Historic Opportunity For Dáil To Take Lead On Fighting Climate Change

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The Oireachtas Committee on Communications Climate Action and Environment will today scrutinise the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) (Climate Emergency Measures) Bill 2018 at 3pm.

The Bill brought forward by People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith would ban the issuing of any licences for fossil fuel exploration whilst levels of carbon dioxide is above 350 parts per million (it is currently at 411 parts per million).

The Committee over two sittings today and on the 10th of July will hear testimony from Officials from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Irish Operators Offshore Association, IBEC, Dr Amanda Slevin- Queen’s University and Emeritus Professor John Sweeney.

On July 10 they will hear from Gas Networks Ireland, SEAI, Greg Muttitt (Oil Change International and Paul Allen (Coordinator- Zero Carbon Britain).

The Climate Emergency Measures Bill 2018 provides the Dáil with a historic opportunity for Ireland to take the lead on combatting climate change by instigating a ban on the issuing of licences for fossil fuel drilling.

The TD also said that the Oireachtas should legislate for the Climate Emergency Bill as soon as possible but also introduce a suite of measures to combat Ireland’s emissions such as the retrofitting of homes, proper investment in public transport, cycling and walking infrastructure and major investment in Ireland’s water and recycling infrastructure.

Bríd Smith TD said: “With the Climate Emergency Measures Bill going before the Dáil committee today we have a great chance in this country to position ourselves as leaders in the global movement against climate change. The science is settled and we know that global warming is real and that we have to keep 80% of know fossil fuel resources in the ground.

“The world is facing a very narrow window to reduce our CO2 emissions in order to meet the Paris Treaty and avoid warming above 2 degrees.

“If we do not keep to our responsibility under the Paris Treaty then the earth will continue to hurtle towards environmental catastrophe.

“We have a very short time frame in which to bring our emissions in line with the Paris Climate Treaty. This bill would help in achieving this.

“We have an opportunity to take the lead on a global scale against climate change. The Taoiseach said that Ireland is a laggard in regards to our emissions. This bill would see Ireland take the lead on a global level in the fight to reduce emissions and it would send a message to other countries in the world that we have to keep 80% of known fossil fuel resources in the ground.”