Call for controls on fossil fuel lobbyists rejected by Green Minister - Senator Lynn Boylan
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Justice, Senator Lynn Boylan, recently sought to amend the Regulation of Lobbying Bill 2022 to include provisions to control lobbying by fossil fuel industry, similar to the restrictions on the tobacco industry.
Green Party Minister Ossian Smyth rejected this call.
Senator Boylan said:
“It’s extremely disappointing that a Green Party Minister has not supported my amendment to the Regulation of Lobbying Act to curb the power of fossil fuel.
“It's high time we address the undue influence of the fossil fuel industry, which has for decades lobbied to deny science, delay, weaken, and sabotage climate action, despite knowing their business heats the planet and destroys lives.
“The amendment would introduce a Code of Conduct for fossil fuel lobbyists and designated public officials, with a view to promoting climate policy development and implementation in the public interest, like the way tobacco lobbying is controlled.
“The Code of Conduct would include provisions such as limiting interactions between designated public officials and fossil fuel lobbyists, excluding fossil fuel lobbyists from public institutions' expert and advisory bodies, and prohibiting designated public officials from participating in fossil fuel companies’ expert and advisory bodies.
“It will also prohibit fossil fuel lobbyists from organising events or exhibitions on state premises, including in Leinster House Complex, and designated public officials from inviting fossil fuel lobbyists to events, exhibitions, or other activities on government premises that are not otherwise open to the public.
“In October last year, Mag Mell – the LNG company – held a meeting for TDs, Senators and their staff in the AV room in Leinster House which was not open to the public.
"They tried to shift the blame for climate change away from fossil fuels onto population growth. The fossil fuel industry simply shouldn’t be granted that level of access to spread such nonsense.
"If my amendment was accepted, that meeting would not be able to go ahead again.
“This Code of Conduct is a necessary step to ensure that our policies are developed and implemented in the best interests of our communities and the planet, not the narrow interests of the fossil fuel industry.”