Louth County Council Declares Climate Emergency

At this month’s County Council meeting, Sinn Fein’s Antóin Watters tabled a motion asking that Louth declare a biodiversity and climate change emergency and received cross-party support with the Green Party adding that we needed to be ambitious in our targets to address the issue.

Cllr Watters said “It is imperative that Louth County Council take the lead on this issue and I welcome the cross party support on this. It is up to us to ensure we protect the future of our planet for our children and grandchildren. Ireland has failed to meet its Greenhouse Gas targets set by the EU for the third year in a row. We must refocus our efforts towards addressing this issue and if we were all to make small changes to our daily life, it will have an impact.”

European Commission Director-General for Climate Action Mauro Petriccione, while visiting Ireland in May of this year, described climate emergency declarations as ‘crucial’ in the process of addressing climate change.

Ireland became the second country to declare a climate emergency that month.

Cllr Watters said “While the national declaration is very welcome, we need to also be aware that it is an emergency and should not be left solely up to the government. Their solution was to slap a Carbon Tax on the people who were least guilty of pollution. This is urgent, this is an emergency and it is up to you, me and our local communities to address it in practical ways.”

Louth County Council responded to the motion saying “The Climate Adaptation Strategy has been recently adopted by Louth County Council. The Council will now progress to implement the actions in the plan.”

Munster: Young People Leading from the front on Climate Change

               Imelda Munster TD stands with the Climate Change activists

 

Speaking in support of students striking for climate change, Imelda Munster TD said the number of Irish students striking today in their thousands up and down the country should deliver a clear and powerful message to the Irish Government that Ireland’s inaction on climate change won’t be tolerated by our younger generations.

Deputy Munster said:

“Today’s direct action being taken by students across our country should send a very clear signal to our Ministers in Government that younger generations have recognised the critical issues facing their generation and have decided to make their voices heard.

“As future voting citizens, they have every right to inform government about what direction they want to see policy moving. The global student strike which was called by the 16 year-old schoolgirl Greta Thunberg who began striking outside the Swedish Parliament last August has gathered incredible momentum internationally.

“In Louth there were simultaneous protests in Dundalk and Drogheda joining students in towns across Ireland.

“Climate change needs to be tackled in a progressive way that combines

   Young people are leading the change

social justice and fairness with the obvious environmental needs.  The next twelve years will be instrumental in determining the future of our planet and Ireland and the EU need to significantly step up their climate change commitments.

 

“For the last decade, the EU and Ireland’s approach to climate change has failed by allowing big polluters a cheap way out.  Market solutions haven’t worked.  Carbon taxes don’t work.

“It’s time we stopped big oil and gas companies having free reign in the European Parliament and ended their influence on Climate Change policy.

“We need to fully enforce binding targets on the biggest polluters and ensure a full decarbonisation of our economies before 2050, including a phase out date for fossil fuels.

“That means acknowledging that those who contribute the least to climate change are the ones who suffer its gravest consequences and the burden of tackling climate change must be distributed proportionately.

Young Kate – It’s her future we need to protect

“It is heartening to see young people demanding that politicians do more to tackle climate change and Sinn Féin is up to the challenge. I want to especially applaud the organisers here in Drogheda who have only recently set up a Drogheda branch of ‘Extinction Rebellion’ and Fridays For the Future. ”

 

Adams – Climate change is the gravest threat facing humanity at this time

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams, along with party colleague Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú, today attended the climate strike protest in Dundalk.

Gerry Adams said:

“Sinn Féin fully supports the young people who are demanding that politicians do more to tackle climate change. The ‘Fridays for Future’ movement has put the issue of climate change at the top of the political agenda and the recent declaration of the Dáil to declare a climate emergency is a welcome initiative. However, the government needs to do more.

Four years ago 197 countries came together in Paris to map out an agreement to challenge climate change. A series of reports by international bodies over recent years have highlighted the grave dangers facing humanity. According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the world has only 12 years to limit climate change before humanity faces extreme droughts, heat, floods, increased food insecurity and water supply, and increased poverty for hundreds of millions of citizens.

Any strategies to tackle climate change must be rooted in the principles of social justice and equality. Ireland and the EU need to significantly step up our climate change commitments and challenge the big polluters. Market solutions haven’t worked.  Carbon taxes don’t work.”

Councillor Ó Murchú said:

“The government’s Climate Action Plan lacks ambition and will not address the substantive issues of pollution, over-consumption, or corporate responsibility.

Sinn Féin’s approach is clear; we want to see 80% of our energy produced by renewables by 2030.This has to be done in a manner that protects lower income families and ensures that ordinary people do not carry an unjust share of the burden.


Sinn Féin calls for:

 

  • Divestment from fossil fuels in all EU member states, similar to the Irish Fossil Fuel Divestment Act. 
  • An EU wide ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), as well as the import of fracked gas. 
  • Full transposition of the habitats directive and meeting all biodiversity targets. 
  • Full implementation of the single use plastics directive. 
  • Establishment of a robust strategy for decarbonising the economy before 2050 through investment in wind and solar energy alternatives. 
  • No increase in the Carbon Tax as it will disproportionally affect ordinary households. 
  • A Pathway towards the remunicipalisation of domestic waste. 
  • Increased investment in public transport