Ireland is to become a leader in climate reform as Minister Eamon Ryan and the Green Party introduce one of the world’s most ambitious Climate Action Bills today (21st April) in the Dáil.
Coming ahead of Earth Day and the Leaders’ Summit on Climate hosted by US President Joe Biden, the Bill commits to transitioning Ireland to a climate resilient, biodiversity-rich, environmentally sustainable and climate-neutral economy by 2050.
Green Party leader and Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, who will open the Dáil debate this afternoon and take part in the Leaders’ Summit tomorrow, stated:
“With announcements expected from the US and other countries around the world who are stepping up their climate ambitions, I will be able to say with certainty on behalf of Ireland when I attend tomorrows Leaders’ Summit on Climate that we too share that ambition, and that with this bill we commit to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, and to halving our emissions by 2030. We should be proud that we have reached this moment, and of the many years of effort by many people, including the pioneering work of the Citizens Assembly and the Joint Oireachtas Committee.”
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, while also recognising that any climate transition must centre on protecting the most vulnerable in society and our communities.
Noting the Bill as key moment for the Green Party in Government, Deputy Green Party Leader, Minister Catherine Martin TD added:
“Since its foundation forty years ago, the Green Party, alongside environmental NGOs, campaigners and climate activists, have tirelessly campaigned and advocated for an ambitious and far-reaching response to the climate crisis facing our planet. The Greens entered Government with a mandate from the Irish people to tackle this challenge head on, and to implement legislation that would make Ireland a leader on the world stage in the fight against climate change. The message was clear: We need Climate Action Now.
“This momentum and appetite for system change, not climate change has been steadily building. The urgency of this crisis has united millions of people across the globe. They have marched in their droves to strike for climate, demand change, and to fight for their future. We must deliver emission reductions now, for our children’s future, our planet’s future, for our shared future.”
Brian Leddin TD, Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action and Green Party Spokesperson for Climate Action and Environment, stated:
“With societal transformation, will come unparalleled economic and employment opportunities – in renewable energy, nature conservation, sustainable transport and in retrofitting our homes and schools and hospitals. There will be a profound positive impact on people’s quality of life because climate action policies are public health policies and are socially just policies. Climate action will help rebalance our society as a fairer and healthier one, which treads far more lightly on our land.
“Climate Action is often described as a race against time. The challenge ahead may seem insurmountable, but we are living in a time when change for a better shared future is possible.”
Senator Pauline O’Reilly, also a member of the Committee, added:
“The next stage is the Climate Action Plan, which will give us the roadmap to Net Zero. The Government has launched a public consultation on the plan, so I encourage everyone to join the conversation and have your say on Ireland’s climate future.”
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