Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, and member of the Oireachtas Climate Committee, Darren O’Rourke TD, today said it was “extremely disappointing” that Minister Eamon Ryan is refusing to accept any of the opposition amendments to the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021.
Teachta O’Rourke said it was particularly disappointing that the Minister refused to accept those amendments which “aim to improve the very weak definition of just transition in the Bill”.
The Meath East TD said:
“While we welcome the changes made to the Climate Bill on foot of the pre-legislative scrutiny report from the Oireachtas Climate Committee, there remain significant gaps that must be addressed.
“Sinn Féin put forward a number of amendments on a just transition which aim to improve the very weak definition as it currently stands. Others in the opposition did likewise.
“The Sinn Féin amendments sought to define a just transition and just transition principles and to ensure the Government adhered to them when preparing and considering Climate Action Plans, carbon budgets and the national long term climate action strategy. Furthermore, they sought to ensure that Government explain how their proposals and policies are expected to affect different sectors, households, communities and regions and the ways in which the government would support them.
“Despite our amendments being pragmatic, reasonable and based on the approach in other jurisdictions, the Minister outright refused to entertain them at Committee today.
“His dismissive attitude is very disappointing and will not allay fears that the approach of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Greens to climate action will be punitive and hit those who can least afford it hardest.
“Previous policy decisions are testament to this, with the carbon tax for example, being imposed on people with no forethought as to how it will affect the poorest in our society.
“It’s not an optional extra for the transition to a climate neutral economy to be just or fair – it’s an absolute imperative, however the current draft of the Climate Bill does not adequately legislate for this.”