issues concerned."
Justin Kilcullen, Director of Trócaire tweeted his reaction "The lack of targets indicates the lack of urgency with which the government treats the climate crisis." "Hogan fiddles while Earth burns. No targets draft climatebill saves political face not planet. Developing world to pay the price".
"Progressio Ireland expresses extreme disappointment with the weak climate bill that has been
published today. A climate Bill without targets? Practically pointless."
Speaking on the lack of a 2050 target Dr. Judith Turbyne, director of Progressio Ireland said, "This lack of a target will result in uncertainty in government policy. The resulting legislation will be too weak to deliver the reduction of emissions at an appropriate level."
"Climate Bill Not Strong Enough to Stop Climate Chaos Affecting Most Vulnerable"
Abjata Khalif from Afri's partner organisation in Kenya (Kenya Pastoralist Journalist Network) also expressed disappointment with the bill, "As a pastoralist, camel herder and activist working in an area in Northern Kenya that is daily enduring the ravages of climate change, I urge the Irish government to introduce and enforce a strong climate change bill with clear targets that will address and tackle climate change and reduce the suffering of vulnerable people.
Stop Climate Chaos
The climate coalition slamed proposed legislation as "too weak to work". "A climate Bill without targets won't provide certainty."
Stop Climate Chaos member Sorley McCaughey from Christian Aid said, "This Bill doesn't have what is needed to be effective. Without a named target for 2050 there isn't certainty surrounding government policy, and the legislation won't deliver a low carbon Ireland. It is simply too weak to work."
Chrisitan Aid labelled the Climate Bill a "lame effort".
Sorley McCaughey, Head of Policy and Advocacy at Christian Aid said "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."
Irish Corporate Leaders on Climate Change
The Corporate Leaders welcomed the publication of an outline climate Bill but expressed disappointment that the draft did not contain a 2050 target for Ireland's emissions.
A spokesperson for the group said "A Climate Bill without a 2050 target will not will bring the clarity and certainty to government policy that business needs to make the long-term investment decisions needed to move to a low-carbon economy."
IBEC, the group that represents Irish business, welcomed the publication by the Department of draft legislation.
Commenting on the Heads of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill, and on an associated report from the National Economic and Social Council*, IBEC Head of Energy and Environment Policy Dr Neil Walker said: "The Irish business community broadly agrees that any national climate legislation should focus on how best to achieve our existing and future EU-mandated targets. This reflects the reality that the EU has for some time been the principal forum for negotiation of legally binding Member State targets."
IFA President John Bryan has described the legislation on climate change announced by the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan as a 'realistic set of proposals that can allow the agri-food sector to achieve the targets set down in Food Harvest 2020'.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said today: "After two years of drift on climate policy, we have ended up with the worst of both worlds."
Friends of the Earth
Oisín Coghlan, Friends of the Earth Director, commented:
"A climate Bill with no targets is like a compass without a needle. It doesn't show you the way. "We cannot support a climate Bill with no targets. It fails the most basic test. It is too weak to deliver the low-carbon Ireland it promises."