Regional Independents to seek Dail approval for carbon budgets and separate targets for agriculture – Naughten

In Agriculture, Business & Jobs, Energy, Environment, Families, Health, Infrastructure, News, Young People by Denis Naughten

The Regional Independent TDs 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” says Denis Naughten TD.

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.

 

ENDS.

Contact 086 1708800

 

 

Amendments submitted by the Regional Independent TDs for Committee Stage of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021

 

 

Definitions

On page 6 after line 19 to insert the following:

“‘biogenic methane’ means all methane greenhouse gases produced from the agriculture sector”

 

National Climate Objective

 

On page 7, line 35, to delete all words after ‘economy’ to insert the following:

“other than biogenic methane, which shall be accounted for separately due to its distinct characteristics”

 

Approval of climate action strategy

 

On page 11 to delete subsection 9 and replace with the following:

“(9) The Government shall submit the draft of the climate action plan submitted to them under subsection (4) or a national long term climate action strategy submitted to them under subsection (7) for the approval of each House of the Oireachtas before it is published.”

Preparation of carbon budgets

On page 14 in line 3, after the word ‘emissions’ to insert the following:

“other than biogenic methane, which shall be accounted for separately due to its distinct characteristics”

Approval of carbon budget

On page 15, after line 32 to delete subsections (6B) (6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14) and replace with the following:

“ (6) The Government shall submit the draft carbon budget submitted to them under subsection (1)(d) for the approval of each House of the Oireachtas before it is published.

 

(7) This section applies to the first and second carbon budget programmes and to an amendment to a provisional carbon budget in the same manner as it applies to a carbon budget, and a reference in this section to a carbon budget shall, where the context admits, be construed as a reference to the first or second carbon budget programme or to an amendment to a provisional carbon budget, as the case may be.”

 

Sectoral emissions ceiling

 

On page 17, line 14 to delete ‘the Government’ and replace with ‘each House of the Oireachtas’

On page 17, line 28 to delete ‘the Government’ and replace with ‘each House of the Oireachtas’

On page 17 to delete subsections (5) and (9).

 

Revision of carbon budgets

 

On page 18, to delete subsections (7) and (8) and replace with the following:

“(7) The Minister shall, as soon as may be, submit the revision to a carbon budget under subsection (2), (4) or (5) to each House of the Oireachtas for its approval before it is published.”

 

Directions to local authorities

 

On page 26, Line 15, after the word ‘guidelines’ to insert the following:

“following the Approval of each House of the Oireachtas”