Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action

Examination of the Third Report of the Citizens' Assembly (Resumed)

12:00 pm

Lord Deben:

Most of the funding comes from the Vote of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and part of it comes from the Vote of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, DEFRA. Specific money comes from work the committee does quite separately through our employment by the devolved governments in Scotland and Wales. We can bid for money when people ask us to do more. For example, we told DEFRA that neither it nor us could do our work unless there was serious work done on land use that would cost a significant amount of money and we needed more people to do that. We got the money and, frankly, we have been extremely well treated by the Government on this. There might be a situation in the future whereby we would not be well treated and that is why I would like a system with an independent authority. We could then tell that authority that the Act requires us to give advice and we cannot do that unless we have a budget. We have never had to worry about that but, if we ever did, I would have to turn to the public and say that, if it wants this job done properly, either the Government pays for it or we find the money independently. I would be quite surprised if the Treasury would not pay in those circumstances because the last thing it wants is the committee to have an independent source of income.