- 10 May 19
Ireland has become the second country in the world to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency.
The declaration came after a Fianna Fáil amendment to the Oireachtas report on Climate Action was accepted by both the Government and Opposition parties without a vote.
Earlier in the week, the Green Party moved a Dáil motion to declare a climate emergency after the UK did the same earlier this month.
The UK became the first country to declare a climate emergency, on May 1.
The announcement comes as EU leaders have committed to putting action on climate change at the top of the agenda in the next five years.
Richard Bruton, Minister for Climate Action, said climate change has been “rightly” described as the greatest challenge facing humanity.
“We’re reaching a tipping point in respect of climate deterioration,” he said. “Things will deteriorate very rapidly unless we move very swiftly and the window of opportunity to do that is fast closing.”
He also admitted that the recent protests by school students across the world "injected" a "level of urgency into the debate."
“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.”
The prominent 16-year old climate change activist Greta Thunberg welcomed the news:
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) May 9, 2019
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- 20 Sep 19