19 Ean 2011, 15.13

The Climate Change Bill as it is currently envisaged will undermine Ireland’s food export prospects and sets unnecessary targets for the reduction of green house gas emissions. Therefore, the bill should be put on hold, a cross party group of Oireachtas members have said today.

The Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food today has expressed its serious reservations regarding the implications the bill could have on the Irish Agriculture sector. The Committee believes that greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in the bill are unrealistic and recommends that Ireland should stick to the lower reduction targets already agreed by the EU.

Following thorough analysis of the details of the legislation, the Committee feels that bill should be revisited in order to incorporate the conclusions of the two cross party reports compiled by the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change. http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/documents/Committees30thDail/J-Climate_Change/Homepage.htm

The Committee believes that the stipulations of the bill will have a disproportionate impact on the Irish agriculture and will make the goals proposed in the Government’s Food Harvest Strategy for the agri-food sector unattainable.

Overall, the Bill fails to strike the right balance between environmental protection and safeguarding Irish agriculture industry, export growth and jobs. The Committee considers it is too serious an issue to be rushed through and needs to be reconsidered.

The full title of the bill is the Climate Change Response Bill 2010.

Committee Chairman, Johnny Brady TD said;
“There is consensus among Committee members that the Bill as it presently stands will not serve the best interests of the agriculture industry and could significantly hold back Ireland’s economic recovery. The stipulations in the bill will hinder the targeted €4bn increase in exports in the next four years and put the expected job increases in the sector in at risk.

Of course we are all in agreement that greenhouse gas emissions must be curbed and we advocate that Ireland adhere to the EU target of a 20% reduction by 2020. However, we believe that the price to be paid by the agriculture sector for the additional excessive targets laid down in the bill, which exceed the agreed EU reduction goals, is far too high.\"

ENDS

Daniel English
Oireachtas Communications Unit
01 618 4484
087 6944926

Full committee membership:
Johnny Brady, TD, Fianna Fáil (Chairman)
Thomas McEllistrim, TD, Fianna Fáil, (Vice Chairman)
Mattie McGrath, TD (Fianna Fáil)
Christy O'Sullivan, TD (Fianna Fáil)
Bobby Alyward, TD (Fianna Fáil)
Noel Coonan, TD (Fine Gael)
Martin Ferris, TD (Sinn Féin)
Andrew Doyle, TD (Fianna Fail)
Eamon Scanlon, TD (Fianna Fáil)
Tom Sheahan, TD (Fine Gael)
Shane McEntee, TD (Fine Gael)
Seán Sherlock, TD (Labour Party)
Ned O'Keeffe, TD (Fianna Fáil)
Senator Paul Bradford, (Fine Gael)
Senator John Carty, (Fianna Fáil)
Senator Michael McCarthy, (Labour Party)
Senator Francis O’Brien (Fianna Fáil)