Climate Action Bill won’t be worth the paper it’s written on warns Environmental Pillar

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Press release from the Environmental Pillar

Climate Action Bill won’t be worth the paper it’s written on warns Environmental Pillar

Insertion of Targets Urged

The Environmental Pillar has welcomed the publication of the heads of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill but has expressed its disappointment that after many months and much to and fro, the Cabinet has published the heads of a Bill with no targets for 2030 and 2050.  The Pillar calls for the inclusion of such targets in the Bill.  The Pillar also calls for provision to be made in the Bill for the inclusion of non- greenhouse gas forcing agents such as black carbon within the scope of climate targets and policy in Ireland.

Michael Ewing, spokesperson for the Environmental Pillar, commented on the lack of targets for 2030 and 2050:

“Without targets the Bill won’t be worth the paper it’s written on.  The reasons for targets in a Climate Change act are two-fold:

“Firstly, emissions targets for the country will provide certainty to businesses that the government’s commitment to a low-carbon economy is firm, and that investing in low-carbon business models makes good business sense. Without certainty, the incentive to move towards investment and clean technology is much reduced. By refusing to include targets in the Bill, the Government is reducing its own influence on business’ decision to move towards a green economy.

“Secondly, the Bill is needed to drive the State’s own decision-making processes. Including targets in the Bill means all Government departments and agencies will be legally obliged to work together towards a national goal. Otherwise, different departments will give it different priorities. Without targets to ensure this concerted effort we will soon be in breach of our EU responsibilities and fail to achieve our EU targets for 2020.”

Speaking in relation to black carbon, Mr. Ewing said:

“The Energy Security and Climate Change Bill 2012, debated in the Dáil only two weeks ago, provided that the scope of climate policy could be widened to include other forcing agents, with a particular eye on black carbon. We are disappointed that the head of this Bill does not allow for such inclusion.  Indeed we are surprised given the EU’s focus on black carbon as an issue at the UNFCCC in Doha in December and Minister Hogan’s welcome commitment to act; given in Brussels only last month. We call for the relevant provisions of the 2012 Bill to be incorporated in this new Bill.”

Ends

Links:
Energy Security and Climate Change Bill 2012 with provision for other forcing agents: http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2012/4512/b4512d.pdf
Speech By Minister Phil Hogan in January 2013 committing to action on black carbon and ground-level ozone: http://www.eu2013.ie/news/news-items/20130108transcriptministerhoganeebconference/
Background information on black carbon, a form of pollution with severe health impacts as well as a cause of climate change: http://www.epa.gov/blackcarbon/

Media Contact
Michael Ewing – 086 867 2153

Notes for Editors
The Environmental Pillar’s submission to the National Climate Policy Development Consultation (April 2012) can be viewed here.

About the Environmental Pillar
The Environmental Pillar works to promote the protection and enhancement of the environment, together with the creation of a viable economy and a just society, without compromising the viability of the planet on which we live for current and future generations of all species and ecosystems. For more information, please see our website

Member Organisations of the Environmental Pillar:
An Taisce, Bat Conservation Ireland, BirdWatch Ireland, CELT (Centre for Environmental Living and Training), CoastWatch, Coomhola Salmon Trust, Crann, ECO-UNESCO, FEASTA, Forest Friends, Friends of the Earth, Global Action Plan (GAP Ireland), Gluaiseacht, Irish Doctors’ Environmental Association (IDEA), Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT), Hedge Laying Association of Ireland, Irish Natural Forestry Foundation (INFF), Irish Peatland Conservation Council, Irish Seal Sanctuary, Irish Seed Savers Association, Irish Whale & Dolphin Group, Sonairte, Sustainable Ireland Cooperative (Cultivate), The Organic Centre, VOICE, Zero Waste Alliance.

Ian CareyClimate Action Bill won’t be worth the paper it’s written on warns Environmental Pillar