Deputy Michael Lowry, and the members of the Regional Independent Group of TDs, will table amendments to the Climate Bill that will require Dáil approval of all carbon budgets, as well as a separate emission target for agriculture to ensure it does not become the scapegoat for failures in other Government Departments.
Lowry said: “We do not want to undermine the overall objective behind the Climate Bill, but we believe the proposed law is fundamentally flawed in trying to sidestep the people by excluding the requirement of Dáil approval […] In addition, we are fearful that an unacceptable burden will be placed on agriculture. As currently drafted this Bill provides a perverse incentive to other Government Departments to do little and force farmers to foot the Climate bill” said Deputy Lowry.
Deputy Lowry said the amendments do just 3 things: Biogenic methane, that produced from agriculture, would be accounted for separately due to its distinct characteristics as part of the overall carbon cycle. Carbon budgets will have to be presented and approved by the Dáil just like a financial budget and Directions issued by the Minister to Councils must be presented and approved by the Oireachtas, just like planning regulations were last week.
Deputy Lowry concluded by saying “We are taking a responsible approach to what is an important piece of legislation for our planet and our environment, but we fundamentally believe these amendments must be implemented in consultation with people and instead of being dictated”