Dáil debates

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Environmental Policy: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]


7:35 pm

Photo of Catherine MartinCatherine Martin (Dublin Rathdown, Green Party) | Oireachtas source

I move amendment No. 4:

To delete all words after “declares that:” and insert the following:

“— Ireland needs to adopt fundamental changes in our economic model by moving towards a circular economy;

— the shift to a circular economy requires both changes in economic incentives and stronger environmental regulation, to prevent harm and to hold accountable those who cause environmental harm;

— the best model for Ireland to emulate is a north European social democratic market economy, such as exists in Denmark, Finland, Sweden or the Netherlands;

— environmental action should be taken alongside measures to improve economic vitality and promote social progress; and

— the best way to achieve these aims simultaneously is by striving to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; and calls on the Government to:

— develop a National Land Use Plan with a view to protecting biodiversity, reducing carbon emissions, improving air, water and soil quality and enhancing our quality of life;

— redraft the National Development Plan to align it with the National Planning Framework so that urban sprawl and high-emission, long-distance commuting is limited;

— take the role of an international leader rather than laggard in climate action and to drive the implementation of the European Green Deal;

— recognise that under-regulation of economic activity or lax enforcement of existing rules allows greater levels of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions to occur;

— legislate to reinforce the polluter pays principle, including a requirement for greenhouse gas emissions to be included as a core component of company accounts in enterprises with 50 or more employees and all enterprises in highly polluting industries;

— immediately enact a nationwide ban on smoky coal, which has already been proven to work in many larger urban areas without legal challenge;

— produce a National Clean Air Strategy;

— produce a National Clean Water Strategy;

— urgently present and implement a plan to regulate all quarries and to eliminate illegal dumps; and

— provide a quantified account of how the measures in the Government’s Climate Action Plan 2019 will reduce Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions to reach the target of 33 million tonnes by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.”

I ask your leave, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, to change the Green Party amendment in order that it does not delete any part of the motion, but merely inserts the contents of our amendment.


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