The latest report on climate change must be a wake-up call for Ireland according to Ciarán Cuffe Dublin’s Green MEP.
On Monday the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published the Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group II report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. The report stated that ‘Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health. Any further delay … will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.’
Mr. Cuffe said:
“While war rages in Ukraine, the climate crisis also demands that we take urgent action. While the Irish Government has approved the Climate Action Plan, sales of SUVs are up, and emissions continue to rise. In the European Parliament we are working on the ‘Fit for 55’ package of laws to reduce emissions by 55% in the year 2030 compared to 1990, but greater urgency is needed. Lobbyists are working hard to delay our efforts, so vigilance is required.
“The Ukraine crisis shows that we must wean ourselves of oil and gas sooner rather than later. We must build renewables, particularly offshore wind energy, and reinforce our electricity grid to handle new loads. Inter-connectors between Ireland and France, and Spain must be prioritised.
“The Report states that cities are hotspots of impacts and risks, but also a crucial part of the solution. For Dublin the message is clear. We must boost active travel and public transport. That means building segregated cycle lanes and improving our footpaths. We must also increase tree cover and provide more parklands that can absorb unprecedented periods of high rainfall. We must move away from building concrete walls to tackle flooding, and place more emphasis on giving more ‘room for the river’ as they are now doing in the Netherlands.
“The good news is that there is now greater understanding of climate change, and widespread support for action. However, efforts must be intensified if we to have any prospect of limiting global temperature increases to under 2 °, or better still 1.5 °. We’ve had a lost decade on efforts to take concerted action. There is a real risk that external events will result in yet another lost decade that could lead to catastrophic changes in our climate.