Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Select Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Business of Select Committee

Photo of Brian LeddinBrian Leddin (Limerick City, Green Party)
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Apologies have been received from Deputy Alan Farrell. Deputy Emer Higgins will substitute for him. Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice not to 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. I remind members that they are only allowed to participate in this meeting if they are physically located on the Leinster House complex. In this regard, I ask all members, prior to making their contributions to the meeting, to confirm that they are on the grounds of the Leinster House campus.

We have convened to resume consideration of Committee Stage of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021. I welcome the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Deputy Eamon Ryan. If Committee Stage proceedings have not concluded by 12.30 p.m., it is proposed that the meeting will adjourn at that time. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Before beginning, I will address a letter sent to the committee that was reported on in today's Irish Independentrelating to the proposed construction of a liquefied natural gas, LNG, facility. I would like to clarify a number of points. Deputy Whitmore's amendments were ruled out of order last week as they were outside the scope of the Bill. I have never sought to hide the fact I worked for Arup and it is clearly stated on my LinkedIn profile. Arup has somewhere in the region of 1,000 employees in Ireland and I never had anything to do with Arup's work on the proposed LNG plant. I did not even become aware that Arup was working on this project until after I left the company. Any suggestion of a conflict of interest on my part is, frankly, ridiculous. The Green Party, including me, has campaigned vigorously against the import of fracked gas and LNG. The Government recently published a clear and unambiguous statement on fracked gas and LNG, and it has also committed to working on an outright ban at EU level.

On the ruling of certain amendments out of order, in making these rulings I was acting on the advice of the Oireachtas officials and this advice is strictly in compliance with Standing Orders. These are the only criteria used in ruling amendments out of order.