Parliamentary Question for the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government (Phil Hogan TD)

For WRITTEN ANSWER on the 26th June 2014

To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an update on the climate action and low-carbon development Bill; if the Bill will be in line with the recommendations in the report by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht, published in November 2013; if it will reflect the principles of climate justice; if the Bill will include a long-term objective for low-carbon development; the measures there will be to ensure the independence of the expert advisory body; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Answer:

The General Scheme of the Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development Billhas been referred to the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel and the Bill will be published as soon as drafting has been completed. My objective is to introduce the Bill and progress its passage through the Oireachtas as quickly as possible.

Both the Heads of the Bill and the National Policy Position which the legislation will underpin were finalised, having regard to the substantial public consultation which my Department facilitated in 2012, and the second round of consultation facilitated by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht last year. A very broad range of issues was raised in both consultations and I am satisfied that the National Policy Position and the planned legislation reflect where the balance lies at this time in terms of the views across the spectrum of stakeholders and society generally. Both the National Policy Position and Head 4 of the General Scheme of the Bill address the fundamental objective on transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy in the period to 2050.
The General Scheme of the Bill is primarily focused on Ireland’s domestic transition to low-carbon development. In tandem with our commitment to the developing world, a progressive approach to mitigation at a national level is the most effective contribution we can make to the global-scale actions necessary to combat climate change.