Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Ireland Becomes Second Country to Declare Climate Emergency

Politics
Ireland Becomes Second Country to Declare Climate Emergency
Students in Dublin, Ireland participate in the Global School Strike for Climate Action on March 15. Artur Widak / NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Republic of Ireland became the second country in the world to declare a climate emergency Thursday, The Independent Ireland reported. The declaration was passed Thursday evening when both the government and opposition parties agreed to an amendment to a climate action report.


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

The Irish declaration follows a similar action from UK's parliament May 1. The governments of Wales and Scotland have also declared climate emergencies.

Irish Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan pointed out that the declaration needed to be a starting point.

"Declaring an emergency means absolutely nothing unless there is action to back it up,' he said, as BBC News reported. "That means the Government having to do things they don't want to do."

Climate Action Committee Chair Hildegarde Naughton said that Bruton would bring new climate action proposals before the Dáil, as the Irish parliament is called, and that she looked forward to working with her colleagues to assess them.

"Now we need action," she said, as BBC News reported.

Bruton praised the efforts of young people around the world who have protested for greater action on climate change for giving the debate more urgency.

"It is justified that a level of urgency be injected into this debate," he said, as The Independent Ireland reported.

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist who has been credited with inspiring the youth climate movement, in turn tweeted her support for Ireland's decision.

"Great news from Ireland!!" she tweeted. "Who is next? And remember: #ClimateEmergency means leaving fossil fuels in the ground."

The Dáil will have a chance to follow Thunberg's advice next month, when it will have a chance to support a Climate Emergency Measures Bill put forward by Solidarity/People Before Profit Deputy Bríd Smith, which seeks to limit oil and gas exploration. Smith said she was "delighted" with the emergency declaration, but that it would be "interesting to see" if the government would take it further by supporting her bill, RTÉ reported.

The Oireachtas Climate Action report that spurred the declaration came from a Citizens' Assembly report; another Citizens' Assembly will consider the issue of a biodiversity emergency, RTÉ explained.

Fianna Fail's climate action spokesman Timmy Dooley, who moved the amendment to declare an emergency, said that if the government followed the recommendations in the climate action report it would "bring an end to our laggardly response to climate change," The Independent Ireland reported.

Project goal: To create an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to leather, in this case using fungi.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Plastic waste is bulldozed at a landfill. Needpix

The plastic recycling model was never economically viable, but oil and gas companies still touted it as a magic solution to waste, selling the American public a lie so the companies could keep pushing new plastic.

Read More Show Less

Trending

54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Maria Symchych-Navrotska / Getty Images

By Pamela Davis-Kean

With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.

Read More Show Less
A teenager reads a school English assignment at home after her school shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 22, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

The pandemic has affected everyone, but mental health experts warn that youth and teens are suffering disproportionately and that depression and suicide rates are increasing.

Read More Show Less
In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch