A group of Irish business leaders has written to the Taoiseach asking him to bring the proposed legislation on climate change to the Oireachtas before the end of the year. ‘Irish Corporate Leaders on Climate Change’ say the legislation is urgent for a number of reasons. It will bring the clarity and certainty to government policy that business needs to make long-term investment decisions, according to the group, and moreover, the cost of inaction far outweighs the cost of action.
The letter to the Taoiseach on the climate law was signed by Corporate Leaders for eight companies: Arup, Bord Gais, Bord na Móna, Diageo, Intel, KPMG, NTR and Vodafone.
“In light of the current economic situation, there is a risk that we will delay or not take the bold and ambitious steps needed. We believe that robust action on climate change will in fact help create a smarter, more competitive, more creative economy, deliver new high quality jobs, and set us on a path to a low-carbon, sustainable recovery,” says Gabriel D’Arcy, managing director of Bord na Mona.
John Mullins, chief executive of Bord Gais, comments: “For business, the value of putting our emissions targets into law is in creating a predictable planning framework. The investment needed to move to a low-carbon economy is significant and the payback period long. To achieve the desired predictability, the targets set by the law need to be clear and credible.”
Corporate Leaders on Climate Change also welcomed the publication of draft climate legislation by the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security recently. Like the cross-party Bill produced by the Committee, the Corporate Leaders have called for the Department of the Taoiseach to be given overall responsibility for climate policy in the final bill passed by the Oireachtas.
Tina Roche of Irish Corporate Leaders on Climate Change explains: “We believe that the Department of the Taoiseach should assume overall responsibility for climate change policy under this new legislation. Only the Taoiseach has the necessary authority to broker a deal among cabinet colleagues, as departments and their ministers seek the largest possible share of the national carbon budget.”
Irish Corporate Leaders on Climate Change are also calling on Irish businesses to sign the global Cancun Communique, which sets out the case for action on climate change with renewed urgency. Nearly 1000 businesses signed the Copenhagen Communiqué last year making it the definitive progressive business statement on climate change.
These businesses realise that a strong and effective international climate framework is essential to allow the global private sector to respond to the threat of climate change and make the most of its opportunities. Irish companies have until Friday 12th November to join this growing movement of international businesses in support of ambitious international action on climate change.