Gormley to draft climate change bill.

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The Irish Times

Harry McGee

THE GOVERNMENT has given its approval for the drafting of a climate change Bill in what is seen as a concession to the Green Party.

At its weekly meeting last Wednesday, the Cabinet gave the green light to Minister for the Environment John Gormley to draft the heads of the legislation.

The Bill was expected to form the core part of the programme for government negotiations in the autumn, talks that were agreed after the disastrous performance of the junior Coalition partner in the local elections.

While the details and targets of the Bill will be subject to negotiation when Mr Gormley presents the draft legislation, a senior source in the Green Party emphasised that the key gain had been the acceptance by Fianna Fáil that there was a need to give climate change full statutory recognition.

"The important point is that the principles and policies will be enshrined in law," the source continued. "Climate change will be integrated into all policy objectives. There will be a statutory obligation on all Government departments to comply with climate change objectives and to provide the necessary mechanisms to deliver on them. This is the icing on the cake for the Greens in Government."

The legislation will be closely linked to a new national climate change strategy due during 2010. Measures proposed in previous Government strategies on climate change from 2000 onwards have only been partially achieved.

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Climate Change