THE FIRST DRAFT of proposed legislation binding Ireland to key emissions targets could be published as early as next week.
Environment minister Phil Hogan has said that the draft heads of a Carbon Development Bill are in the final stages of development and may be ready to bring to the cabinet by next Tuesday.
Hogan said the Bill was being compiled following feedback from the secretariat of the National Economic and Social Council, which has been compiled as part of a national climate policy review announced in late 2011.
“I think no-one is in any doubt about the extent of the challenge that lies ahead,” Hogan said.
Hogan made the comments during a Dáil debate yesterday on a climate Bill brought forward by independent TD Catherine Murphy.
The government said it would oppose Murphy’s Bill because it would “circumvent” the role given to the Oireachtas environment committee in compiling the new policy.
Murphy’s legislation would have required the government to cut Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions so that the total emissions by 2030 were less than 60 per cent of those recorded in 1990. By 2050, this would be lowered to 20 per cent of 1990 levels.
“If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it is a duck,” Murphy told the Dáil. “If we’re looking at massive change in our weather systems, it’s telling us something, and it’s very very expensive to overcome any of that.
There’s been some very good – and expensive – work done by the OPW in overcoming some of the problems, but we can’t keep doing that – we have to prevent it – and preventing it means we’ve got to deal with these obligations and see ourselves as part of the international community in doing it.
Murphy’s legislation – the Energy Security and Climate Change Bill 2012, which borrows aspects of a draft Bill from the previous government – will face a Dáil vote on Tuesday, when it will almost certainly be defeated.