SKIBBEREEN environmental activist Alicia O’Sullivan has said if Ireland doesn’t get climate change right, it has absolutely no hope of transitioning as a society to a ‘greener, better, healthier’ country.
The UCC law student was among the 1,251 participants and 101 TDs involved in a major online climate change event before Christmas.
The ‘One Future’ groups came together online under guidance from Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) in early December.
SCC is a coalition of over 30 groups including An Taisce, Friends of the Earth, the National Youth Council of Ireland and Trocaire.
The event brought together like-minded people who feel that the climate emergency declared by then-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in May 2019, after being highlighted by the youth group Fridays for Future, was not being addressed urgently enough.
The group also believes that the Climate Action Bill as it stands is not fit for purpose. The event was arranged for people to meet their TDs and talk about their concerns, asking them to accept amendments proposed by SCC which would close loopholes in the Climate Action Bill, which, they believe, allows so much flexibility that the targets are unlikely to be met.
They want to replace words like ‘pursue’ with ‘achieve’, while other demands include seeking an obligation to cut carbon emissions in all sectors, a just recovery plan from the Covid pandemic that reduces poverty and protects nature, and proper engagement with the public.
A total of 12 TDs from Cork took part and the feedback was positive.
‘The groups felt that this was an important step in beginning this dialogue and many have already arranged to meet up with their TDs again early next year, after the revised Climate Action Bill has been made public,’ said Alicia.
Further details to be found at www.stopclimatechaos.ie.