Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021: Order for Second Stage

Bill entitled an Act to provide for the approval of plans by the Government in relation to climate change for the purpose of pursuing the transition to a climate resilient, biodiversity rich and climate neutral economy by no later than the end of the year 2050 and to thereby promote climate justice; to make certain changes to the Climate Change Advisory Council; to provide for carbon budgets and a sectoral emissions ceiling to apply to different sectors of the economy; to provide for reporting by Ministers of the Government to a joint committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas; to provide for local authority climate action plans; for those and other purposes to amend the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015; to provide that local authorities shall, when making development plans, take account of their climate action plans and, for that purpose to amend the Planning and Development Act 2000; to extend the purposes for which moneys may be paid out of the Climate Action Fund and, for that purpose to amend the National Oil Reserves Agency Act 2007; and to provide for related matters.

It is not agreed. Through the Chair, I honestly believe that we need to have a major rethink of this legislation because it will have profound impacts on all aspects of our lives, especially in rural Ireland, and on jobs all over our country. The very fabric of the essence of the survival of the farming sector and many rural economies is going to be an undermined with this legislation. It is rushed and ill-conceived, and it looks grand and dandy and is nice to pander to the public and to our friends in Europe and elsewhere, but reality has been left aside. There is no real understanding or assessment as to an impact of this on every man, woman and child. We have figures, independently verified, that it is going to add almost €90 in costs for every man, woman and child in the country. Those costs are coming in the middle of a pandemic and we do not know the impact that it will have, yet the Minister is rushing to enact the legislation. We see a scarcity of materials every day of the week which we cannot obtain. Raw materials that were being harvested are being denied, like turf and many other issues. Insulation and so on cannot be got. No thought has been put into this. Insulation has to be imported. What about the carbon footprint and the cost of importing? This is farcical in the extreme and we are opposed to this legislation going forward.

I thank the Deputy and call Deputy Duncan Smith.

I ask that every effort be made to allow this Bill to go forward on Second Stage. This has been a long time coming and has gone through detailed pre-legislative scrutiny. There is a very significant appetite for this. There is still a long way for this to go and a great deal to be done on this issue. I ask most sincerely that Second Stage be allowed to continue. I thank the House.

Question put: "That Second Stage be taken now."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 19; Níl, 2; Staon, 0.

  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Dillon, Alan.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Flaherty, Joe.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Ó Murchú, Ruairí.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Shanahan, Matt.
  • Smith, Duncan.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.

Níl

  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • McGrath, Mattie.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Duncan Smith and Jack Chambers; Níl, Deputies Mattie McGrath and Michael Healy-Rae.
Question declared carried.