People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has welcomed the news that an Icelandic MP is proposing a similar Bill to the Climate Emergency Measures Bill currently been debated in the Dáil. The Bill aims to ban the future licencing for oil and gas exploration. The MP, Andres Ingi Jonsson of the Left-Green Movement has tabled a similar Bill based on Deputy Smith’s measure.
Deputy Smith said this is a prime example of how this country could move from being a laggard to a leader on climate. Something the Taoiseach and other Government ministers have claimed is the Government policy.
She said: “If we passed this Bill into law it will inspire similar moves in other countries, Iceland shows this is the case. We can become the 5th nation to ban fossil fuel exploration but more importantly, we can aid similar bans in many other countries.”
The TD appealed to Fine Gael and the Chair of the Communications and Climate committee to end the procedural wrangle that is currently holding up the progress of the Climate Emergency Measures Bill.
“If the Government want to avoid accusations of hypocrisy over climate they can’t support carbon taxes on one hand and keep supporting fossil fuel exploration and licencing oil and gas companies.”
The TD hopes the logjam will be ended today at the committee meeting today.
The TD also said that the crisis facing the environment on a global scale has ramped up even more with reports that Greenland’s ice is melting even faster than thought with the pace of ice loss having increased fourfold since 2003.
She said: “The revelations in the press today about the rate of Greenland’s ice sheet melting even faster than first thought is extremely concerning for sea levels. This is an extremely worrying development. This is very alarming for coastal communities. We know that the melting ice is due to global temperature increases because of the burning of fossil fuels. We have to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
“If Ireland wants to move from laggards to climate leaders the government should pass my bill and set an example for the rest of the world to follow in banning the issuing of further licences for fossil fuel extraction.”