Environmental Pillar deeply disappointed at Hogan's abandonment of climate change targets

Environmental Pillar deeply disappointed at Hogan’s abandonment of climate change targets

Calls on TDs to support Independent Climate Change Bill

11 February 2013: The Environmental Pillar has expressed its great frustration that Minister Hogan plans to bring a toothless Climate Change Bill to the Cabinet tomorrow. According to leaked information in the media today, the Bill will have neither targets nor an independent Climate Change Commission.
Michael Ewing, spokesperson for the Environmental Pillar, commented:

“It seems that this Bill will be of almost no practical value. Without targets or a climate change commission, the Bill won’t be worth the paper it’s written on.

TDs have a choice tomorrow. Catherine Murphy’s Energy Security and Climate Change Bill is before the Dáil for second reading. All TDs committed to real action on climate change should support her Bill.

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.

The presence of a Climate Change Commission is essential to measure progress to a low carbon future, and to provide the public with expert independent information.”

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