Header Item Children and Family Relationships Bill 2015: Second Stage (Resumed) (Continued)
 Header Item Children and Family Relationships Bill 2015: Referral to Select Committee
 Header Item Roads Bill 2014: Order for Report Stage
 Header Item Roads Bill 2014: Report and Final Stages
 Header Item Climate Change and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015: Second Stage (Resumed)

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 869 No. 3

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  Question put and agreed to.

Children and Family Relationships Bill 2015: Referral to Select Committee

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I move:

That the Bill be referred to the Select Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence pursuant to 82A(3)(a) and 126(1) of the Standing Orders relative to Public Business and paragraph (8) of the Orders of Reference of Select Committees.

  Question put and agreed to.

Roads Bill 2014: Order for Report Stage

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I move: "That Report Stage be taken now."

  Question put and agreed to.

Roads Bill 2014: Report and Final Stages

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I move amendment No. 1:

In page 6, to delete line 7 and substitute the following:

" "railway order" means—
(a) a railway order within the meaning of the Act of 2001, or

(b) a light railway order within the meaning of the Transport (Dublin Light Rail) Act 1996.".

The purpose of this amendment is to expand the definition of railway orders to include light railway orders within the meaning of the Transport (Dublin Light Rail) Act 1996. This ensures that the protection measures for railway orders, as provided under sections 7 and 11 of the Bill, will also apply to light rail orders granted under the 1996 Act.

  Amendment agreed to.

  Bill, as amended, received for final consideration and passed.

Climate Change and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015: Second Stage (Resumed)

Question again proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

Deputy Robert Dowds: Information on Robert Dowds Zoom on Robert Dowds I object to the manner in which Second Stage debates are organised. It is two weeks since I commenced my Second Stage contribution on this Bill, which is a bit ridiculous. I know this also affects other people.

In general, I welcome the Bill which deals with the most important issue we need to tackle in terms of the future of our planet. However, in my view this legislation does not go far enough fast enough in terms of the urgent need to protect our planet to ensure it remains habitable for the maximum possible number of people.

While I support the concept of the national mitigation plan, it frustrates me that the timeframe within which the plan must be submitted is 24 months. I ask that the Minister, if possible, shorten this timeframe to somewhere between 15 and 18 months because the faster we move ahead with the plan, the better. Similarly in relation to the national adaptation framework, I would prefer to see this brought forward more rapidly and, again, ask the Minister to, if possible, shorten the timeframe in that regard from 24 months to somewhere between 15 and 18 months. We must move with urgency to tackle climate change in a real way, in particular because as a country Ireland is one of the worst offenders in the world. Also, the sooner we have the sectoral adaptation plan in place, the better.

On the national expert advisory council, I note the Minister has moved somewhat towards the council being an independent entity. It is important that it is independent. Perhaps when replying to the debate the Minister would indicate the extent of its independence. I welcome that there will be regular reporting to the Oireachtas. That is important.

In regard to the scale of the change we face, I realise that this is an appallingly difficult issue for us all in that addressing it requires tough decisions to be made and none of us likes tough decisions, particularly decisions which change the way we live our lives. However, if these important decisions are not made, not only in Ireland but across the world, we will be faced with the danger of this world not being able to sustain the people currently living in it and those who follow us.

The introduction of a low carbon economy is hugely challenging. We have taken some baby steps down this track but have a great deal more to do in the area of solar power, water, wind, insulation, transport and so on. It would be useful if we could view this work as an opportunity as well as a problem. There are some good examples of places that have moved a long way towards a carbon neutral situation. For example, I understand that the Orkney Islands to the north of Scotland manage to produce pretty much all of its electricity through wave power.


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