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Christian Aid praises role of Environment Committee in Developing Climate Bill, but criticises absence of key issues

24 April 2014 - Responding to the publication of the long awaited Climate Change legislation, Christian Aid praised the role of the Oireachtas Environment committee for securing improvements to the draft heads of Bill, but expressed disappointment that Minister Hogan chose to ignore the most important recommendations.

‘The process of consultation that the Environment committee undertook was wide ranging and inclusive. It gave interested parties the opportunity to make suggestions as to how the draft Heads might be improved – and some of these changes are reflected in the Bill today.

‘However important recommendations, such as the inclusion of targets for 2030 and 2050 have been ignored, despite the report being very clear that the vast majority of people who took part in the consultation felt targets were a good idea,’ said Sorley McCaughey Head of Advocacy and Policy, Christian Aid Ireland.

‘The development agency also lamented the absence of any reference to climate justice in the Bill.

‘At various points over the last year, senior ministers including An Tanaiste have spoken eloquently about climate justice and the need to assist developing countries in their efforts to adapt to a changing climate. Ireland’s climate bill is an opportunity to make good on that and to include provisions for the establishment of a climate justice fund. That fund could be financed from revenues generated from carbon tax, and the auctioning of allowances from the EU Emissions Trading scheme,’ said Mr McCaughey.

‘The establishment of such a fund would be an important first step in honouring our international commitments.

‘Missing the opportunity to include the establishment of a climate justice fund in the Heads of Bill gets us no closer to establishing a structure whereby Ireland can honour its climate justice commitments.

‘We will be strongly encouraging other members of the Oireachtas to table amendments to this effect when the Bill comes before the Dáil over the coming months,’ said Mr. McCaughey said.

If you would like further information please contact:

• Sorley McCaughey, Head of Advocacy, Christian Aid Ireland. Tel: (353) 087 062 0062 or email smccaughey@christian-aid.org.

• Florence Mutesasira, Communications & Media Officer. Tel: (353) 086 160 9405 / 01 775 8085 or email fmutesasira@christian-aid.org.

Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document ‘From Inspiration to Impact’ outlines how we set about this task.

3. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit www.christianaid.ie