Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action & Environment Jack Chambers TD has called on Minister Bruton to immediately produce the full text of his new climate bill and ensure that it fully matches recommendations from the landmark report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action.

Deputy Chambers’ comments come following the announcement that the Government are publishing the Draft General Scheme of their promised climate amendment bill. However, the details of the bill have not released.

“It is welcome that the Oireachtas may finally have the opportunity to examine and progress this much needed legislation. But it is extremely disappointing that this is being described as a Fine Gael initiative.”

“The reality is that back in March the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action produced detailed recommendations to drastically improve climate governance and introduce a new ‘net zero’ target. The Committee also called for Government to enact necessary amending legislation by year end. Yet Fine Gael subsequently dismissed this timeline and we are now still waiting for clarity on a new long-term target.”

“It is extremely rich for Fine Gael to be calling for this legislation to be prioritised in the new Dáil term when this was an all-party priority recommendation made back in 2019 and when Fine Gael themselves have failed to undertake the necessary measures.”

“No one party should be seeking to own a key climate response that was called for by all parties almost a year ago. All parts of society have a role to play and must be supported, particularly already vulnerable communities and households. Belated announcements and press releases before an election are a far cry from the type of real and inclusive climate action that the public have been demanding for years.”

“In order for the Bill to urgently progressed, it is now important that the Oireachtas has the opportunity to properly scrutinise the full details of the Bill and that it respects recommendations made in the Committee. It is particularly important that the necessary targets are enshrined in legislation; this is a key shortcoming in the existing Act which Fianna Fáil sought to resolve more than two years ago through a dedicated bill.”

“It is also important that the proposed legislation respects our Paris Agreement obligations with full oversight from the Oireachtas, together with an Advisory Council that has a proper range of expertise. Any separate target for methane emissions should not treated as a silver bullet – this must be matched by the immediate delivery of Teagasc’s mitigation roadmap, as well as new supports and programmes to allow farmers to reduce emissions in a sustained and equitable manner.”

“Regarding a future ban on the sale of fossil fuel cars, a 2030 commitment on its own is also insufficient. Most families and businesses will remain reliant on these vehicles for the foreseeable future and any ban must be combined with greater investment in EV charging, public transport and cycling infrastructure” concluded Deputy Chambers