Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community & Local Government, Brian Stanley TD, has today claimed that:
“The introduction of a Climate Change Bill will be the test by which Minster Hogan’s commitment to sustainable development will be measured.”
Speaking during the Dáil debate on the Framework for Sustainable Development in Ireland, Stanley said:
“This framework document should guide all government policy. It should not be seen simply as Department of Environment document or an afterthought by other government departments, statutory agencies or public bodies. The introduction of a Climate Change Bill is the cornerstone around which a sustainable future can be built.
It must be a priority for this government to introduce a climate change bill. Unfortunately Minster Hogan’s track record on climate change is very poor. Despite climate change being mentioned five times in this document, the minister continues to flip flop on the issue. So far no heads of bill have been drafted. Climate change continues to be moved down the agenda. The cabinet committee on climate change meets in secret, no minutes, no accountability. While under the previous government the sub-committee on climate change was an all-party committee focused on drafting a climate change bill. In fact minster the draft bill is there. It was produced by the sub-committee on climate change during the last government and your own colleague Simon Coveney was an enthusiastic champion of the bill.
Time is not on our side. The consequences of failing to draft and agree a climate change bill are too serious to simply ignore or put on the back burner. There can be no more arguments, prevarication or stalling. Meanwhile in the northern Assembly work is proceeding with the drafting of a Climate Change bill in line with Westminster’s bill. And minister you know the challenges and consequences to global warming do not stop at borders. Here is an opportunity to approach the issue in a real, all Ireland way.
The government must prioritise drafting and circulating the heads of a climate change bill. That will be the litmus test to see if the government are serious about developing a sustainable future.”