Greens publish ambitious Climate Change Bill

The Greens have published an ambitious new bill to deal with Ireland's efforts to stem climate change.

The party said the Climate Change Response Bill is a major priority for them and they will seek to push it through the Oireachtas immediately.

The targets include lowering greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 2.5% per year with a long-term target of an 80% cut.

Friends of the Earth have hailed the publication of the bill as "a landmark in Irish climate policy".

Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan, said: "The publication of the Government bill is a real landmark in Irish climate policy. This is a great day for our supporters who have worked so hard over the last four years, and for everyone who wants to see Ireland play its full part in the fight against climate change."

Friends of the Earth Policy Officer, Molly Walsh, said: "This is real example of people power. Remember neither Fianna Fáil nor Fine Gael - not even the Greens - promised a climate law before the last election. Now all parties support legislation and have been working to achieve it."

A majority of TDs signed the Stop Climate Chaos Call to Action, which supported a climate law, in 2008.

The all-party Oireachtas Committee on climate change and energy security published a report calling for a climate law in September 2009.

The renewed Programme for Government in October 2009 included a commitment to introduce legislation in the lifetime of this Government, and a Framework Document on climate legislation was published in December 2009.

Molly Walsh said: "It's taken a lot longer that anticipated to get from promise to publication, but we know that behind the scenes people have been working extremely hard to fulfil this commitment. Friends of the Earth will now study the content carefully and work with all parties in the Oireachtas to get the strongest possible bill passed, with cross-party support, as early as possible in 2011.

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