Ireland's New Government May Change Climate Change Policy
A new Irish government is expected to take office this week after Fridayâs general election. However, with a new government due to be confirmed later this week, Ireland's Climate Change Response Bill may be in jeopardy.
The results of the election mean that the coalition government, which consists of Fianna Fail and the Green party, were decimated and a new coalition government made up of Fianna Gael and the Labour Party is expected to form the next government. Fianna Fail, which is traditionally Irelandâs largest political party only managed to retain one seat in Dublin as voters demonstrated how unhappy they were with the government. Much of this was because Ireland was forced to endure an EU bailout with heavy taxes and conditions to eradicate the countries national debt of â¬85 billion.
Public dissatisfaction with the government means that Fianna Gael leader Enda Kenny will be the new Taoiseach or premier of Ireland. This could mean that Ireland's Climate Change Response Bill will be scrapped or altered. Like many countries, Ireland has failed to reach its targets in relation to curbing emissions and has yet to realize much of the Climate Change Response Bill.
The Climate Change Response Bill was introduced in 2010 and sets out Irelands plans to combat climate change, to reduce green house gas emissions and to set in place guidelines and objectives to reduce carbon emission targets as set out by Ireland and the EU.
Ireland has seen numerous examples of changing weather patterns. Last winter, the country experienced an extreme cold snap resulting in heavy snowfalls. Low lying areas have been subjected to far more flooding in recent years causing serious problems in urban areas located along the banks of rivers.
These changes in weather patterns and Irelandâs proposals on how to deal with and reduce emissions were under lined in the Climate Change Response Bill, but the new government will be under no obligation to see the bill through and may opt to scrap it and introduce their own legislation.
Fianna Gael holds the majority of seats in the Irish parliament Dail Eireann and has promised to invest heavily in renewable energy and in green technology. The party has also insisted that part of their plans is to create more sustainable farming and forestry practices and to create more carbon sinks by expanding the forestry industry within Ireland.
The party has yet to confirm whether they will follow through with the Climate Change Response Bill, but both parties that will make up the new coalition have reinstated their commitment to tackling Irelandâs emission targets and putting a strong environmental policy in place.
photo credit: Pruneau