The proposals were outlined on December 16 and the Bill has been in preparation for the past 18 months.

The Irish government say it is legislative priority and Ministers Gormley and Cuffe will be seeking to progress it through the Houses of the Oireachtas immediately, with a view to enactment in February 2011.

The Bill sets out the statutory basis of how the government will respond to climate change.

Key provisions include national greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2020, 2030 and 2050; a new national planning process encompassing both mitigation and adaptation; a new annual process on reporting to the Oireachtas; and a new Expert Advisory Body to advise government on policy and implementation.

Minister Gormley said. “This legislation is about planning for the future. It’s about protecting our economy and our society in the long term.

“Constructing a low-carbon economy is an enormous challenge, but it is a challenge that also brings immense opportunities.

“The low-carbon economy of the future will see the development of new industrial sectors. These new clean technologies will create new jobs and develop new sources of economic growth development.”

A public consultation period will run until 28th January 2011.

Alison Brown

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