Wednesday 19th July 2017: The Citizens’ Assembly (the Assembly) will meet for an additional weekend on the third topic it is tasked with considering ‘How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’. The Assembly will now meet on the 30th of September and 1st of October and the 4th and 5th of November. This follows a recommendation by the Chair of the Assembly Ms. Justice Mary Laffoy that an additional weekend would be required to allow full consideration of the topic.
At the first meeting on Climate Change at the end of September, the Assembly will hear from Pat Gilroy, Chair of the newly formed advisory group on the National Dialogue on Climate Change (NDCC), which was announced by Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment today. The primary objective of the NDCC is to ensure an inclusive process of engagement and consensus building across society towards enabling the transformation to a low carbon and climate-resilient future.
During the weekend’s proceedings the members of the Assembly will be asked to consider how the NDCC should engage with the wider public to create awareness, engagement and motivation to act in relation to the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change. Their inputs will then be fed back into the work being undertaken by the advisory group on the National Dialogue on Climate Change (NDCC).
The Assembly is currently seeking submissions on this topic and the final date for submissions on the topic is Friday 11th of August. Justice Laffoy is urging members of the public, representative groups and citizen organisations to make a submission to the Assembly on the topic. Following consideration of the topic the conclusions and recommendations of the Assembly members will form the basis of a report submitted to the Houses of the Oireachtas for further debate.
Justice Laffoy said “The Assembly has been tasked with considering some of the most complex topics facing Irish society and on this occasion, I think it is fair to say we will be looking at something that has posed a challenge for societies right across the world. Climate change, specifically one country or another’s capacity to lead or to step back from the issue, is a global talking point right now therefore it is timely for us to be participating in this discussion.
“Therefore in order to do truly do justice to this topic, we must consider areas such as energy, transport and agriculture and for that reason I concluded that an additional weekend would be necessary to give this topic due consideration. Adding a second weekend to allow the members to consider this important issue more fully will enhance the discussion and the eventual recommendations which emerge.
“From a broader perspective more effort is required to properly engage the wider public on the issue of climate change and I welcome the opportunity to have the work of the Citizens’ Assembly dovetail with the work about to be undertaken by the advisory group on the National Dialogue on Climate Change. I am confident that aligning the Assembly’s work to support the commencement of the National Dialogue on Climate Change will add to the national discourse on climate change and will ultimately be of benefits to the members as they consider this issue.
“I would really encourage people across the country to make a submission on the topic and share with the members their views. Climate change will affect us all and we want to hear from as many people as possible to make the best possible use of the Assembly’s time on this important topic. I would particularly urge the public to consider the Assembly’s forthcoming discussion on the National Dialogue on Climate Change and would welcome any views from the public on that aspect in particular. Submissions can be made online or by post and the submissions will play a key role in helping develop the work programme on the topic and can ultimately shape the recommendations being made by the members to the Houses of Oireachtas.”
All documents received by the Assembly secretariat may be listed on the website, in order of date received and displayed with a name/name of organisation, and the title of the submission.
Submissions can be made online at www.citizensassembly.ie or by post to Citizens Assembly, 16 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, to arrive no later than 11th of August 2017.
The Assembly met for two weekends on the topic of the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population. The recommendations of the member will form the basis of the report to be submitted to the House of the Oireachtas before the end of September.
For more information on the Assembly go to www.citizensassembly.ie .
Media Contact: Síle Murphy/Michelle Lynch 086 0288 132/ 087 175 4149, Q4PR, 01 475 1444
Notes to Editor
The Assembly is a body comprising the Chairperson and 99 citizens, randomly selected to be broadly representative of the Irish electorate, established to consider some of the most important issues facing Ireland’s future. The Assembly members will deliberate the topics as outlined in the Resolution approving its establishment, and any other matters that may be referred to it. Their conclusions on each topic will form the basis of individual reports and recommendations that will be submitted to the Houses of the Oireachtas for further debate by our elected representatives.