I confirmed that the Regional Independent TDs of which I am a member will table changes to the Climate Bill that will require Dáil approval of all carbon budgets as well as a separate emission target for agriculture to ensure it does not become the scapegoat for failures in other Government Departments.
“We do not want to undermine the overall objective behind the Climate Bill, but we believe the proposed law is fundamentally flawed in trying to sidestep the people by excluding the requirement of Dáil approval”
“In addition, we are fearful that an unacceptable burden will be placed on agriculture. As currently drafted this bill provides a perverse incentive to other government Departments to do little and force farmers to foot the Climate bill”.
“We accept that in both instances this is not the intention of TDs across all parties and we are hoping for their support for measures which would provide democratic oversight to fair, balanced and achievable targets for each sector of society”.
‘Our amendments do just 3 things:
1. Biogenic methane, that produced from agriculture, would be accounted for separately due to its distinct characteristics as part of the overall carbon cycle. The Climate Change Advisory Council has held a position that there should be a separate target for biogenic methane.
2. Carbon budgets will have to be presented and approved by the Dáil just like a financial budget, the National Planning Framework or like the National Marine Planning Framework was last week. This goal was previously espoused by the Green Party
3. Directions issued by the Minister to Councils must be presented and approved by the Oireachtas, just like planning regulations were last week.
“However, should these amendments not be accepted it would mean that the Minister of the day will have full authority to apply any target he or she wishes to any sector of the economy with far reaching implications for individuals, families and communities right across this country”
“We are taking a responsible approach to what is an important piece of legislation for our planet and our environment, but we fundamentally believe these amendments must be implemented in consultation with people and instead of being dictated”.