Climate Coalition calls for greater leadership on climate action in response to youth strikes

Government must commit to higher ambition at upcoming UN Summit in New York

September 20 2019, 01:04pm

Stop Climate Chaos has called on the Government to commit to greater leadership on climate action at next week’s high-level UN Summit on Climate Change, taking place in New York. The call comes in response to nationwide rallies which saw thousands of young people across Ireland take to the streets today (September 20th) demanding urgent and adequate climate action from the Government. Concerned citizens, trade union groups, community groups, faith leaders and civil society organisations joined the young people as part of the youth-led Global Climate Strike. The strikes took place as members of Government, including the Taoiseach, prepare to travel to New York to attend the UN Summit.

The nationwide strikes coincided with similar rallies taking place across the globe, which are due to attract millions of young people calling on world leaders to ‘Unite Behind the Science’ and deliver an urgent and dramatic increase in climate action.


Commenting Áine O'Gorman, Activism Support Coordinator with the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, said:

“The young people of Ireland have sent a loud and resounding message to the Government that they must urgently ramp up climate action to help ensure a safe and sustainable future for all.

“Failure to deliver the appropriate level of ambition now not only ignores the latest science on the scale of action required but also jeopardises the future of our young people.”


Catherine Devitt, Head of Policy with Stop Climate Chaos said,

“Ireland is set to champion intergenerational dialogue and public mobilisation at the upcoming UN Summit in New York. This role will ring hollow if they fail to genuinely listen and act on the demands of the thousands of young people here in Ireland and across the world calling for greater action to avert climate breakdown.”


At the Summit, it is expected that the European Commission President-elect will present a proposal for a higher EU 2030 climate target of 55% reductions in greenhouse gas reductions by 2030. This is from the current target of 40%.  Ireland has previously been opposed to the EU increasing its 2030 target.


Ms. Devitt added,

“One way Ireland can show leadership is by the Taoiseach signalling clear support in New York for a more ambitious EU target for cutting emissions pollution by 2030. Irelands failure to join other member states calling on increased ambition would be a nail in the coffin of the Government’s stated intention to move Ireland from climate laggard to climate leader.”

“The Government now has a very clear public mandate from the people of Ireland, and an historic opportunity to step up ambition at all levels to help put us on track to meeting our Paris Agreement obligations.”

“The global platform provided by the Summit provides Ireland will be the opportunity to respond to the calls of the burgeoning youth-led climate movement in Ireland for a safe and sustainable future. If ever there was a time for step up and show leadership – this is it!”

The Summit aims to build global momentum in advance of 2020 when States will be required to submit their emissions reductions pledges to the UN as their contribution to delivering on the goals of the Paris Agreement. The success of the Summit will be defined by the concrete commitments made by individual states, including Ireland.