To do nothing is not an option, says Stanley on climate change bill
January 31, 2013
Sinn Féin spokesperson on environment, community and local government, Brian Stanley TD has today formally introduced Sinn Féin’s climate change bill in the Dáil.
Deputy Stanley said: “This government gave a commitment to introducing a climate change bill in its Programme for Government, but two years later it has done nothing on the issue. The effects of climate change can be seen globally and felt locally. From floods in our cities and towns to rain sodden fields of corn. To do nothing is not an option.
“The Sinn Féin bill is a redraft of a bill produced by the Climate Change Sub-committee in 2010. This bill was supported by the Fine Gael and Labour parties. There is no reason why, in government, these parties cannot still support this bill.
“This Climate Change bill is comprehensive and can be the cornerstone for Ireland's low carbon, sustainable economic growth. It will give much needed certainty for industry and potential investors, particularly in the development of the green economy
“The bill, if passed, will see key actions being taken. We will see the introduction of five year carbon budgets. This is not a monetary budget but a limit set on the total amount of emissions that are allowed over the five year period. These will assist in the management of Ireland's reduction of carbon emissions. A carbon budget will also hold consecutive governments to account. The Taoiseach will have to present this budget to the Dáil every year and will be open to questioning and scrutiny. This will ensure transparency and accountability.
It also contains a science based target for reduction of emissions. This is a reduction by 2050 of 80% emissions compared to a 1990 baseline.
“It will see the establishment of the Climate Change Commission. This will be independent of government and will prepare an assessment of the potential impact on the state of climate change and it will review on an annual basis the progress made. It will advise An Taoiseach on steps to be taken to meet agreed targets.
If the government’s policy of hear no evil see no evil remains in place it will have serious implications for Ireland and the wider global community. Our bill has the potential to change all that. We need the government to support our bill and stop playing silly politics with such a serious issue.