Independent TD Denis Naughten has said that he will seek an amendment to the Climate Action Bill later in the year to allow different treatment for biogenic methane.
This was after the bill was passed in the Dáil last night (Wednesday, June 16). Naughten voted in favour of the bill but maintained that it “contains a number of flaws”.
The Roscommon-Galway TD said that he would introduce an amendment in the autumn that will seek to require Dáil approval of sectoral emissions targets before they are finalised.
The amendment would also, Naughten said yesterday, provide for separate treatment for biogenic methane coming from agriculture, in line with the advice of the Climate Change Advisory Council.
“I have consistently said throughout the passage of this legislation that I do not want to undermine the overall objective behind the climate bill and that is why I will support its final passage tonight,” he said.
“However, I will address the weaknesses that I see in this law with the publication of a piece of amending legislation later this year,” Naughten confirmed.
On methane, the TD said: “Biogenic methane, produced from agriculture, should be accounted for separately due to its distinct characteristics as part of the overall carbon cycle, as recommended by the Climate Change Advisory Council.
“This is to ensure there is not a perverse incentive to other government departments to do little and force farmers to foot the climate bill.”
On the other issue – that of sectoral emissions targets – Naughten said that his amendment would mean that sectoral targets “would have to be presented and approved by the Dáil just like a financial budget or the National Planning Framework”.
“This would ensure the minister [for climate] of the day would have to present the full implications of their proposals across the economy and outline the potentially far reaching implications for individuals, families and communities nationwide,” he added.
The former Minister for Climate Action continued: “I want a law that brings about real climate action by encouraging people along the climate journey in a constructive and positive way.
“I have clearly set out my concerns with regard to this law during the detailed committee debate which, at its core, is about providing democratic oversight to fair, balanced and achievable targets for each sector of society.
“While my concerns have not been taken on board in the manner that I sought, I do accept that [current Minister for Climate] Eamon Ryan has acknowledged these issues and he has also made it clear to the committee that he is open to revisions to the law,” Naughten added.