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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I endorse what Senator Aideen Hayden said. It is really strange that we have to go back to Charles Stewart Parnell to defend tenants' rights. In many cases it is the landlord, not the tenant, who has become financially unstable, but it is the tenant who suffers when the landlord changes. I thought we had made progress on that front with the then Minister, Deputy Alan Shatter, and hope the prospects of progress can be revived.
I call for a debate on climate change. Matters are becoming more urgent and there is a huge conference of 96 countries scheduled to take place Paris in a couple of months time. We saw evidence of the implications of climate change in the court case in Cork, in which 40% of the liability for causing the flood was allocated to UCC and 60% to the ESB. There was the Volkswagen case in which carbon emission levels were deliberately concealed by the use of technology, which will, undoubtedly, cause climate change and some damage. A recent paper by the Governor of the Bank of England on climate change and financial stability referred to the difficulties for insurance companies. Last year the United Kingdom experienced its wettest winter in over 200 years. This House needs to make a contribution to the Irish delegation to the Paris conference in the light of the increase in flooding, financial instability in the insurance sector, the risk to the financial system, the risks of decarbonisation and the judgment in the case of the flood which occurred in Cork city. I ask the Leader to arrange a debate on this matter. In the Cork case the judge said he had counted 50 or more instances in the evidence where UCC had expressly been put on notice of flood risk to buildings it had built or acquired on the River Lee flood plain but did not act. The judgment runs to 550 pages and the costs are potentially huge. We also know of recent problems in Galway and the midlands. Given the importance now attached to climate change by President Obama, where until recently there had been scepticism, it is clear that it is now a major issue. As such, this House should make a contribution to the Irish presence at the Paris conference.