Tuesday, 14 May 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
The declaration of a national emergency in Ireland owing to climate change is welcome. We can declare all these emergencies but we have got to stay focused and on target. We are aware that we have a global problem and we need global solutions.
I wish to allude to the meeting of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly that took place over the past three days. The Leas-Chathaoirleach was present. We had an excellent presentation from the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Deputy Richard Bruton. The meeting was interesting because of the considerable engagement and the questions. The Minister responded to all the questions, and queues of additional people wanted to engage with him on them. We would benefit by having the presentation here, if possible. The Minister was exceptional. Everyone from all the jurisdictions talked about a Minister who was totally on top of his brief. He was asked many questions and had no idea what questions would be asked. He responded very well. It would be good to see him here.
I attended the beef summit in Galway last week. There were many parliamentarians there, as there were city and county councillors, particularly from Galway but also from other parts of the country. One of the points arising in the environmental debate is that of a just transition. We need to concentrate on that. I would like to hear more from the Minister on it. There has to be a just transition. Certain groups will suffer more than others. We have to guard against that. Just transition is a really important aspect.
Let me refer to agriculture, producers and farmers in regard to just transition. This issue is important. If we want to achieve targets, we have to incentivise. We have not used the word "incentivise". I believe in incentivising people. I would like to hear more about just transition and how we can incentivise people. We have a plan and targets but we have to incentivise people to succeed. If it all possible, and if it fits in with the schedule of the Minister, whom I realise is busy because he has a lot going on, he should be invited to make his presentation to the Seanad. Senators would benefit from it and perhaps from the opportunity to ask a few questions. The Leas-Chathaoirleach will agree the presentation was very positive. There was a lot of engagement.It is an important issue that should also be aired in Seanad Éireann.