Cllr Erin McGreehan
Fianna Fáil Senator Erin McGreehan has welcomed the Government’s approval of the Climate Action Bill putting Ireland on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050
The Government approved the final text of legislation to set Ireland on the path to net- Zero emissions no later than 2050, and to a 51% reduction in emissions by the end of this decade.
The Bill will also provide the framework for Ireland to meet its international and EU climate commitments and to become a leader rather than a laggard in addressing climate change.
The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill, which is a key commitment in the Programme for Government, will now progress through the Houses of the Oireachtas as priority legislation.
Senator McGreehan commented: “This is a long-awaited bill and I am very glad to see it getting to this point. However, the most important thing is action and I look forward to seeing the changes that this bill will make to our lives.
“One area that does concern me is that we must not leave anyone behind. Costs to a family to become carbon neutral is huge. The lower waged or unwaged must not be disadvantaged by our quest for a sustainable future.
“Carbon neutrality and environmental sustainability must not be only for the well-off creating a situation where we impoverish people.”
As part of the approval of the Climate Action Plan, the Government has also launched the Climate Action Plan Public Consultation.
This process is being used to develop Ireland’s next Climate Action Plan and will support the update of the Climate Action Plan 2019 leading to a wide ranging and more in-depth citizen, community and sectoral discussion.
The aim of this dialogue is to give the public an opportunity to engage constructively with the development of the Climate Action Plan 2021.
There are three stages to this process including a broad online conversation, an in-depth citizen conversation and local level conversations that will be facilitated and hosted by Public Participation Networks (PPNs).
These local level conversations will include engagement with community and voluntary representatives to inform the delivery of a Climate Action Fund to support climate related initiatives at a local level.
In highlighting the importance of the PPNs, Senator McGreehan said: “This consultation process is very important as Climate Change and our response to it in the form of the Climate Action Plan will affect many aspects of life in Ireland, from how we generate energy, how we move from A to B and how we shop.
“I am very glad that the PPNs are involved because they are realising one of their key functions which is bringing valuable on-the-ground, local experience and expertise into national policy-making.”