Sir, – In defending the Government’s decision to delay the enactment of Irish climate change legislation Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said a balance needs to be struck between climate change and agriculture policy. However the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations states that people who are already vulnerable and food insecure are likely to be the first affected by climate change. A failure to reduce emissions will impact first on the poorest on the planet.
Enshrining our international commitments on climate change in law would also create certainty in these turbulent times. Early action can yield substantial economic benefits, including creating new jobs and businesses, stimulating technological innovation, and providing a robust foundation for economic recovery. Domestic targets would also underpin the good work carried out by Bord Bia in certifying the carbon footprints of Irish produce.
Shortly the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban will bring together representatives of the world’s governments, international organisations and civil society to advance global action to reduce emissions. It would be regrettable if Ireland were to send out a signal that we intend deferring or watering down our commitments on this issue. – Yours, etc,
Green Party, Suffolk Street, Dublin 2.