The Green Party’s landmark Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021 passed its final stage today and will be signed into law by President Michael D Higgins in the coming weeks. The bill passed through the Seanad following final amendments to strengthen processes for carbon budgeting, making the final bill more robust and transparent.
Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, and Green Party Spokesperson for Climate Action, Brian Leddin TD said;
“This is an historic achievement, not only for the Green Party but for the environmental campaigners across Ireland who worked for decades to get meaningful climate legislation introduced. Now we finally have that legislation, we are ready to immediately start on the hard work to meet our very ambitious climate targets.”
Senator Pauline O’Reilly, also a member of the Climate Action Committee, said;
“The Climate Action Bill paves the way for a brighter future for our children and for the planet. Climate breakdown has been ravaging communities and putting our future in jeopardy. This Bill makes history, putting in law a target of achieving 51% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 and reaching climate neutrality by 2050. The Bill strengthens the Climate Advisory Council and obliges Ireland to act in a way that is consistent with international obligations.
“There will be challenges, but I believe that there are huge opportunities for us to live in a sustainable, cleaner, healthier country. At every step of the way, communities will be involved in making the decisions that affect their lives. We can do this, acting together.”
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. With the bill signed into law, a strengthened independent climate change advisory council can begin developing carbon budgets for all sectors of our economy.
This is a signature piece of Green legislation and delivers on a core 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 upheld its commitment to working with all parties in the Oireachtas to get cross-party consensus on the need for climate action.
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