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Access to Justice

Trócaire welcomes landmark Bill to end fossil fuel exploration in Ireland

The second stage debate on the Climate Emergency Measures Bill was discussed in the Dáil this evening. Despite the Government’s opposition to the move, the Bill, introduced by Deputy Brid Smith, will now pass to Committee Stage.

Éamonn Meehan, Director of Trócaire, said: “We welcome the significant support for this Bill from the majority of Deputies in the Dáil.

“Ireland has recently been squarely ‘outed’ internationally as a climate laggard and we are set to miss our existing national and international commitments by a wide margin.

“Fossil fuels are responsible for around two thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change. To stop climate change we must end our dependence on fossil fuels. While the impacts of climate change are being felt increasingly in Ireland, it is in the countries Trócaire is working that the impacts are at crisis levels. In East Africa today, persistent drought is devastating millions of lives. The poorest countries in the world are being hit hardest. Climate change is rolling back decades of progress in efforts to eliminate extreme poverty.”

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The aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Trócaire’s Head of Policy and Advocacy, Niamh Garvey, added that: “The evidence is clear and unequivocal that the vast majority of fossil fuels must remain underground if we are to deliver on the commitments to curb runaway climate change adopted by global leaders in the Paris Agreement.

“Similarly to the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill, which is currently progressing through the Oireachtas, the Climate Emergency Measures Bill seeks to have this fact formally anchored in legislation as part of a major, much needed turn around in Irish climate policy. Both Bills have received a huge amount of public support, and there is already another similar Bill awaiting debate in the Dáil. This issue is clearly not going away.”

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