3 December 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Chair of the Oireachtas Environment Committee, Michael McCarthy TD, has welcomed the passing of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015 by both Dáil and Seanad Éireann, with all-party support. The Bill will now be referred to the President for signature and early enactment.
Michael McCarthy TD told TheCork.ie:
“Successive governments down through the years merely toyed with the notion of tackling climate change, but we are the first to actually legislate on it.
Despite the fact that the issue of Climate Change was, by and large, shouldered off the political map by the economic and fiscal crisis, the Labour Party did not ignore the reality of Climate Change. We fought for its inclusion in the Programme for Government and now we have passed the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015.
This legislation clearly demonstrates that we are committed to playing our part in tackling climate change and ensuring that Ireland plays its role internationally in terms of climate justice.
This legislation represents the culmination of lengthy and wide-ranging consultations on climate legislation over the past couple of years, including extensive consideration by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht. The Committee heard excellent testimony from academics, scientists, employer organisations, environmental groups, farming organisations, and all of the people who have been lobbying around this issue for one reason or another.
The input from the committee was another important milestone in shaping the debate on this legislation, and it helped inform, in a genuine and meaningful fashion, the further development of the heads of the Bill.
When we take the economics out of the last number of years and look at the other issues then, along with the Marriage Equality Referendum, this legislation represents a significant achievement for the Irish Labour Party in Government. As Chair of the Oireachtas Environment Committee I am especially very proud of that.”