Ireland Declares Climate Emergency

Ireland becomes only the second country in the world to do so, following the United Kingdom.

A group of protestors calling for the government to declare climate emergency

Ireland last night declared a biodiversity and climate emergency after an amendment to a report on Climate Action was agreed on by Government and opposition parties without the need for a vote.

It was agreed to accept an amendment from Fianna Fáil, which had been moved by Deputy Timmy Dooley. When it came before the House, there were only six TDs in the chamber, none of whom were Fianna Fáil members, so it was put forward by Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan.

Ryan welcomed the development, but warned “declaring an emergency means absolutely nothing unless there is action to back it up. That means the Government having to do things they don’t want to do”.

Previous to the declaration, Richard Bruton, the Climate Action Minister, said, “We’re reaching a tipping point in respect of climate deterioration. Things will deteriorate very rapidly unless we move very swiftly and the window of opportunity to do that is fast closing.”

Bruton continued, “When we speak of an emergency, people often think of something unexpected that can be resolved through a sustained effort for a relatively short time. This is not an emergency of that sort. This is a much more challenging emergency in that we must change our behaviour in profound ways and do so on a sustained basis.”

Extinction Rebellion Ireland, who recently co-hosted the Climate Crisis event ‘Mayday: The Fight To Save Our World’ alongside GCN, released the statement:

“A big win – Ireland has become one of the first countries in the world to declare a biodiversity and climate emergency. The move came last night after a Fianna Fáil amendment to the Oireachtas report on Climate Change was accepted by both sides of the Oireachtas without a vote.

“The declaration of a climate and ecological emergency was Extinction Rebellion Ireland’s first demand – ‘The Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency.’ Now we demand the government ACT like it’s a national emergency by putting in place legally binding policy measures to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2030. We also demand that all decisions must be in keeping with a global just transition and that the onus of responsibility falls heavily on industry rather than on the individual. And we can’t lose any time.”

The statement continued, “On Thursday 16 May Extinction Rebellion Ireland would like to invite all our supporters and friends to a snap rally outside the Dáil to demand immediate and meaningful action is taken to address the climate and ecological emergency we face. Please accept and share this Facebook Event invite with all your friends and family.

“We are unprepared for the danger our future holds. We face floods, wildfires, extreme weather, crop failure, mass displacement and the breakdown of society. The time of denial is finally over. It is time to act.”

TD Brid Smith, of People Before Profit, said the Government should now support her Climate Emergency Measures bill to ban oil and gas exploration.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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