Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell highlighted the fact that the negative effects of climate change have already been seen in local communities throughout Dublin Fingal as he questioned the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government on a number of aspects in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015.
“Climate change has already been having negative impacts in local communities throughout Dublin Fingal. Over recent years, we have seen first-hand the damage caused to our local towns and communities by the small storms which have damaged buildings, caused flooding and knocked down trees. We have felt the impact of increasing fuel costs on our pockets which have served to highlight the importance of energy security; and challenges including the issue of coastal erosion in Portrane have brought home the message that we must act now to preserve and protect our environment for future generations.
“The fact that coastal towns and villages like Malahide have to deal with flooding, and the potential of the issue of water scarcity to detrimentally affect the everyday lives of many families and individuals, particularly in fast-growing communities such as Swords, is disconcerting. Climate change can directly, and indirectly, impact upon our local communities, our daily lives, and the amount of money we have in our pockets. The simple fact is that the Irish people should not have to wait any longer for the Government to implement legislation to tackle climate change.
“The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015 is currently before Dáil Éireann and, if enacted, it will become Ireland’s first piece of climate change legislation. I took the opportunity, during my contribution to the Dáil debate on this Bill to raise a number of concerns with the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government including targets, the independence of the Expert Advisory Council and the timeframe for the development of the first National Transition and Mitigation Plan.
“It is about time that policy is enacted to tackle climate change and, while we may ask whether this Bill goes far enough, it is positive that we will, at last, have a piece of legislation upon which we can build.”