Seanad debates

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Companies (Emission Reporting) Bill 2021: Second Stage

 

10:30 am

Photo of Lynn RuaneLynn Ruane (Independent)

It is that type of language I do not accept. We have introduced legislation, which is fair and well thought out, and can act as an incentive and tool for our accountancy firms. If we are first out of the traps on developing the way we report emissions, that is a skills set and a resource for the rest of Europe that will support us in introducing reporting. Our companies can export that level of skills and the building of the system and framework, which will be required to report emissions. We ensured the requirement for companies of the largest scale to report would be implemented in the first phase and the requirement for smaller companies to do so would not be implemented until phase two and phase three. There is a phasing in. We hope the system would be built on the back of the largest firm with the best and biggest capacity to resource the building of the systems to report emissions. We did that bearing in mind the pressures companies are under to ensure there was a phased system of implementation. The Bill can act as that blueprint.

We made sure the legislation followed what is provided in the gender pay gap legislation The framework in this legislation is already replicated in Government legislation and companies are already required to feed into that. It is something they will be used to. We stayed as close to that legislation as possible in this Bill to make it as easy as possible for people to engage with it.

I thank the Minister of State and his officials. I look forward to continuing to engage on this over the next 12 months especially as France takes on the EU Presidency next year. As I said in my opening contribution, France is the only other country to have legislation on reporting emissions. In our past conversations on the Bill we spoke about the fact it is ideal France is in that position, as it will hopefully see this as a priority, and that our timeline for this legislation should match very well the timeline within the EU. If there are parts of the EU legislation that need to go into this legislation we will always be open to amending it. As I stated in the past, I am not overly precious about having to own legislation. If the Government introduces legislation in the meantime that reflects these same principles, that would be brilliant and we would fully support, welcome and encourage that. I thank the Minister of State and his officials for all their work on this to date. I also thank all the Members for their engagement on the legislation today.

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