Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore has called for the Climate Action Bill to be introduced in the Dáil without delay.
She made her comments after it was revealed that Ireland ranks in the lowest position out of 15 EU countries on environment, according to the latest Sustainable Progress Index (SPI) commissioned by Social Justice Ireland.
Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson for Climate Action and Biodiversity, said:
“It is now four and a half months since the Bill was first published and over two months since the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action made its recommendations and it still has not been introduced in the Dáil.
“According to Social Justice Ireland, we rank 11th out of 15 comparable EU countries in the overall SPI, which assesses progress on the economy, society and environment. Ireland is ranked 10th on the economy and sixth in the social category.
“With another disappointing performance by Ireland in its implementation of environment and climate action measures as set out under the UN sustainable development goals, publication of the new Climate Action Bill is urgently required.
“It is imperative that we are afforded the opportunity to debate and strengthen the new Climate Action Bill and to debate Ireland’s international standing in relation to climate action.
“I proposed a series of amendments to strengthen the Bill, including on biodiversity, just transition and more ambitious emission reduction targets. Once the Bill progresses through the Dáil, I intend to put in amendments which seek to strengthen the legislation to reflect the worsening scale of the climate and biodiversity crisis we are facing.
“This report highlights the urgent need to act.”
February 25, 2021