Climate Change – this is what we are up against

Normally, I restrict what goes onto this website to news related to
Dublin North East and adjoining areas.  However there are
exceptions and the recent statement by Dick Roche, the FF Minister for
the Environment deserves more attention.  The Green Party recently
proposed a Climate Change Targets Bill, seeking to take the issue of
long-term climate policy out of the day-to-day short-term approach of
electoral politics and to set long-term targets for greenhouse gas
emissions in 2020 and 2050.  Agreements on this timescale are
essential if we are to avoid a runaway greenhouse effect. 

The reaction by the Government to this attempt to address the biggest
crisis humanity has ever faced?  Well, here’s the statement by the
Minister for the Environment:

Madcap Policy Could Cost Thousands Of Jobs

A Private Members Bill introduced into Dail Eireann by the Green Party
and supported by Fine Gael and Labour, could cost thousands of jobs in
Irish industry, so said Mr. Dick Roche, T.D., Minister for the
Environment, Heritage and Local Government today (30 November).

The draft legislation, the first piece of legislation introduced in
Dail Eireann by the Green Party with support from Fine Gael and Labour,
possible partners in a future Government, attempts to tie the hands of
all future Irish Governments to policies in relation to green house gas

At present Ireland has a set of targets for green house gas emissions,
which have been established in negotiations with our EU partners and in
accordance with the Kyoto Protocol.  Recognising that Ireland had
to "catch up" to more developed EU States, our European Community
partners agreed a set of burden sharing arrangements which provided
that Ireland would limit green house gas emissions to 13% above the
1990 levels over the period 2008 – 2012.

The European Union has been discussing more stringent emissions
requirements, which will apply beyond 2013 for the Community as a
whole.  The Green Party and their colleagues in Fine Gael and the
Labour Party are now attempting in law to force the Irish Government
and the Irish people to adopt targets in law before any international
agreements are reached.  The enactment of such legislation could
have a catastrophic effect on Ireland’s economic wellbeing. 
Imposing legally binding stringent emissions targets in Ireland, which
do not apply to any other country in Europe would make it virtually
impossible to win any future Foreign Direct Investment into this

Key industries, including major employers such as major pharmaceutical
companies and other high energy using companies, would have their
economic viability completely undermined if they thought Ireland was
going to go alone on such major issues.  It is likely that many of
these companies would just up and leave.

While we should not be surprised by the Utopian fantasy land inhabited
by the Green Party, the most incredible aspect of this madcap
legislative proposal is that it was supported actively by Fine Gael and

This is the first foretaste that Ireland has of what could happen, and
what would happen, if a Government made up of the Green Party, Fine
Gael and Labour, were ever to see the light of day.

It is incredible that the Fine Gael Party, which spends so much time
cautioning us to the necessity of carefully judging value for money in
every proposal, have swallowed the Green Party bait hook, line and