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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019
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Protesters lock themselves to department doors in protest over Climate Emergency Bill blocking

The bill was blocked from progressing by the government last week.

Extinction Rebellion protesters at the Department of Communications and Climate Actions this afternoon.
Extinction Rebellion protesters at the Department of Communications and Climate Actions this afternoon.
Image: RollingNews.ie

CLIMATE ACTION PROTESTERS have locked themselves to the doors of a government department building in Dublin this afternoon. 

Five activists from the Extinction Rebellion protest group formed a chain to block the door of the Department of Communications and Climate Action on Adelaide Road. 

In a statement, the group said it was protesting over the government’s recent blocking of the Climate Emergency Bill.

“The activists are holding photographs of their children, nieces and nephews, and say that they are willing to risk arrest in order to ensure the children of this country will have a future,” they said. 

The bill was blocked last week from progressing with Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton claiming it made “no contribution” to climate action goals.

The bill had passed two separate votes in the Dáil in 2018 and was set to move to the third stage. 

If passed it would mean no new licences would be granted for the purpose of oil or gas exploration in Ireland, with a view to reducing carbon emissions – a measure countries like Belize and France have already introduced. 

However, the bill was halted from progressing to the next stage after Fine Gael put down a money message, which claims the new legislation would be too costly on the public purse strings.  

The Government has insisted that oil and gas resources will be needed in the move towards sustainable economy.

Earlier this afternoon, protesters interrupted a speech by Bruton, who was speaking at a forestry conference in the Botanic Gardens in Dublin. 

The Extinction Rebellion group has said that the Climate Emergency Bill “must pass”. 

“The government’s actions on this demonstrate a serious lack of commitment to thwarting the worst effects of the climate crisis. Extinction Rebellion will not stand by while they sell our children’s futures away.”

Following the bill being blocked, People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith, who has been advocating for the bill in Leinster House, said the move was a show of “the utter hypocrisy of the Government on climate and renders null and void any other measure in the Climate Action Plan”. 

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