The environment and climate change will be election issues and are up for discussion at the Ógra Fianna Fáil conference.

Addressing the Ógra Fianna Fáil conference in Galway, Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey confirms that there are no plans to change the statutory ban on the generation of electricity by nuclear means in Ireland.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern addressing the conference devoted his entire speech to the topic of the environment saying that Fianna Fáil plans to face up to the challenge of climate change. The Taoiseach said that the government will shortly introduce a new range of mandatory energy efficiency measures for the public sector who will lead the way on climate action. These measures will be part of the new national climate change strategy.

Today I am pleased to announce that Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann are being instructed and have accepted by Martin Cullen to move all the existing fleet to a five per cent biodiesel blend and to plan to achieve a 30 per cent biodiesel blend in all their new buses.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern told the conference that the climate is one of the most important issues facing humanity and the environment needs to be protected and preserved.

All political parties are now focusing on the environment as a key election issue and Bertie Ahern said that Ireland will meet its responsibility in relation to carbon emissions. He says it will do so by not falling for the fools paradise of nuclear energy.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 February 2007. The reporter is Charlie Bird.