Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

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.

Valley of the Gods in the heart of Bears Ears National Monument. Mint Images / Getty Images

By Sharon Buccino

This week, Secretary Haaland chose a visit to Bears Ears National Monument as her first trip as Interior Secretary. She is spending three days in Bluff, Utah, a small town just outside the monument, listening to representatives of the five tribes who first proposed its designation to President Obama in 2015. This is the same town where former Secretary Sally Jewell spent several hours at a public hearing in July 2016 before recommending the monument's designation to President Obama.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Pexels

By Anthony Richardson, Chhaya Chaudhary, David Schoeman, and Mark John Costello

The tropical water at the equator is renowned for having the richest diversity of marine life on Earth, with vibrant coral reefs and large aggregations of tunas, sea turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. The number of marine species naturally tapers off as you head towards the poles.

Read More Show Less
Trending
"Secrets of the Whales" is a new series that will start streaming on Disney+ on Earth Day. Disney+

In celebration of Earth Day, a star-studded cast is giving fans a rare glimpse into the secret lives of some of the planet's most majestic animals: whales. In "Secrets of the Whales," a four-part documentary series by renowned National Geographic Photographer and Explorer Brian Skerry and Executive Producer James Cameron, viewers plunge deep into the lives and worlds of five different whale species.

Read More Show Less
Spring is an excellent time to begin bird watching in earnest. Eugenio Marongiu / Cultura / Getty Images

The coronavirus has isolated many of us in our homes this year. We've been forced to slow down a little, maybe looking out our windows, becoming more in tune with the rhythms of our yards. Perhaps we've begun to notice more, like the birds hopping around in the bushes out back, wondering (maybe for the first time) what they are.

Read More Show Less
The brown pelican is seen on Queen Bess Island in Louisiana in March 2021. Casey Wright / LDWF biologist

Who says you can't go home again?

Read More Show Less