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Governments urged to legislate on targets for energy and climate change - de Brún MEP

22 January, 2008

Speaking as European Commission President Barroso announced the Commission's proposals on energy and climate change, Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has called for the Irish government to have legislation with targets, timeframes and monitoring in order to ensure that commitments are fulfilled. A similar process is needed to ensure targets are met in the North of Ireland the MEP said.

The European Parliament is co-legislator in terms of the proposed legislation and will have the final say on the proposals; discussions in relevant committees are expected to start within several weeks.

From Brussels, the member of the European Parliament's Climate Change committee said:

"Today marks an important step in the fight against Climate Change. I and my fellow MEPs will be working on these proposals in the European Parliament in the coming weeks.

"These measures and proposals announced here today must be viewed as the beginning of a process which will only end when Europe is as carbon neutral as possible, as sustainable as possible and as best prepared for the future, green economy as possible.

"Furthermore, measures in themselves will represent only ink on paper unless all EU governments commit to their full and complete implementation and do not buckle under pressure from the big polluters of our continent.

"In Ireland's case this means a Climate Protection Bill with firm and binding targets for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The monitoring and enforcement of these targets must also be given a legal basis. From experience we have seen how successive Irish governments have neglected environmental sustainability. Ireland must play its part in moving Europe towards an eco-friendly future." ENDS

Note to Editor:

President Barroso will present the package in the European Parliament on Wednesday 23rd January 2008.

Once the proposals are presented, the European Parliament has the powers to amend, adopt or reject them.

The package is a set of legislative proposals on emission cuts, renewable sources, carbon capture and revision of the emission trading scheme. The aim is to comply with the EU objective of reducing greenhouse emissions by 20% in 2020 as compared to 1990.

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