23rd March 2021 | Press Releases

Ambitious Climate Bill is a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ for Ireland

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Today [23 March 2021] marks a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for Ireland, according to the Green Party, as Government has approved the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill.

The Bill commits to transitioning to a climate resilient, biodiversity-rich, environmentally sustainable and climate-neutral economy by 2050. The legislation will require all carbon budgets to be in line with the Paris climate agreement and will target a reduction of 51% by 2030, making it one of the most ambitious climate bills in the world.

Brian Leddin TD, Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action and Green Party Spokesperson for Climate Action and Environment, welcomed the Bill:

“The Climate Bill is a once in a lifetime opportunity to change our economy and society for the better. With this Bill we have set ambitious targets for carbon reduction and made Climate Action the law in Ireland. The next stage is the Climate Action Plan, which will give us the roadmap to Net Zero. The Government is launching a public consultation on the plan, so I encourage everyone to join the conversation and have your say on Ireland’s climate future.”

The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill strengthens the role of the Climate Change Advisory Council, enabling them to propose carbon budgets in line with the Paris agreement and other international obligations, which will include all forms of greenhouse gas emissions.

Senator Pauline O’Reilly said:

“The Green Party is driving a scale of ambition that brings Ireland further and faster on emissions reductions than any country has achieved before. Climate Action is one of the reasons people supported the Greens in Government and by being ambitious on these issues, we can build a cleaner greener economy and a better future for our children.”

The Bill was first published in October 2020, before going to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action for Pre-Legislative Scrutiny. The Bill now contains most of the amendments proposed by the Joint Committee and will go into the Oireachtas as priority legislation.

This is a signature piece of Green legislation and a commitment in the Programme for Government. The Bill is the culmination of many years of hard work getting climate onto the political agenda and keeping it there. The Green Party campaigned while in opposition, for a Citizen’s Assembly on climate change and instigated the formation of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action. In government, the Green Party has strongly believed in working with all parties in the Oireachtas to get cross-party consensus. This is an all of government effort, with a strengthened independent climate change advisory council and carbon budgets for all sectors of our economy.