Cabinet has today approved the revised Climate Action Bill, proposed legislation that will strengthen Ireland’s response to climate change, according to Cork South West Deputy and Fianna Fáil climate spokesman Christopher O’Sullivan.

The bill was approved by cabinet on Tuesday following months of scrutiny in committee.

Deputy O’Sullivan commented, “The way I see it, this is the important bill to come before the 33rd Dáil. Today is one of the best days for climate action in this country,” said Deputy O’Sullivan, who is also Vice Chair of the Climate Action Committee.

“Compared to the version we had in November; this bill is vastly improved. Key among the changes is that Ireland will not just pursue but will also achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

“A goal of a 51 percent reduction by 2030, one of the most ambitious on the planet, has also been set. The Bill also has provisions for protecting biodiversity. It’s just such an important occasion.”

Deputy O’Sullivan paid homage to the passionate youth voices who reached out with their concerns during the committee phase.

“I’m thinking here about movements like Friday’s for Future and other passionate young voices. This bill is a commitment to them that we are serious about tackling climate change and decreasing greenhouse gasses.

“I really hope this bill goes through the Oireachtas as soon as possible so we can achieve our targets.”

The legislation will pave the way for Ireland’s first carbon budget to be introduced later this year.

Under the legislation all carbon budgets – which include limits on how much carbon can be emitted per sector – are required to be consistent with the Paris climate agreement.

“If you look at it, half the planet is on fire and the other half is under water. Look at the fires and floods in Australia. Texas froze over this winter,” Deputy O’Sullivan added.

“You don’t have to go too far afield to see what’s happening before our eyes. Villages are experiencing floods and costal erosion,” he concluded.

Public consultation about the Bill will run for eight-weeks from today until 18 May.