The Regional Independent group of TDs has said that it will seek Dáil approval for carbon budgets for agriculture.

The group said it will table a motion that would require the Dáil to vote on all carbon budgets.

The group is also seeking separate emission targets for agriculture to ensure “it does not become the scapegoat for failures in other government departments”.

The Regional Independent group includes: Cathal Barry (Kildare South); Seán Canney (Galway East); Peter Fitzpatrick (Louth); Noel Grealish (Galway West); Michael Lowry (Tipperary); Verona Murphy (Wexford); Denis Naughten (Roscommon-Galway); Matt Shanahan (Waterford); and Peadar Tóibín (Meath West).

“We do not want to undermine the overall objective behind the climate action bill, but we believe the proposed law is fundamentally flawed in trying to sidestep the people by excluding the requirement of Dáil approval,” Denis Naughten said today (Wednesday, April 5).

He continued: “In addition, we are fearful that an unacceptable burden will be placed on agriculture.

“As currently drafted, this bill provides for a perverse incentive to other government departments to do little and force farmers to foot the climate bill,” Naughten claimed.

“We accept that in both instances this is not the intention of TDs across all parties and we are hoping for their support for measures which would provide democratic oversight to fair, balanced and achievable targets for each sector of society.”

The amendment that the group intends to table would allow biogenic methane produced from agriculture to be accounted for separately.

Furthermore, it will require carbon budgets to be presented to and approved by the Dáil – similar to a financial budget.

Lastly, the amendment would require directions from ministers to local authorities to also be submitted to and approved by the Dáil.

Naughten claimed: “Should these amendments not be accepted, it would mean that the minister of the day will have full authority to apply any target he or she wishes to any sector of the economy with far reaching implications for individuals, families and communities right across this country.

“We are taking a responsible approach to what is an important piece of legislation for our planet and our environment, but we fundamentally believe these amendments must be implemented in consultation with people and instead of being dictated,” he argued.