Dr Bláithín Gallagher - Constituency Spokesperson and National Coordinator of the Green Party/An Comhaontas Glas
The Green Party has said reaching a global consensus on climate action has never been more urgent following the publication today of the first part of the sixth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) assessment on the state of climate change.
The assessment finds that climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying; that many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years; and that some of the changes already set in motion - such as continued sea level rise - are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years.
Reacting to the report Dr Bláithín Gallagher - Constituency Spokesperson and National Coordinator of the Green Party/An Comhaontas Glas said: “Government at all levels needs to take strong and urgent action both to reduce emissions and to prepare for the impacts of Climate Change that are already devastating large areas of the planet, bringing massive fires, floods, crop failures and increased storms. As yet the impacts of Climate Change on Ireland are not on the same catastrophic scale as elsewhere, but there are many indicators that say that our good luck is running out.”
“At present our County Councils are developing County Development Plans, and will soon be drawing up new Local Economic and Community Plans too. The time is long overdue for County Councillors, their executives and officials to show the same leadership on the Climate and Biodiversity Disasters as that shown by the Green Party over the last 40 years. We need these plans to put in place clear and effective strategies to contribute to the objective of net zero emissions, and the reversal of biodiversity loss.”
Green Party Leader, Minister for Climate Eamon Ryan TD, said: “(The) report by the IPCC is a stark reminder that the window to act on climate change is closing. For Ireland the report predicts more intense heatwaves and increased flooding as temperatures rise. Some changes, such as sea level rise, are irreversible.
“We recently passed the Climate Act which puts us on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, and what this report tells us is that there is no time to waste. We need to act now. The Climate Action Plan that we will publish soon will set out what we need to do this decade, including changes in how we generate our energy, get around, heat our homes, grow our food and look after our land.
“We know what we have to do. We now need to harness a national and global effort to do it. Failure to act will have devastating consequences, particularly for those vulnerable populations who have done the least to cause climate change.”
Green Party Spokesperson for Climate Action and Environment and Chair of the Committee on Climate Action, Brian Leddin TD, added: “(The) IPCC report is the most comprehensive assessment on the state of climate change since 2013. It makes for sobering reading and reminds us of the urgent need to reach a new global consensus for action on climate at the upcoming COP26 in Glasgow.
“The report has shown that every tonne of CO₂ emissions is adding to global warming, and that unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C will be beyond our reach.
“Time is running out, and we must take action now. We have taken the first important step in Ireland with the passing of the Climate Act, which commits us to halving our greenhouse gas emissions in a decade, and the Climate Action Plan being published shortly will show that Ireland is ready to play its part in meeting this global challenge.”
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