Calling all Environmentalists!
While disappointed that my amendments didn’t succeed in changing the new Energy Bill, I am happy that we made some progress on challenging the corporate bias in state agencies like the SEAI (Sustainable energy Agency). The new bill states that people with experience in the fight against climate change and the environment will be sought for board vacancies. I understand there are two vacancies coming up and I would urge all interested from the “Environmental pillar” to apply and see if we can put climate and other environmental issues into the heart of this important state agency.
The other amendments were on looking for a proper overview of the biofuels levy and its real impacts on the developing world and an attempt to force the CER (Commission for Energy regulation) to allow small scale community groups who are developing renewable energy access to the main grid. This might seem arcane but if the CER supported such community involvement it might go a long way to getting communities behind renewables unlike the present situation where many oppose the imposition of corporate wind farms.
Unfortunately these amendments failed, for now! The Energy Bill is mostly concerned with the big corporations and so called competition. This won’t stop climate change or save the planet. We need more ambition in how we deal with energy production and our reliance on fossil fuels. It’s no surprise we are failing to meet our targets on Co2 emissions., the Govt policy seems to be lower the targets not meet them! I’ll keep raising them in the committees come the new term.