Greens give a cautious welcome to proposed law at the heart of their agenda

Greens give a cautious welcome to proposed law at the heart of their agenda

Green Party leader and climate minister Eamon Ryan hailed the Climate Action Bill as a "radical departure" that sets Ireland on a new course. 

Green Party members have given a guarded welcome to the Climate Action Bill, with many feeling that the "proof will be in the pudding".

The bill, launched by the Government on Wednesday, is seen as a key plank in the Green Party's legislative agenda for the lifetime of this Coalition.

It will commit to five-year carbon budgets with the aim of Ireland being fully carbon-neutral by 2050.

Within the Green Party, the bill is being seen as a "big win", with some members having made it their main reason for approving the party's entry into government.

Party leader and climate minister Eamon Ryan said the bill was a "radical departure for Ireland and one that puts our country on a new course".

However, TDs and councillors have been less effusive in their praise of the bill, but all said that they would wait to see how the bill performs in action, rather than word.

South County Dublin councillor Peter Kavanagh welcomed the 'ambitious piece of legislation', but warned there is more to do on the issue. 	Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins
South County Dublin councillor Peter Kavanagh welcomed the 'ambitious piece of legislation', but warned there is more to do on the issue. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Just Transition Green Party councillors Peter Kavanagh and Lorna Bogue both echoed that sentiment.

Mr Kavanagh, a councillor for Clondalkin on South Dublin County Council, said that the bill now needed to be followed by action.

"Compared to everything any Irish government has done in the past, this is an ambitious piece of climate legislation. 

Hopefully, it puts an end to the days of empty promises. 

We can't dust our hands and sit on our laurels now. We've seen in the European Parliament how hard it is to ensure that legislators stick to the science. We're on the right track, but there is a lot more to do."

Cork City councillor, Lorna Bogue, said the bill is 'vague and aspirational', warning that nothing would prevent future governments revising climate targets downwards.  
Cork City councillor, Lorna Bogue, said the bill is 'vague and aspirational', warning that nothing would prevent future governments revising climate targets downwards.  

Lorna Bogue, a Cork City councillor in the South-East Ward, said that the bill was "quite vague and aspirational".

"Some of the targets and language are very vague. There's no language that precludes a downward revision by future governments. 

"That's a big problem I have — it doesn't set the targets in stone. 

I see nothing that sets a baseline, which is deeply, deeply concerning.

"The bill lives or dies on tangible targets."

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