Murphy urges Govt to support Environment Bill

Friday 08 February 2013 13.36
The Dáil heard arguments for and against the Energy Security and Climate Change Bill
The Dáil heard arguments for and against the Energy Security and Climate Change Bill

Independent TD Catherine Murphy has urged the Government to support the climate change legislation she brought into the Dáil today.

Ms Murphy said her Energy Security and Climate Change Bill contains targets for reaching Ireland's international obligations on the environment.

She said the minister's sectoral approach with no targets is like setting off an a journey without knowing where you are going.

Ms Murphy said Ireland had put financial burdens on the shoulders of its children and grandchildren, and it should not do the same on the environment.

She said you might be able to negotiate with the ECB, but not with the environment.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said the heads of a climate change Bill would be brought to Government next week.

He said the heads of the Bill would be published along with a National Economic & Social Council secretariat policy analysis that has been carried out.

Mr Hogan said that he would not be supporting Ms Murphy's Bill despite common ground.

The minister said he wanted to assure Ms Murphy that he was not pandering to any sector and significant progress has been made in the last 15 months since the National Climate Policy Review was initiated in 2011.

Fianna Fáil's Brendan Smith said that Government's lack of action in this area reflects an worrying sense of complacency.

Independent TD Finian McGrath said this was an important Bill and that Ireland has to be radical, creative and open to new ideas for the sake of the country's future.

He said that the impact of climate change is being felt on every continent and outlined the need for action from Ireland in this area.

Labour's Tommy Broughan commended Ms Murphy for the Bill and said there was strong, ongoing evidence of climate change.

Sinn Féin's Brian Stanley said it was an important Bill and offers a way forward in an area where no one can dispute the consequences.

He said you did not have to watch David Attenborough documentaries to see the consequences of climate change.

The vote has been scheduled until Tuesday and the Dáil has been adjourned.