Last chance to amend weak climate bill

Published by Conor Mulvihill on

  • Friends of the Earth, An Taisce, and Stop Climate Chaos lead the charge to amend the Climate Bill before it is too late.
  • Ireland’s Climate Bill is expected to make it through the houses of the Oireachtas before the summer break. 
  • Calls to improve the Climate Change Advisory Council as the first line up is announced. 
This week the long awaited Climate Bill continued its journey through the Dáil. Attempts to strengthen the bill through amendments at Committee Stage failed.
However Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said he has not ruled out amendments being added at the report stage. This will be last chance to improve the bill that many environmental groups have said is too weak.
Stop Climate Chaos, a coalition of civil society and environmental groups, handed in a 5,000 strong petition to the minister on Tuesday calling for a stronger law to prompt Irish action.
They are calling on the minister to:
  • Include clear emission targets for 2050
  • Guarantee the independence of the Climate Change Advisory Council
  • Include the concept of Climate Justice in the Bill
It’s not too late to sign the petition which now has close to 6,500 signatures. Click here to add your name to the call.
Climate Change Advisory Council 
They want the independence of the advisory group enshrined in law. They also take issue with the make up of the council and want assurances that it will be properly resourced. Friends of the Earth have also taken issue with the Climate Change Advisory Council whose members were announced this week.
Oisín Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth Ireland said:

“The independence of the Fiscal Advisory Council is underpinned by law. The same protection is essential for the Climate Advisory Council, especially with ex-officio members who might otherwise be looking over their shoulders to their Boards and stakeholders”.

“The other necessity is proper resources. The Fiscal Advisory Council has four research analysts working for it. There has been no commitment to new staff for the Climate Council. Without adequate staff the Council will be hobbled from the start”.

“There are A LOT of economists on the Council. Six of the seven independent members are economists. The decision not to include a natural scientist is odd. And the fact that only two of the 11 members are women is disappointing, there were excellent women candidates who could have been appointed”.

 

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Conor Mulvihill

Conor is Communications Assistant with the Irish Environmental Network. His background is in science and he has a masters in international relations.