Government accused of “cynical attempt at sabotage” of Bill
“Government appeasing fossil fuel lobby rather than taking the radical measures needed to combat climate crisis” says Richard Boyd Barrett TD
People Before Profit held a press conference today condemning government moves to yet again try to sabotage and block the Climate Emergency Measures Bill.
The Bill would ban the exploration for fossil fuels in Ireland and make the country the fifth globally to take such a measure.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD of People Before Profit was joined at the press conference by representatives from the Green Party, Extinction Rebellion, Friends of the Earth and Not Here Not Anywhere.
Yesterday People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith received a letter from the Ceann Comhairle stating that both he and Minister Sean Canney had agreed that the Climate Emergency Measures Bill now requires a “money message”.
The government are now claiming that the bill has a cost implication and as such requires what is known as a “money message”. If the minister does not issue such a message the Bill cannot proceed.
In February 2018 after the Bill was first approved by the Dáil, the office responsible for making such decision judged that the Bill did not in fact require a money message as it would have no cost implications or need the appropriation of public funds.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “This latest attempt to scupper the People Before Profit Climate Emergency Measures Bill, that would ban the issuing of further fossil fuel licences, a central demand of the international environmental movement, exposes the utter hypocrisy of this government when it comes to the climate crisis.”
The TD pointed out that this argument of the necessity of a money message for this bill was never raised before even though the Bill has undergone two committee hearings and had two Dáil votes in support of it.
He said: “The committee stage can deal with any such issue, although I would dispute the case made by the Minister. This should not prevent the will of the Dáil or allow the people being usurped yet again in a cynical procedural trick. It is particularly outrageous following last week’s huge vote for climate action at local and European level.
“The government of Leo Varadkar seem more interested in scheming to find new way to derail this vital piece of legislation whilst they continue to greenwash and spin their own inaction on climate and reducing CO2 emissions.
“Fine Gael and this government are in the pockets of and hostage to the fossil fuel industry. This presents a clear and present danger to our environment, biodiversity and the planet.
“The argument that this bill will do nothing for emissions, and that our national energy security would be threatened if this bill were to pass has been debunked and now the government are reverting to pure procedural trickery to stop the kind of action the globe needs to stop catastrophic climate change. Our planet is endangered and will continue to be with Ministers and a Government like this.”
People Before Profit have called an emergency demonstration for Thursday 30 May (1pm, Dáil Eireann) to put pressure on the government to withdraw the need for a money message for the Climate Emergency Measures Bill and to allow it proceed to the Dáil Select Committee for scrutiny.
It was scheduled for Select committee stage on June 11th following 15 months of procedural wrangles at the Joint committee.