Campaigners call on the Government to pass new climate law by Christmas


Campaigners call on the Government to pass new climate law by Christmas

Stop Climate Chaos launches 5 tests for faster and fairer climate action

September 22 2020, 04:50pm

Stop Climate Chaos Coalition
For Immediate Release
Tuesday 22 September 2020

Campaigners call on the Government to pass the new climate law by Christmas

Stop Climate Chaos launches 5 tests for faster and fairer climate action

Public webinar at 5pm this evening

Climate campaigners have called on the Government to pass its promised climate law by Christmas. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition said the climate law is crucial but the Government needs to move from legal frameworks to real action as quickly as possible. The Government has promised to publish a new Climate Bill within its first 100 days, by October 5th. The campaign group expects the Bill to closely follow the recommendations of an all-party committee on climate action, and today set out 5 tests for the policies and measures that must follow the law.

Commenting, Oisín Coghlan, a spokesperson for Stop Climate Chaos, said:

"We're calling on the Government to have the Climate Bill signed into law before the end of the year, 100 days from now."  "Crucial as the Bill is, it is just the first step on the path to the urgent climate action we need. It enshrines in law a policy process based on forward planning, expert-advice, transparency and accountability. But it doesn't on its own cut emissions." 

"That's why we're calling on the Government to relaunch the national dialogue on climate action at the same time as publishing the Bill. At national level we need key stakeholders from business, farming organizations, trade unions, the community and voluntary sector along with environmental and climate organisations around the table to discuss how we are going to cut pollution in line with our commitments. No doubt we won't agree on everything, but we agree on the need for better social dialogue, we have all been calling for it for over a year." 

"And at the local level we need the Government to convene, facilitate and resource meaningful public participation in looking at how local communities and local authorities can work together to manage the impacts of climate change that is now unavoidable, and to cut pollution enough to avoid climate breakdown that is unmanageable." 

Stop Climate Chaos has set out 5 principles it will use as benchmarks for Government climate action:

  • Fairness
  • Urgency
  • Science
  • Dialogue
  • Accountability


Sorley McCaughey, Head of Policy in Christian Aid Ireland, a member of Stop Climate Chaos, said:

"It's almost five years since Ireland signed the Paris Climate Agreement. We need to see urgent action in line with climate science and climate justice. Everyday the people we work with around the world, who have done least to cause climate change, are being hit hardest. There is no more time to waste."

The campaign group is urging the Government to apply the 5 principles as it takes 5 key steps over the next 9 months to deliver on the commitments in the Programme for Government:

  • Pass the new Climate Bill that puts policy planning and parliamentary accountability into law
  • Launch a proper climate dialogue with interest groups and the public, both locally and nationally, about how we reduce our emissions fast enough and fairly enough.
  • Appoint a new Climate Action Council by Christmas with fewer economists and fewer men, and more climate scientists, social scientists and ecologists.
  • Propose the 5-year pollution ceilings the Council recommends to the Dáil for adoption as legally binding targets, known as carbon budgets.
  • Prepare a new statutory climate action plan to replace the one struck down by the Supreme Court in August.

Stop Climate Chaos is calling on its supporters to contact their TDs asking them to support the new Climate Bill and to push the Government to immediately launch a new national dialogue on climate action.

The Campaign Group is holding a public webinar at 5pm this evening on the new climate law, as it launches the next phase of its campaign for faster and fairer climate action. Speakers include Dr Diarmuid Torney, Assistant Professor at the DCU School of Law and Government, Oisín Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth and Sadhbh O'Neill, Stop Climate Chaos Policy Coordinator.