Government launches Climate Action Bill 2020 without ban on diesel and petrol cars

Government Launches Climate Action Bill 2020 Without Ban On Diesel And Petrol Cars
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Kenneth Fox
The Government has launched the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2020 today, without a ban on diesel and petrol cars.

The bill looks to transform how Ireland deals with climate change and reshape the economy around it.

The omission of a ban on the sale of diesel and petrol cars is a unusual, as in the programme for government they said they will "Legislate to ban the registration of new fossil-fuelled cars and light vehicles from 2030 onwards and phase out diesel and petrol cars from Irish cities from 2030."


Today's proposals will see a number of changes to the existing Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015.

Among these proposals, are new carbon ceilings as well as the commitment to Ireland having net zero emissions by 2050.

The plan will set out a series of five year carbon budgets between now and 2036, the government said.

Green Party leader and Minister Eamon Ryan says the new bill builds on promises made in the programme for government for an annual 7 per cent reduction in emissions.


"What this bill will allow us to do is to take that Climate Action Plan and massively increase the ambition to meet the overall target of being carbon neutral within 30 years.

"That term carbon neutral is important within the bill because we our aligning ourselves at all stages with the Paris accord agreement."

The Paris agreement sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2 degress and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees.

The new bill sets out how Ireland will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by, on average, at least 7 per cent per annum for the next ten years.


The government said some of the key features of the bill are:

Putting the 2050 Climate Target in law Carbon budgets including a provision for setting sectoral targets Annually-revised Climate Action Plan Strengthened Role for Climate Change Advisory Council New Oversight and Accountability by Oireachtas

Climate obligations

Speaking today at the publication, the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin said:


"Climate action is a key priority for this Government. I welcome the publication of this legislation, which reflects the commitment, ambition and targets set out in the Programme for Government on climate issues.

"Collectively as a people, we must embrace this agenda and work tirelessly to protect and save our planet for future generations to live in.”

Meanwhile, The Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar said the bill will create a better, more sustainable future for all.

He also said the actions would be good regardless of climate obligations, resulting in "cleaner air, warmer homes, shorter commutes, greater energy security, more resilient communities and a better quality of life."

The Bill puts into law a commitment for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, through a ‘National 2050 Climate Objective’.

The government said a climate neutral economy means a sustainable economy where greenhouse gas emissions are balanced or exceeded by their removal.

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