No Climate Change Bill (yet)
This post was written by Richard Tol
The Irish Examiner has a response by Friends of the Earth: “With seven billion people on Earth, it is more important than ever that we reduce our carbon emissions. Ireland is never going to be the bread basket of the world and we must recognise the profound impacts that climate change will have on food security.” FoE argues at once that Ireland is too small to have an impact on global food supply and so big that is has an impact on the global climate.
(FoE omits that climate change will increase global food supply, at least according to the IPCC, and that biofuels have a negative impact on food production.)
The Irish Times broke the story. The Review of National Climate Policy has yet to be published, so I won’t discuss its contents. It is worrying that the government releases documents to a select few. They then set the public agenda. By the time the public gets access to the document, the news has moved on.
I agree with Minister Hogan that a Climate Change Bill is not a priority. The government has a lot on its plate, including the Department of the Environment — floods, water charges, septic tanks.
Besides, a Climate Change Bill is not required for climate policy. Ireland has had climate policies for many years now, and there is no sign that these policies will be abandoned.
Ireland’s emission reduction targets are set by the EU.
UPDATE: The Review of National Climate Policy was published less than an hour after I posted this. It notes that Ireland will probably miss its 2020 targets with current policies, but does not suggest how policy could be reformed. It does not discuss the Climate Change Bill.
Tags: climate change