Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action

Conference of the Parties, COP, 25: Discussion

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael)
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Apologies have been received from Deputy Bríd Smith and Senator Ian Marshall.

We will have two separate sessions, while a private session will follow our engagement with today's delegates. I extend a warm welcome to Professor John Sweeney; Ms Jennifer Higgins from Christian Aid; Ms Cliona Sharkey from Trócaire; and Mr. Oisín Coghlan from Friends of the Earth.

By virtue of section 17(2)(l) of the Defamation Act 2009, witnesses are protected by absolute privilege in respect of their evidence to the joint committee. However, if they are directed by it to cease giving evidence on a particular matter and continue to do so, they are entitled thereafter only to qualified privilege in respect of their evidence.

They are directed that only evidence connected with the subject matter of these proceedings is to be given and they are asked to respect the parliamentary practice to the effect that, where possible, they should not criticise nor make charges against any person, persons, or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable.

Members are reminded of the long-standing ruling of the Chair to the effect that Members should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the House or an official by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable.

The witnesses have five minutes. I will start with Professor John Sweeney.