Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action

General Scheme of the Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2020: Discussion

Photo of Darren O'RourkeDarren O'Rourke (Meath East, Sinn Fein)
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I am sorry, but like some previous speakers I did not have the opportunity to hear some of the earlier contributions so I apologise if I repeat anything. I have a specific query on the objective of public involvement. What is the rationale behind the approach, the overarching governance framework and the membership of the advisory council? For example, was it considered to use a Citizens' Assembly? I think the previous experience was a positive one, but the approach has been abandoned in this framework. Mr. Carroll's previous comment was that all of the accountability is to the Oireachtas, which is fair to a point. However, in my view it misses a real opportunity because our representative democracy is not very representative and a number of voices will feasibly and probably quite practically be completely excluded from this entire process if we adopt the legislation in its current form. I refer to workers, social justice advocates and young people. We could quite feasibly have a situation where nobody under the age of 30 would have hand, act, part or voice in any of the structures that we are about to establish. I would like to hear about the rationale for the approach and the opportunity for further consideration.