New alliance of trade unions and environmental & civil society groups call for Just Transition Commission to tackle climate change

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Save the date!

Meet your TD on 5th December when we Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice

October 25 2018, 05:21pm

"We are scared, we are angry."

That was the headline in the Irish Times the evening of Tuesday October 16th, as a few hours earlier hundreds of people gathered outside the Dáil to demand Climate Action Now (check out some pictures from the event here).

Are you scared and angry too? Then save the date to meet your TD to talk to them about climate change.Button

The news that we have a mere 12 years at most to implement  "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented" action in order to limit global warming to 1.5ºC has caused ripples of alarm across the world and Ireland. Even though the difference between 1.5C and 2C doesn't seem very large, it is the difference between life and death for millions of people across the world. And we're running out of time.
Climate Action Now Protest 16 October 2018

But the solutions exist.

The Citizens' Assembly has given the government a neatly-packaged list of 13 recommendations that, if implemented, would help us reach "net zero" emissions by 2050 and avoid climate chaos.

However, the government are stalling, they are not listening to citizens, and they are actively holding back the transition to a fossil-fuel free future.

For example, they are:

  • Planning on building liquefied natural gas terminals to import fracked gas from the US.
  • Allowing the importation of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, from Colombia. 
  • Preventing the quick passage of the Climate Emergency Measues Bill.

But you, a constituent, can have an opportunity to talk to your TD(s) face-to-face about these issues. TDs keep telling us that "climate change isn't a doorstep issue" - but now we have a chance to change that.

Save the Date for Stop Climate Chaos' TD lobby day, 'Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice'

On Wednesday December 5th, the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition will be hosting a TD lobby day in Buswell's Hotel, Dublin. This will be an opportunity for you to meet one of your local TDs face-to-face and:

  • Tell them that we need Climate Action Now
  • Ask them what they are doing or plan on doing to ensure Ireland meets its climate targets to keep us below a 1.5C rise in temperature since pre-industrial levels
  • Push them to pressurise their party leader to take the steps we know need to be taken in order to avoid climate chaos

We will be sending out more information soon, but for now all you need to do is put the date in your diary.

Here's hoping you'll join the movement for climate justice in Ireland. Let's together re-iterate the words of Hannah Fitzpatrick from the Dublin Ecofeminist Coven (pictured speaking at last week's demonstration), and tell TDs:Climate Action Now Protest 16 October 2018

"We want change. And we want it now."

Meaghan Carmody
Mobilisation Coordinator
The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

Global Climate Strike 20 Sep 2019

The Strikes in Ireland in Pictures!

October 3 2019, 05:28pm

On the 20th of Sep 2019, in over 75 places across Ireland, tens of thousands of people stood up, joined the school strikers and demanded climate justice. They joined 7.6 million people worldwide.  Here are just some of the photos from groups around the country.

We are constantly updating this blog with more pictures.

You can send photos to aine@stopclimatechaos.ie

 

20,000 people, led by student organisers marched from Custom House Quay to Merrion Square

Merrion Square

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Over 50 Civil Society Organisations, Grassroots groups and Unions supported the rallies.

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Bray

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Glasnevin

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Ennis

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Ennis school strikers turned the tables on politicians and got them to take a test on Climate Breakdown!

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Enniscorthy

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Dundalk

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Carrickmacross

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Letterkenny

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Fairview, Dublin

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UCC

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Dundrum Co.Dublin

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Schull

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Blessington

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On Sunday the world will unite for justice and peace. Join us.

November 27 2015, 02:29pm

There are now more than 2000 events planned in over 150 countries this weekend as part of the Global Climate March.

The French Government may have cancelled the People's Climate March in Paris on Sunday, amid ongoing security fears, but people around the world are stepping out and stepping up. Join us in Dublin on Sunday at 2pm on Custom House Quay. There are also events in Belfast, Galway and Cork.

dubclimmarch2

We will be marching for climate justice, community energy and a carbon free future. We will also be marching in solidarity with the French, Lebanese, Syrians, Iraqis and all those affected by the ongoing violence.

We already know climate chaos would undermine our societies and economies. We know that tackling climate change is a question of global justice. But climate change is also exacerbating conflict. Drought has been identified as one of the key catalysts of the Syrian conflict, killing livestock, undermining rural livelihoods and driving migration to the cities.

So when 150 world leaders arrive in Paris on Monday to kick-start the UN talks for a global climate deal, it will also be a justice and peace summit. And we cannot let Governments' security agenda silence civil society. When prime ministers meet we want the voices of the people ringing in their ears.

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SHARE the March on Facebook. And INVITE your friends.

 

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RETWEET our tweet about the march.

 

We will be marching because we don't trust our leaders to lead. We know the real leaders are the communities on the frontline of the climate crisis and of the energy revolution we need to solve it. Communities resisting land grabs for palm oil plantations in Africa, communities pioneering collective solar energy projects across the world and those organizing to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

If enough of us lead, our leaders will follow. Sunday's march will set the agenda and in the months and years ahead we will hold our leaders accountable for delivering it.

In hope,

Ciara Kirrane
Coordinator, Stop Climate Chaos coalition

P.S. We are organizing a Climate Justice and Solidarity trip to Paris for the end of the UN talks. The French Government has banned the mass demonstrations on Saturday 12th, but international civil society is still working on creative ways for the tens of thousands still travelling to Paris to have the last word. Friends of the Earth International is organizing an indoor event on Friday 11th. The NGO Climate Action Zone is still going ahead with the support of the French Government. Read the detailed programme here. Live updates on the plans can be found here. If you want to join us for the overland trip - leaving the evening of Wednesday 9th and arriving back on the morning of Monday 14th - fill out this form and we'll be in touch. Stop Climate Chaos is subsidizing the trip so it'll cost around €250 depending on final numbers.

Please share this with anyone you know who might meet up with you at the march.

Climate campaigners emphasise importance of commitment to fairer and faster climate action in ongoing government negotiations

Next Government must commit to a minimum of 8% emissions reductions year on year to align with Ireland’s climate obligations

April 22 2020, 11:08am

Stop Climate Chaos wrote to all TDs and Senators this week (April 21st) – when political negotiations on Government formation were continuing – outling why the Programme for Government must commit to at least 8% emissions reductions per annum over the lifetime of the next Government. Here is our email below, including links to an important background document that sets out in detail why the 8% emissions reduction figure is so important. 

 

Dear TD,

We wrote to you last week outlining our assessment of the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael framework document. Whilst we welcomed proposals to identify and implement early climate action, we also emphasised our concern that the framework failed to unite behind the science and reflect the urgent need to deliver fairer and faster climate action over the lifetime of the next Government.

Along with the One Future Campaign for Faster and Fairer Climate Action - which Stop Climate Chaos Coalition is a signatory to - we have been consistently calling for faster and fairer climate action through the delivery of nine policy asks in the Programme for Government. Our first demand is that political parties commit to delivering reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of at the very least 8% a year over the lifetime of the next Government - in other words, the legally binding carbon budget for the period 2021 to 2025 would be equivalent to 8% reductions every year compared to 2020. This is what climate science and expert-advice indicates is required if we are to bend the emissions curve in line with our climate obligations.

It is crucial that ongoing negotiations between parties on government formation and any Programme for Government that follows centres on a commitment to delivering emissions reductions of at least 8% per annum over the lifetime of the next Government. I want to summarise to you now why this 8% minimum figure is so important to avoiding dangerous climate change and what the next Government must do to work towards this emissions reductions figure in line with our obligations under the Paris Agreement.

A comprehensive document from Stop Climate Chaos, that elaborates in detail on why the 8% figure matters, is available here .

Uniting behind the Science

According to the United Nations Environment Programme Emissions Gap Report (2019), over the course of this decade, global emissions must reduce by 7.6% per annum if the 1.5°C limit in the Paris Agreement is to remain at all feasible. Achieving this temperature goal is crucial to averting catastrophic climate breakdown and ensuring the future stability of the planet. However, doing so requires steep reductions over the next decade in global emissions over and above what countries, including Ireland, have committed to doing under the Paris Agreement. A conservative estimate, deductions of 7.6% per annum is the minimum that will be required. Richer countries like Ireland will have to do more if we are to respect the principles of equity and climate justice. For Ireland, doing its fair share requires delivering reductions of 8% per annum at the very least over the five year period 2021-2025.

This need for accelerated ambition was also recognised by the special all-party Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action in 2019. In their landmark recommendations, the Committee noted that if Ireland is to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050 at the latest, as committed to by the outgoing Government, Ireland’s emissions should reduce by 5-10% per year.

Current policy plans do not unite behind the science

The 2019 Climate Action Plan adopted by the outgoing government commits to just 3.5% emissions cuts (including emissions in the ETS sector) per annum from now to 2030. This target is not commensurate with delivering Ireland’s climate obligations, and will drastically escalate the social and economic effort that will be required to shift to a zero carbon future.

Delivering fairer and faster climate action

In January 2020, the JOCCA recommended the Government to respond to the need for immediate and sustained reductions by revising current climate action plans to include year-on-year reductions to 2030 that are consistent with the Paris Agreement, the global 1.5°C target and the UNEP Global Emissions Gap report. At a minimum, delivering enhanced action should begin with:

  • Implementation of the full package of governance and sectoral cross-party recommendations from the Joint Committee on Climate Action, along with the nine policy proposals of the One Future campaign . To deliver annual reductions in emissions of at least 8% a year, the next Government must strengthen existing climate legislation with a view to a new climate action law being passed by the Dáil within 100 days of the formation of a Government . This is imperative to ensuring a stable climate policy governance framework that can keep a sustained focus on transitioning to a zero carbon future. The other demands include:

    • Substantial government investment in public transport

    • Delivery of a nationwide deep retrofit programme

    • Ending the use of peat and coal by 2021 and ensuring a just transition for affected workers and their communities.

    • Support for communities to develop and own renewable energy projects

    • Ending support for any new fossil fuel exploration and infrastructure.

    • Increasing Ireland’s contribution to international climate finance.

    • Alignment of agriculture and land-use policies with Ireland’s climate obligations.

    • Establishment of a Citizens’ Assembly on nature loss before mid-2020.

On April 9th, we sent you a briefing on “Six questions the next Government will have to answer on climate and energy policy” over the coming months. This briefing also identifies the key decisions that the next Government will have to take to fulfill its responsibility to reduce emissions with the scale and urgency that is now necessary.

We are available to discuss any aspect of the briefing with you over the coming weeks and months. We wish you well in your work during these challenging times.

 

Yours sincerely,

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition

9 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2

www.stopclimatechaos.ie

As the world receives more warnings on climate change campaigners ask if the Government is listening

April 13 2014, 03:13pm

Climate Bill Must Reflect the Scientific Evidence

Stop Climate Chaos welcomes the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report in Berlin on Sunday which indicates that avoiding catastrophic climate change is still possible, but only with rapid and sustained cuts to carbon pollution. The report comes at a crucial time as the Irish Government prepares to publish its revised Climate Bill this week.

Oisín Coghlan, a member of Stop Climate Chaos and Director of Friends of the Earth commented, “Minister Hogan has promised to publish revised Heads of Bill before Easter and with the warnings coming from the IPCC over the past two weeks, the imperative to act couldn’t be clearer. By implementing strong climate legislation, we would be putting Ireland on a path towards a low carbon future and committing to do our fair share to tackle the climate crisis.”

Last year the Government introduced a draft Bill that Stop Climate Chaos said was ‘too weak to work’. The NGO coalition believes the forthcoming Bill will be a key test of how seriously the Government is treating the issue of climate change.

Mr Coghlan continued, “The Government looked for stakeholder input into the draft Heads of Bill last year and the Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht ran a thorough and inclusive process of consultation. We are expecting the Government to respect the work of the Committee by reflecting its conclusions in the revised Bill.”

The report points to the benefits of increasing the use of renewable power and phasing out dirty fossil fuels in the long term as well as using energy more efficiently, and investing in better transport and building technologies. For the world to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the report points out that the use of zero and low carbon energy sources will need to at least triple by 2050.

The third instalment of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report - which involves over 800 scientists synthesizing the latest findings in the field -puts pressure on government leaders to act as it has outlined how cutting pollution now will be cheaper and more effective.

“This report shows that we have the solutions to the climate crisis,” David Healy, Policy Officer for Oxfam and member of Stop Climate Chaos, said. “But with levels of climate change-causing carbon pollution still rising across the globe, it’s clear that more needs to be done, and faster, to accelerate the transition from dirty energy to clean, renewable power.

“The transition to renewable energy will provide massive benefits ranging from energy security, increasing employment, and improved public health. Stop Climate Chaos will be looking to the government this week to grasp these opportunities by publishing a climate law strong enough to drive the transition to a low carbon future”, concluded Mr Healy.

Fine Gael efforts to water down Climate Action report 'unconscionable' say campaigners

Landmark week for climate policy as special Oireachtas Committee to report

March 25 2019, 01:41pm

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has denounced as “unconscionable” Fine Gael attempts to water down the report of the special Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, which is due to be published this week. Media reports over the weekend revealed that Fine Gael had tabled last minute amendments to weaken a recommendation for a net-zero emissions target for 2050, and to remove a recommendation calling for a climate pollution impact assessment of all new Government policies.

A spokesperson for the Coalition, Cliona Sharkey, Policy Advisor for Trócaire commented:

“If true, this attempt by Fine Gael to undermine the cross-party consensus for serious action is unconscionable. We’re currently seeing the impacts of climate change hitting some of the poorest countries in the world. Hundreds of people have died and thousands are now displaced in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as a result of Cyclone Idai. This is the latest in a catalogue of human catastrophes, caused by increasingly frequent extreme weather events.
"There is now a moral imperative for an urgent change in policy direction, and political attempts to undermine action are a disservice to the intensive work of the Oireachtas Committee and the Citizens’ Assembly.”

The Joint Committee was established with cross-party consensus in July 2018, charged with considering the thirteen high level recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on climate change, and how current departmental climate policies could be strengthened. The Assembly recommendations represent the strongest mandate ever received by the State to take strong actions on climate change, and the Committee’s report will lay the ground for the Government to respond, with a new all-of-government action plan due before Easter.

This week's Committee report will be an important litmus test of whether or not political representatives are up to the task of responding to the climate crisis.

Catherine Devitt, Policy Coordinator for the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition said:

“We hope this will be a landmark document that provides the cross-party mandate and impetus required to change the course of Irish climate policy.

“The Report needs to translate the call to action from the Citizens' Assembly into concrete measures that the Government knows command cross-party support.

“The Report looks set to be an historic mandate to Government for climate action, and a new benchmark for Minister Bruton’s all-of-government plan.

“We are expecting cross-party support for a vast range of measures that will go a significant way to closing the gap between Ireland’s growing emissions and our national and international climate obligations."

The Report will also come at a critical moment in the climate movement, as thousands of young people around the world, including here in Ireland, are taking to the streets, calling for greater ambition, greater leadership, and more action on what is, an unprecedented threat to their future.

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has consistently urged the Committee to respect and represent the level of policy ambition called for by the Citizens’ Assembly, by providing new substantive, concrete policy recommendations to ensure that action from now on is adequate and timely, and is line with Ireland’s international climate obligations.

Notes 

  1. Stop Climate Chaos is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.
  2. In March 2018, the Stop Climate Chaos coalition called for the establishment of a dedicated Oireachtas Committee to take the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations forward, as was done with the Assembly report on the eighth amendment to the Constitution. See the Stop Climate Chaos letter to the Oireachtas Business Committee.
  3. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition’s submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action is available here.
  4. The Citizens’ Assembly’s published report is available here. This includes the Assembly’s 13 recommendations on ‘how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’. The Assembly agreed these recommendations after four days of expert presentations in 2017 and following a major public consultation that received close to 2000 submissions. 
  5. The joint Environmental Pillar and Stop Climate Chaos Coalition recommendations to the Citizens’ Assembly are available to download here.
  6. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has consistently urged the Committee to respect and represent the level of policy ambition called for by the Citizens’ Assembly, by providing new substantive, concrete policy recommendations to ensure that action from now on is adequate and timely, and is line with Ireland’s international climate obligations.

Stop Climate Chaos coalition dress as Homer Simpson outside the Dail.

November 22 2012, 01:00pm

"D'Oh! at the Dail"

A group of Stop Climate Chaos campaigners dressed as Homer Simpson held a demonstration at the Dáil today. The protest was held ahead of the annual UN Climate Change Summit, where Environment Ministers from across the world will meet to negotiate global commitments to act on climate change.

The meeting will take place next week in Qatar in the city of Doha, but according to the activists, it's more like 'Doh-a'!

Cliona Sharkey of Trócaire said, 'This is the first global meeting of Ministers since governments agreed last year to negotiate a new global climate deal by 2015 and put it in place by 2020, but it's not clear what action they're going to take now. They're just not getting that climate change is here and we don't have the luxury of time.'

'Rocketing global food prices this year following the worst US drought in half a century show how the impacts of climate change across the world affect us all and, every time in every country it's poor and vulnerable people who bear the brunt' said Ciara Gaynor of Oxfam.

The Government has published a roadmap on climate change which promises to have a climate bill published before the end of the year.

'The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency are very clear that current emission reduction commitments are far too weak and 2020 is simply too late if we're to meet the goals agreed by the international community and avoid runaway climate change. We need to introduce a climate bill this year to get Ireland on the right track - the law needs to be strong and effective and passed as soon as possible' said Sorley McCaughey of Christian Aid.

ENDS

Notes:

1. The members of Stop Climate Chaos are: Afri, BirdWatch, Christian Aid, Climate Action Ireland Platform, Comhlámh, Concern, Cultivate, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Methodist Church of Ireland- Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Progressio Ireland, Sustain West Cork, Trócaire, An Taisce, Vita, VOICE.

The EU Long-term strategy and what it means for Ireland (May 2019)

May 10 2019, 10:42pm

A joint briefing between the Environmental Pillar and Stop Climate Chaos (May 2019) which outlines the Long-term Strategy process & what it means for Ireland. On 1st January 2020, the Government is required to submit to the European Commission, the pathway Ireland intends to follow over the next thirty years to deliver on its long-term contribution to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement. This is called the Long-term Strategy (LTS). The LTS aims to set out how to scale up transformational climate action across all sectors of society, and as required under the EU Governance of the Energy Union Regulation, must contribute to the Paris Agreement.

https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/assets/files/pdf/stop_climate_chaos_briefing_on_eu_climate_policy_may_2019_5.pdf

The Citizens' Assembly wants to hear from you on climate action

July 22 2017, 08:02am

On the weekend of 30th September, the Citizens Assembly will deliberate on the topic of ‘How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change.’ This is a major opportunity for us to send a strong message to the State that climate change is an issue we really care about, and that we want the State to finally start taking it seriously.

The Citizen’s Assembly is a randomly selected group of 100 people, broadly representative of the Irish electorate, brought together to consider some of the most important issues facing Ireland’s future. Their conclusions and recommendations on the topics they discuss are sent to the Houses of the Oireachtas for further debate by our elected representatives. The Dáil resolution that established the Assembly states that the Government will respond to each recommendation of the Assembly’

Will you make a submission on climate action in Ireland?

What should I include?

You don’t have to be an expert on climate change to make a submission. The citizens reading the submissions won’t be experts either. The most important thing is to say why climate change matters to you personally and why you think it is an important issue for Ireland to tackle. Your submission should be in your own words and unique to you. It can be as short or as long, as detailed or as general as you wish.

You could tell the Assembly what changes you would like to see the state making on some, all or none of the following areas, or come up with your own list:

  • · How we move around e.g. public transport, cars, cycling.
  • · What we eat and how our food is produced.
  • · How we light/heat our homes.
  • · How we generate our energy.
  • · How we deal with our waste.
  • · How we cooperate with other countries dealing with the impacts of climate change.
  • · How we support those being impacted by climate change at home and abroad.
  • · How we plan for climate change.
  • · Other areas that are important to you.

How do I make a submission? Go to the Citizens Assembly site here and follow the instructions, entering your contact info and your message to the Assembly in the comment box or upload your submission document.

What is the deadline? Submissions must be made by August 11th. Postal submissions are also accepted (16 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, D01 X9Y2)

Can anyone make a submission? Yes, not just citizens of Ireland or those living in Ireland, anyone from anywhere can make a submission.

Government plan does not envisage agricultural methane emissions falling before 2030 - “entirely unacceptable” say climate campaigners

Coalition government approach to agriculture and environment is incoherent and still pulling in opposite directions

December 10 2020, 11:07am

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition today welcomed the publication of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s AgClimatise Roadmap towards Climate Neutrality. While it is the most far-reaching and cross-cutting set of actions that have been proposed for the sector to date the Coalition believes it will not deliver reductions in agricultural emissions in line with Ireland's climate targets. It does, however, include some welcome measures to reduce nitrogen fertilisers, develop forest and land sinks, restore native woodlands, and promote organic and horticultural production. 

 

The campaigning coalition, which organised meetings between 100 TDs and over 1000 constituents just this week, warned that the roadmap still does not address the glaring emissions profile of the livestock sector. The most recent EPA assessment report, published in November 2020, highlighted the growing impacts of agricultural policies on the environment, and on greenhouse gas emissions in particular. Agriculture is the single largest contributor to Ireland’s overall GHG emissions, at 35.3 per cent. The EPA’s report states ‘since 2011, emissions have trended upwards again with an overall peak in emissions reported in 2018. In the last 10 years, dairy cow numbers have increased by 38.3 percent with a corresponding milk production increase of 66.9 per cent. This reflects national plans to expand milk production under Food Wise 2025 and the removal of the milk quota in 2015’. The EPA acknowledges that with rising numbers of dairy cows, emissions will continue to increase. 

 

Sadhbh O Neill, Stop Climate Chaos policy coordinator said:

 

"It is a basic metabolic fact that more cows will lead to higher emissions - there are no ‘efficiency’ measures that can successfully prevent enteric fermentation, and breeding efficiencies have not yet delivered the promised emission reductions despite being promoted by Teagasc for the past 8 years. Why should we rely on breeding efficiencies now if they haven’t worked before?

 

More cows means more land dedicated to grazing and more nitrogen feed inputs. Each of these contribute further to the growing emissions burden from dairy intensification. It is alarming that despite these worrying trends, that Teagasc’s strategy for the dairy sector launched last week envisages yet further growth in the dairy herd and output between 2020 and 2027. These additional emissions cannot be offset by efficiency measures or by other sectors or by land sequestration.The fact that Teagasc, the national advisory body for agriculture, is envisaging a growth in cow numbers to 1.65 million by 2027 tells the real story: this is Business As Usual and agriculture is still not doing its fair share of the climate effort."

 

The actions set out in AgClimatise even if effective, will only implement the targets in the 2019 Climate Action Plan or about to reduce emissions by 16.6mtCO2eq by 2030. The basis for this target is the Teagasc Marginal Abatement Cost Curve which assumes that efficiencies and voluntary measures will reduce overall emissions. However since the publication of the first Teagasc MACC in 2012 emissions have increased steadily. Research into new nitrate management rules show that it can take years to motivate changes to on-farm practices, even where there are cost savings to individual farmers from doing so. 

 

The Coalition’s analysis of AgClimatise is that the proposed measures are not sufficient to deliver the required mitigation from agriculture. The Minister for Agriculture says AgClimatise will impose ‘radical’ climate action targets, but what is actually proposed is stabilising methane emissions and a significant reduction in fertiliser related nitrous oxide emissions, which taken together is hoped to deliver an absolute reduction in the agricultural greenhouse gas inventory by 2030. The Minister noted that ‘any increase in biogenic methane emissions from continually increasing livestock numbers will put the achievement of this target in doubt’ yet this is exactly what is envisaged by Teagasc, and the next the AgriFood2030 strategy currently under preparation by the same Department.

 

The Teagasc dairy strategy for 2027 launched last week envisages an increase in the dairy herd to 1.65 million dairy cows by 2027 which in conjunction with the increases in milk output will lead to additional methane and nitrous oxide emissions. The N20 emissions are also likely to increase if the dairy sector remains reliant upon imported feed, or additional grazing land, and this dependency could increase further if climate changes result in more summer droughts. 

 

Ms O Neill continued,

"Now is the time for agriculture to start reducing emissions instead of talking up efficiency measures. The Programme for Government commitments call for economy-wide emission cuts of 7% per annum to 2030 and agriculture simply cannot expect other sectors to do all the heavy lifting. We note that Dr. Hannah Daly of UCC has estimated that methane stabilisation is ‘problematic’ since other GHGs would have to reduce by 12-13% annually to make up for lack of mitigation in agriculture. We need a new model that supports farmers to transition to socially and ecologically sustainable land uses that do not compromise water quality, climate action or biodiversity and that provide the nutrition and ecosystem services that we actually need to live and thrive. It is time to start discussing a reduction in the livestock herd which should be implemented in a manner that addresses the problems caused by intensification in the South East and Munster. In the meantime no further growth in dairy should be countenanced."

 

Dr. Ciara Murphy, spokesperson for the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice commented:

 

"Agriculture should be, like every other sector, aligned with the Paris Agreement and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Our model is overly focused on exports while at the same time Ireland imported €10bn in agri-food products last year. The argument that we are efficient at producing food needs to be reassessed. High consumption and aggressive marketing, both here and abroad, of high carbon foodstuffs needs a balanced and fair discussion. Aiming to keep emissions steady given the already inflated methane emissions is not effective climate action and should not be an argument to do less."

 

ENDS

 

 

As the UN Climate talks get underway in Lima, campaigners call for leadership from developed countries

December 1 2014, 05:28pm

Stop Climate Chaos will be in Lima monitoring progress

As the UN Climate talks get underway today in Lima, Peru climate campaigners in Ireland call for much needed leadership during the two week meeting. Stop Climate Chaos warns that unless delegations from developed countries make significant steps forward the talks will not progress, and the possibilities of achieving a global agreement in Paris next year will be even further away.

Ciara Kirrane, Coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos, said today:

"Unless the world's richest developed countries take responsibility for the climate change they have caused these negotiations will struggle to make progress. The proposals currently on the table fall far short of what is needed to prevent dangerous climate change. In order to address this, developed countries must put forward more ambitious quantified emission reduction objectives as well as clear contributions for climate finance and technology transfer to developing countries.

Ciara Kirrane, who will be arriving in Lima later this week, says Stop Climate Chaos will be eager to see developed countries, including Ireland, stepping up their levels of ambition:

"These talks take place against a backdrop of increasing concern about climate change. The scientific community has provided their most damning assessment to date of the state of the climate, while citizens around the world took to the streets in September to voice their fears about runaway climate change. Leaders and representatives of governments in Lima must heed these calls for action and put in place the necessary commitments to ensure this round of negotiations does not fail as so many other climate negotiations have in the past."

Divestment Bill at Critical Stage

Act now to help push it over the line

July 5 2018, 10:35am

Ireland is just days away from making history.

On Thursday 12th July, TDs can seal the deal on Ireland being the first country in the world to Divest!

This means Ireland will commit to withdraw its investments from the industry which is doing the most to fuel the climate change crisis – the fossil fuel industry.

Will you tell your TDs to make sure Ireland is on the right side of history on the 12th?

Yes, I’ll email my TDs

Right now, the Government is in negotiations with Deputy Thomas Pringle, the Bill’s sponsor, about whether they will support the Bill on July 12th . We are hopeful, but we need to keep the pressure on.

We need to make sure all TDs are there to vote the Bill through on the 12th and to ask them to ensure their parties use this historic moment to push for much greater climate ambition in Ireland (we are currently ranked second last in the EU on our performance on climate action [1] ).

Yes, I’ll email my TDs

Let us never forget why we have worked so hard to get this far. The impacts of climate change continue to hit the poorest countries hardest even though they have contributed the least. In Ethiopia today approximately 10 million people are in need of food aid due to persistently poor rains caused by drought. You may be one of the thousands of activists who have been on this journey from the start, as far back as 2008 when Trócaire started campaigning on climate justice, you may have joined in 2016, when we started the Divestment Campaign with Deputy Pringle, or you may be only starting your journey. But the truth is, Ireland would not be on the cusp of something amazing without the actions of people like you.

Thank you.

Joanne McGarry
Campaigns Manager
Trócaire (member of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition)

[1] Ireland and Poland worst countries in EU for action and ambition on climate change;

P.S. If you want to attend the debate in person on the 12th, simply follow these four simple steps to contact your local TD who can put your name on the list of attendees:

  1. Call the switch board in the Dáil - 01 618 3000
  2. Ask to be put through to one of your TD's offices
  3. Tell them you are a constituent (give them your address) and leave a message saying ‘you would like to be put on the list to attend the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill Report Stage debate on Thursday July 12th at 2.10pm.
  4. Leave your phone number and ask for a call back to confirm your name is on the list.

Ireland's oil dependence fuels global injustice

June 16 2011, 01:00pm

'Tonnes of Carbon' outside the DáilReliance on depleting fossil fuels is bad for us and bad for climate change

As the latest round of UN climate talks comes to a close in Bonn on Friday, Stop Climate Chaos, a coalition of development, environment, faith and youth groups, put the spotlight on Ireland's dependence on imported fossil fuels and how it is fuelling global injustice. In a photo stunt outside the Dáil today the coalition physically represented emissions per person from four different countries, demonstrating the much larger carbon footprint of the average Irish person. Stop Climate Chaos has welcomed the commitment in the Programme for Government to pass a climate law and is calling on Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan to publish his Bill before he heads to Durban for the next round of climate talks in December.

Colin Roche of Oxfam Ireland said
"In the interests of global justice and a safe climate, Ireland, like everybody else will have to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. In the interests of energy security and affordability Ireland needs to cut our use of pricey fossil fuels as fast as possible and invest instead in renewable energy. People in developing countries are already suffering the effects of climate change and will suffer further if Ireland and other countries fail their responsibility to reduce their emissions. We also have a responsibility to ourselves to develop a clean green economy based on safe energy that won't run out."

89% of the energy we use in Ireland comes from imported fossil fuels, more than half of that from oil. As a result Ireland emits 17 tonnes of carbon emissions per person per year, compared to 11 tonnes in Denmark, just 5 in China and barely 1 in Ethiopia.
Speaking from the talks in Bonn, Cliona Sharkey of Trócaire said
"Ireland is among the highest emitters of greenhouse gases per person among developed countries, but we have significant potential to address this. Strong climate legislation is a crucial instrument to ensure we do so effectively and to drive a transformation to a safe and sustainable low carbon economy".

Taja Naidoo of Progressio Ireland said
"The passing of a climate law will send a clear signal to people in developing countries that Ireland will not stand idly by while people suffer, and that we are truly committed to tackling climate change. If Minister Hogan is serious about his commitment to have a climate law passed in 2012 he should publish a Bill this Autumn to allow adequate time for consultation."

ENDS

Notes:
1. The members of Stop Climate Chaos Coalition are: Action Aid, Afri, Birdwatch, Christian Aid, Climate Action Ireland Platform, Comhlámh, Concern, Cultivate, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Methodist Church of Ireland- Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Progressio Ireland, Sustain West Cork, Trócaire, An Taisce, Vita, V.O.I.C.E.
2. Sources: Greenhouse Gas Emissions- Annual per capita emissions in tonnes of CO2e for the six Kyoto gases in 2005. WRI's Climate Analysis Indicators Tool: http://cait.wri.org/cait.php. Energy use- Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, "Energy in Ireland 1990-2009" pg.5.

Climate talks end with baby steps when we need a giant leap

Communities and campaigners now leading the transformation as 'leaders' trail

December 15 2018, 11:00pm

The COP24 climate summit came to an end this weekend, and it is clear that governments have failed to adequately respond to the catastrophic impacts of climate change that were highlighted in October's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report. That landmark report stated we need to cut global emissions in half by 2030 and to near zero by 2050 in order to achieve the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement to keep global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Commenting, Oisin Coghlan, a spokesperson for the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition said:

"I'm not sure what planet our leaders are on. Not the same one as the scientists in the IPCC, or David Attenborough, or those struggling to farm in the face of an increasingly chaotic climate, or the young activists fighting to save their future.

"At this climate conference negotiators took baby steps, when we need a giant leap. Thankfully communities and campaigners around the world are forging ahead to create the just transition we so desperately need. The people will lead and politicians will follow."

It appears from the published text that COP 24 failed to deliver a clear commitment to strengthen all countries’ climate pledges by 2020. At the same time, a relatively effective though incomplete rulebook for how to implement the Paris Agreement was finalised. Limited progress was also made with regard to how financial support for poorer countries coping with devastating climate impacts will be provided and accounted for.

Jennifer Higgins, Policy Advisor for Christian Aid Ireland, commented:

"Financial support to poorer countries was always going to be a sticking point. Developing countries weren’t demanding finance now, they wanted rules which showed that the needed finance to help them track and reduce their emissions, would come when promised.  Without  which they wouldn’t be able to achieve their own mitigation responsibilities, nor deal with the effects of climate change they are already facing. Some predictability has been achieved, but rich countries have been allowed to count almost anything and everything as climate finance, including commercial loans. This puts the sincerity of the $100bn pledge for poor countries into question.

"This COP was important in that is was the chance for countries to demonstrate how committed they were to Paris and establish an important rulebook to achieve its ambitious goals. Instead countries such as the USA, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Australia and Brazil have clearly not shown up prepared to do what they said they would. Countries came it seems, to disrupt, rather than work together towards meaningful, sustainable change."

Clodagh Daly, of Friends of the Irish Environment commented:

"The failure to get agreement on how to implement article 6 of the Paris Agreement - which permits emissions trading between countries - is not surprising. There is deep disagreement about the role of carbon trading in effective climate mitigation. Some highly-polluting countries argue that it is cheaper to get less-developed countries to do climate action.  Developing countries argue that they need to be adequately rewarded financially for preserving stocks of carbon in forests, and through sustainable development initiatives. 

"However these trading instruments as shown by the Clean Development Mechanism have not delivered lower emissions. There are countless examples of fraud and double counting which should make parties very wary of adopting a new international carbon trading mechanism that will deliver yet more 'hot air' at extremely low carbon prices. It is vital that the Paris Rulebook does not permit loopholes and double counting whereby countries could benefit both financially and in their national GHG inventories from the same activities. Unfortunately the substantive decision has been left to next year, effective moving it into the long grass. We will need to wait until next year’s COP in Chile where we continue to call for the environmental integrity of the Paris Agreement."

Oisin Coghlan concluded:

"Despite disappointment surround the result of these negotiations, in the side events and actions outside being run by indigenous communities, youth activists and NGOs, reminding us that a younger generation is coming behind us, and paying attention to what world leaders do today, and they will hold them accountable in the future, it’s only a shame those at the negotiation tables couldn’t hear their load and urgent calls for ambition now."

Government rejects calls to change Climate Bill as it passes Second Stage

March 25 2015, 07:17pm

Stop Climate Chaos has today expressed deep disappointment at the government’s refusal to take on board concerns about the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill, which today passed Second Stage. This is the first time a Bill designed to tackle climate change has passed Second Stage.

 Commenting this evening, Ciara Kirrane, Coordinator of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, said:

 “We are deeply disappointed at the government’s unwillingness to listen to concerns expressed not only by Stop Climate Chaos but by their own party colleagues. Fine Gael and Labour backbenchers have voiced their concerns with aspects of the Bill in the Dáil in recent weeks but the Minister’s statement today clearly shows that none of these issues will be addressed.

“The Government is also ignoring the advice from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht. Seven of the ten proposals made by the Committee which require changes to the Bill have been disregarded by Government.

“These include some of the most important proposals for actually tackling climate change, such as a long term emissions reduction target and an independent advisory council. Minister Kelly has argued that setting national targets would interfere with the EU process but this just doesn’t stand up. Other member states have managed to pass climate laws with long-term targets, the most recent of which is Finland which passed a climate law earlier this month with an 80% emissions reduction target for 2050. If the Government is going to reject such important recommendations they must find a stronger rationale for doing so.” 

As the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill now progresses to Committee Stage Stop Climate Chaos is hopeful that amendments that will strengthen the Bill will be accepted by government.

Politicians must now take climate change from the doorstep to the statute book

May 26 2019, 11:41am

Immediate implementation of the Oireachtas Committee recommendations in full and on time the litmus test of Leo's response to election results say campaigners.

Reacting to what the media is calling a Green Wave in local and European elections where climate change was one of the central issues, Stop Climate Chaos Coalition Coordinator, Oisín Coghlan commented:

"The climate movement has made climate change a doorstep issue. Voters have sent a clear message that they want Ireland to do our fair share to cut pollution. Now we need our public representatives to take climate action from the doorstep to the statute book.

"It was good to hear Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to say the Government had got the message. But it's worrying he still leads by talking about individual behaviour change. The Citizens' Assembly was crystal clear, people want the Government to lead. Ireland is not a climate laggard because the general public is against action, Ireland is a laggard because our Governments have failed to act on the evidence and the expert advice.

"There is no shortage of things for Government to do if they want to catch-up with the public's appetite for climate action. The cross-party Oireachtas committee recently made 42 recommendations across all sectors of the society and the economy.

"The litmus test for Leo and Richard Bruton is will they commit to the immediate implementation of the Oireachtas Committee's proposals in full and on time. Their new all-of-government climate action plan is due for publication in June. Then we'll see if the Government is serious or not.”

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition is developing 5 tests for the new all-of-government climate plan:

1. Does the plan acknowledge the scale of the challenge?
Does the plan accept that Ireland needs to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 and that our 2030 targets must be strengthened in line with the Paris Agreement and the IPCCC science. Will Ireland finally join with other countries calling for the EU's ambition to match its rhetorical commitment to the Paris Agreement.

2. Does the plan commit to putting the Oireachtas recommendations on governance into law by the end of the year
Will the Government bring forward legislation before the summer recess to amend the Climate Action Act in line Chapter One of the Joint Oireachtas Committee report to be enacted before Christmas. That includes putting our new 2050 target into law, 5-year carbon budgets voted on by the Dáil, a strengthened Climate Action Council (and a standing committee of the Dáil to act like the Public Accounts Committee for carbon emissions.

3. Does the plan cut emissions in every sector?
Does the plan include new measures to cut emissions in every sector of the economy. And not just "consider" or "explore". John FitzGerald, chair of the Climate Advisory Council famously called the Government's last climate action plan in 2017 "100 good ideas but no new decisions". The decisions in the plan have to be definite enough to allow the EPA to revise its emissions projections.

4. Does the plan "do the math"?
Does the plan quantify the emissions reductions for every measure. And does it add them all up and benchmark them against our existing 2030 target and our 2050 goal. Does it express them as a carbon budget?

5. Does the plan make clear how the Government will devise the next set of actions?
The Oireachtas Committee makes clear that even its full suite of recommendations does not achieve our fair share of climate action. Does the Government plan acknowledge that too and, crucially, lay out a process and a timeline for developing and adopting the next round of actions.

Stop Climate Chaos welcomes European Parliament vote on climate change response

October 7 2008, 03:53pm

On Tuesday 7th October the European Parliament's Environment Committee voted on two important reports on the European Commission's response to climate change.

Hundreds of campaigners emailed MEPs on the committee to call for more support to developing countries and for EU action to reduce emissions.

Delivering for developing countries

Stop Climate Chaos welcomes the vote by MEPs to use 50% of revenues from the auctioning of emission permits for developing countries to use to tackle climate change. In another vote the committee voted for €10 billion assistance by 2020 for adaptation in developing countries, crucially, in addition to existing aid commitments.

Tackling the causes of climate change

Stop Climate Chaos would have liked MEPs to do more by committing the EU to at least 30% emissions reductions by 2020 (rather than 20%). However, the committee did well to resist further weakening of the target, and we welcome that the 30% target is automatically triggered when an international climate change deal is agreed.

Irish MEP Avril Doyle, who was Rapporteur responsible for one of the reports, was widely credited with seeing off an attempted 'mutiny' from within her own party. She successfully carried through all but one of the compromise amendments in her report. Significantly, a series of industry-backed amendments that would have significantly weakened the policy were averted.

Campaigner power...and more needed

The outcome of the committee vote attests to the power of people letting their MEPs know they care and are watching. Stop Climate Chaos would like to thank all of you who took the time to contact your MEPs.

These positive actions however are just the first step. The European Council and the Parliament have got to agree on the final text. Later this month the European Environment Ministers and the Heads of State will meet. We hope they follow the European Parliament and show the necessary leadership to ensure the EU does its fair share on climate change.

Ireland needs to go further faster to reverse worrying emissions trends, say climate campaigners

Swift implementation of the Climate Action Plan is needed, but the Government will have to go much further

October 24 2019, 10:27am

Stop Climate Chaos has today (October 24th) said that decades of government inaction has been exposed by the latest figures from the EPA, which show Ireland has exceeded its binding allocated emissions target for the third consecutive year. 

Commenting on the EPA figures, Catherine Devitt, Head of Policy with the Coalition said:

"The impacts of climate breakdown are worsening, yet Ireland is continuing to exceed its annual climate pollution limits, and is now third worst on emissions per capita in the European Union." 

"The latest figures show a clear trend of non-compliance with Ireland's global commitments to do it's fair share to avert climate breakdown, and the findings reveal the impact of a complete absence of any strategic policy to bring down climate pollution. The message is unequivocal, we are not doing enough to help ensure a safe and sustainable future for all"

"The Climate Action Plan offers the appropriate governance structure to help drive sustained, coherent action across all sectors. Considering the trends that the EPA figures show, it is now essential that these governance changes are immediately delivered. This must include that the promised new climate law is passed without delay." 

"In the Climate Action Plan, the Government has committed to a net zero vision for 2050. This long term vision will be unattainable if Government does not make the necessary policy changes and investments now to put Ireland on a zero emissions pathway. Failure to act now will require a much sharper, costlier and abrupt adjustment in the future."

"The unequivocal scientific message is that we now need to go further, faster and deeper to cut emissions over the next decade. These figures reveal the significant challenges that lie ahead in achieving our 2030 targets, and the obvious conclusion that the Government's plan to reduce emissions by 2% a year from now to 2030 is insufficient." 

"We need to see swift delivery of the proposals within the Climate Action Plan, but we will also need to see Government policy go much further to put Ireland on a managed pathway of emissions reductions in line with the net zero 2050 vision."

Cliona Sharkey, policy advisor with Trócaire added, 

"Climate change is devastating lives in the poorest countries in the world. They are paying the highest price for a crisis they did not create. The latest figures from the EPA reassert what we already know; Ireland is not doing enough. The level of short term ambition in the Climate Action Plan is not enough." 

"Ireland needs to support the Commission's proposal to increase the EU's collective 2030 target to at least 55% as a starting point, and increase it's domestic 2030 ambition urgently."

 

ENDS

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Ms. Catherine Devitt, Policy Coordinator, Stop Climate Chaos Coalition: catherine@stopclimatechaos.ie . 

Notes:

  1. The EPA press release is online here: https://www.epa.ie/newsandevents/news/name,67153,en.html

5 tests for the credibility of the Government's climate action plans

December 7 2016, 09:35am

Ireland at the climate crossroads
Five tests for the Annual Transition Statement and the draft National Mitigation Plan

December 2016

Will the Government close the gap between commitments and action, or seal Ireland’s reputation as a climate laggard?

Under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act, which became law on December 10 th 2015, the Government must present an “ annual transition statement” to each House of the Oireachtas not later than 12 months after the passing of the Act. The transition statement is now scheduled to be delivered by Minister Denis Naughten TD in the Seanad at 3.30pm on Wednesday 7 th December, and in the Dáil on Thursday 8 th, between 1.30 and 3.30pm.

It is also expected that the Minister will publish a draft climate action plan in the coming days, for public consultation. Under the climate law the Government is obliged to adopt a National Mitigation Plan by June 2017, on how Ireland will reduce its climate pollution. The Plan must take into account the National Policy Position on Climate Action.

These developments come in the context of the Paris Agreement, the landmark climate deal adopted by 195 countries on 12 th December 2015, which came into force on 4 th November 2016. On the same day, Minister Naughten hand-delivered Ireland’s ratification instrument to the UN in New York to ensure Ireland was on board from the start.

Stop Climate Chaos, the broad civil society coalition that campaigns for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change, has identified “5 tests” to help evaluate whether or not the transition statement and the draft plan amount to credible climate action.

5 Tests for Ireland’s climate action plans

  1. Does the new plan add up to doing our fair share?
  2. Does it start the phase out of fossil fuels?
  3. Does it ramp up renewable energy and kick-start community ownership?
  4. Does it put agriculture on a path to carbon neutrality?
  5. Does it realign transport investment to reduce emissions?

The Paris Agreement commits Ireland and all the other parties to the treaty to hold: “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

International action, however, is currently failing to achieve these aims. A report from the UN Environment Programme on the “emissions gap” projects warming of 3°C even if all current pledges are implemented. Unfortunately, Ireland is a persistent laggard – not a leader. According to latest figures, Ireland’s current emissions are 6.6% above 1990 levels, and emissions increased by 3.7% in 2015. Ireland, with the 8 th highest emissions per person in the OECD, is one of only two countries in the EU which will overshoot its 2020 targets for emissions reductions.

Ireland needs to immediately embark on a rapid and just transition to a carbon-free future. Both the EPA and the new Climate Change Advisory Council describe what is required as “ a major societal and economic transformation”. Ireland’s last action plan on climate was launched in 2007 –by the then Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche – and expired in 2012. The Advisory Council is clear the new National Mitigation Plan should not just focus on our EU targets for 2020 and 2030 but "should outline the roadmap to achieve the 2050 national objective". That objective, set out in the National Policy Position on Climate Action, is an 80% aggregate emissions reduction between the buildings, energy, and transport sectors, and carbon neutrality in agriculture.

As Minister Naughton makes his Annual Transition Statement and previews the draft National Mitigation Plan, here are 5 key questions we need to ask:

1. Does the new plan add up to doing our fair share?
Like the 2007 climate strategy, the National Mitigation Plan should have an overall carbon budget for its 5-year timeframe and allocate the available emissions and reduction effort between sectors to achieve continuous, substantial and sustained decarbonisation when totalled across the whole economy. The mitigation plan needs to:

a) Indicate the extent to which it closes the gap between progress to date and Ireland’s 2020 and 2030 EU targets. The Environmental Protection Agency has stated consistently that current plans and policies are insufficient to bring Ireland in line with its 2020 targets. Despite a very soft deal from the EU on our 2030 targets, our current pathway would still expose us to non-compliance costs of up to €6 billion.

b) Be consistent with the national 2050 objective of an 80% cut in net emissions. This will require year-on-year cuts of 5% per annum starting in 2017 (see graph below).

c) Demonstrate the capacity to enhance climate action further to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, in line with science and equity. This requires all countries to review and increase their efforts under the Agreement’s “ ratchet mechanism”.

Paul's pathways v2

The above graphic is an annotated version of a graph presented in the Climate Change Advisory Council’s first report. The solid green line highlights the linear pathway to achieve the 2050 national mitigation objective of a reduction in CO 2 emissions to 80% below 1990 levels. The blue line is a linear pathway for non-CO 2 emissions from agriculture to 50% of 1990 levels (50% is EU Roadmap value for total EU agri-emissions).

As shown, the solid green linear pathway back-loads the heavy lifting to later years, with the first decade seeing only a 20% reduction from a very high base whereas the last decade would require a 60% cut from a much lower base. Stop Climate Chaos prefers the consistent-effort pathway of 5% reductions every year (dotted green line), which evens out the relative effort while also reducing total emissions (the area under any given curve).

Every year of delay in reaching the 5% annual reduction rate increases the required rate, reflects an absence of intent to international partners, and drives up the cost of transition.

The landmark Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change estimated in 2006 that it would be up to 20 times cheaper to prevent further climate change as opposed to dealing with the economic costs of inaction. A 2015 London School of Economics study concluded that the emission reductions required to keep within a 2°C temperature rise can have national economic benefits that outweigh the action costs. Scaling up the level and pace of climate action in Ireland could boost the domestic economy. In many cases, what would be required is not new exchequer resources, but elimination of incoherent policies, the recalibration of incentives and re-allocation of existing resources. Research conducted in 2014 for the Irish Corporate Leaders on Climate Change also indicated that ambitious climate action has the capacity to create 90,000 jobs in Ireland.

During Budget Day 2017, Minister Noonan described climate change as “the global challenge of this generation”. The draft National Mitigation Plan will demonstrate if the Government is serious about rising to that challenge.

2. Does the Plan kick start the phasing out of fossil fuels?
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency has said the ‘ fossil fuel age is over’. The evidence is clear internationally. We need to keep 80% of all known fossil fuel reserves in the ground if we want to remain within the temperature limits agreed in the Paris.

Carbon_budgets_-_digging_into_the_numbers_-_Climate_Change_Leadership_-_Uppsala_University

The National Mitigation Plan needs to demonstrate how Ireland is shifting policy and finance flows to bring our fossil fuel dependence into swift decline, in a steady and just manner that protects workers, and economically vulnerable sections of Irish society.

The Climate Council identifies the termination of peat-firing of power stations as an obvious step. These stations provide just 9% of our electricity but produce 27% of our emissions from electricity generation. Moreover, peat-firing is subsidised to the tune of €120 million a year. Shifting these subsidies into other policies and sectors is essential to progress a sustainable approach to energy poverty, provide retraining and alternative jobs to replace those that must be phased out, and renewable based energy security.

Given the moral imperative to shift public money out of the causes of climate change and into the solutions, Stop Climate Chaos has called for the divestment of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund’s €133 million holdings in fossil fuel companies. Instead, the money should be invested in renewable energy as a clear statement of intent on building a fossil free future. Over 50 TDs and Senators have backed this call so far. You can read their letter to Minister Noonan here. Offloading fossil fuel investments in favour of climate solutions also makes financial sense as fossil fuels are viewed as an increasingly risky investment. The ISIF would have been financially better off by €22m in 2015 and by €100m over the last three years if it had been invested in climate solutions rather than fossil fuel companies.

3. Does the Plan ramp up renewable energy and kick-start community ownership?
The overarching vision of Ireland’s energy policy is to become zero carbon, with a concrete target of 80-95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector by 2050. The 2015 White Paper recognises the scale of the challenge of transitioning our energy system to zero carbon, and in particular, recognises the importance of citizen and community participation in the transition process.

However, today, Ireland relies on imported fossil fuels for about 85% of our energy needs. Within the electricity sector, about 75% of our electricity is generated using coal, gas and peat. While in recent years there has been a significant increase in renewable generation, less than 0.3% of this is owned by local citizens or communities. As a comparison, 1.5 million Germans generate solar electricity on their roofs, and over 50% of all renewable energy in Germany is owned by communities and households. In the UK, 10 GW of solar power has been deployed since 2010. In Ireland, where a solar panel will perform as well as in the UK or Germany, there is only 2 MW of solar electricity installed. Hence, the UK has 5000 times more solar power installed than Ireland.

It’s time to kick-start community ownership and reset the public debate on renewable energy. Key steps include a fair price for rooftop solar electricity supplied to the grid, measures to enable community-led projects such as simplifying grid access, and a Danish-style shared ownership scheme mandating that developer-led projects offer 20% of the equity to local people.

Solar power offers a unique opportunity for citizens and communities to take part in the renewable transition and to provide diversity for our electricity generation. The roofs of our homes, our farm buildings, our schools, our community centres, our sports halls can all become locally-owned power plants. Households and communities could be reducing their demand for fossil fuel electricity, lowering their energy bills, and generating an income from the excess clean energy they produce. But not if they have to give the electricity they don’t use themselves away for free, as they do now. Without a guaranteed payment for micro-generation, including solar, this “rooftop revolution” will not happen in Ireland.

So far, over 60 TDs and Senators have written to Minister Naughten backing a fair price for micro-generation and solar electricity.

4. Does the Plan put agriculture on a path to carbon neutrality?
The national objective is that total annual emissions from agriculture in 2050 will be no more than what is absorbed annually by our carbon sinks (forests, peatlands, grasslands). The Mitigation Plan needs to lay out what a sustainable level of carbon sink is and chart a pathway down to that level for agricultural emissions from their current 20 MtCO 2 e per annum. Stop Climate Chaos has argued that Ireland’s current agriculture and land-use policy is neither ‘climate-smart’ nor sustainable.

5. Does it realign transport investment to reduce emissions?
Transport is the only sector to have increased its share of emissions since 1990. In fact, emissions have doubled since 1990, to one fifth of Ireland’s total emissions. Actual total transport emissions rose 4% in 2015.

In 2009, the Government adopted 'Smarter Travel' as national policy. The policy included the following targets to be met by 2020:

  • The transport sector making a meaningful contribution to Ireland's EU climate change commitments by reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
  • 500,000 more people taking alternative means to commute to work so that the total share of commuting by car drops from 65% to 45%;
  • Walking, cycling and public transport rising to 55% of total commuter journeys to work;
  • The total kilometres travelled by car not increasing significantly from 2009 levels.

None of these targets is being met. An increased transport budget is not required to achieve these goals. Rather the Mitigation Plan needs to rebalance existing funding from roads and prioritise investment in walking, cycling and clean public transport, with many benefits for public health, better air quality and improved public spaces, as well as cutting emissions. So far, this realignment has the backing of almost 60 TDs and Senators. You can read their letter to Minister Ross here. The plan also needs to commit the new national spatial strategy to facilitating low-carbon mobility.

Conclusion

Nobody is asking Ireland to do more than its fair share, however we expect Ireland to do its fair share – and up to now it is not, by a long shot. 60 million people across the world are currently in need of food aid, under current climate impacts. The IPCC has stated that impacts are likely to manifest increasingly over the next 10-15 years: ‘Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.’

Ireland’s emissions remain extremely high, in direct contradiction of our proud, longstanding tradition of support for the eradication of global poverty and hunger. Failing to up Ireland’s game in response to the commitments made in Paris in December 2015, would completely undermine our moral responsibility, and our commitments to the international community. It would also leave Ireland lagging behind in terms of the economic benefits that can be derived from positioning ourselves at the centre of the inevitable transition that has already begun. The Mitigation Plan will show whether the Government is serious about rising to the challenges and grasping the opportunities of a fossil free future. Delay is not a safe option; action is.

Ireland_Emissions paul's pathways

The blue line is Ireland’s historical emissions, the dotted red line is Ireland’s current emissions pathway, and the green line is the sensible emissions reduction pathway to achieve the Government’s national transition objective.

Climate policy at a turning point in GE2020

February 6 2020, 11:42am

At this stage, all of the main political parties fielding candidates in the general election have published manifestos, which have been put through a rigorous analysis by a panel of academic experts 1. We scored the parties against all of the One Future asks, and also the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action from March 2019. Details of the methodology and scoring system used can be found here.

Given Ireland’s poor record on emissions, and the challenge of achieving the cuts recommended by the UN by 2030, we should be seeing the parties who expect (or hope) to be in the next government publish concrete proposals for decarbonisation that are fully costed, with quantified emission reduction estimates for each measure, along with implementation timelines and dates.

 

System change, or incrementalism?

So the first measure of political ambition is the overarching policy framework that sets the date for net zero emissions, and the legal architecture to support that, in terms of carbon budgets and the requirement for all public bodies (such as local authorities, Coillte and Teagasc) to adhere to these.

We compared the parties against One Future’s ask for min. 8% cuts year on year with legally binding 5-year carbon budgets. Achieving such mitigation rates will require, at a minimum, implementation of the recommendations of chapter 1 of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action (JOCCA) including strengthening of the 2015 Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act. But only some of the parties explicitly commit to new legislation (including Fine Gael, the Green Party, and the Labour Party) and many of the parties are vague about dates and targets, or commit only to honour the existing 2030 targets with reductions of 2% per annum (Fine Gael and Sinn Fein). People Before Profit have an ambitious proposal to reduce emissions by 53% by 2030, the Labour Party wants 50% cuts

 

by 2030, while the Greens propose cuts of 7% per annum over 2020 levels by 2030. Sinn Féin scored the lowest of all parties in this category of climate governance. But even the most ambitious target still lags somewhat behind the recommended 7.6% per annum reductions by UNEP that developed countries should undertake.

 

Now is the time to invest in sustainable mobility

Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil explicitly commit to the existing capital programme under Project Ireland 2040 which involves €5.7bn on national road schemes. Sinn Féin have a radical public transport plan in terms of levels of an additional €1bn in capital expenditure but no detailed policy proposals.

All of the parties propose more resources for rural transport but with few details, and often without any costings. There is a link between transport policy and all aspects of quality of life and sustainable development (whether rural or urban). And it goes beyond just making public transport more affordable or even free. Yet only the Green Party and the Social Democrats were willing to sign up to the One Future target of a 10% commitment for cycling out of the land transport budget.

 

Retrofitting Ireland

To meet our 2030 targets as a minimum (that’s the 2% trajectory, not 7.6%), we would need to bring over a million Irish homes and buildings up to a minimum B2 BER standard. On buildings and retrofitting, the parties appear to have more in common: there is a spectrum of policy options that range between 50-100,000 retrofits a year. Significantly Fianna Fáil supported the proposal for one-stop-shops for expert advice, and most parties support a combination of low-cost loans and state investment, and prioritising retrofitting the public housing stock. Sinn Féin oppose the carbon tax, and perhaps as a result their retrofitting measures are most likely underfunded at €160m or an additional €12m per annum. Fianna Fáil propose a new Green Homes Agency which would coordinate the grants, project management and low-cost loans.

 

The energy revolution

We did not grade the parties for their support for or against a carbon tax as it was not a One Future demand. However, it would be hard to deny that measures are needed to curtail both the demand for and supply of fossil fuels. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action acknowledged this in its 2019 report: if we are serious about avoiding dangerous global warming we will need to keep all fossil fuel reserves in the ground – including the fracked gas which threatens to enter our energy networks as Liquified Natural Gas. Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil were reluctant to commit to banning LNG or ending offshore exploration immediately. They also declined to commit to the closure of all peat and coal fired power generation by 2021.

Ireland’s renewable energy resource is a major asset that needs to be developed rapidly to displace fossil energy sources such as coal, peat, oil and gas. People Before Profit and Sinn Féin propose to increase the percentage of renewable electricity on the grid to 90% and 80% respectively by 2030, and all parties support some degree of grid access for micro generators such as households, schools and farms. But rising electricity demand from data centres and the need for widespread grid improvements and regulatory changes to support distributed microgeneration will prove to be a challenge.

 

Agriculture must play its part

In short, there is a credibility gap evident throughout these manifestos. And although the Green Party scored highest overall, the party did not supply any detailed costings with their manifesto unlike Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, People Before Profit and the Social Democrats. The JOCCA report recommended a new diversification strategy for agriculture, along with CAP reforms to reward farmers for high nature value farming and carbon sequestration, especially for peatlands which make up almost 20% of Ireland’s land area. Without a nationwide programme for rewetting and restoring bogs, and science-based measures to limit methane and nitrous oxide emissions, current policies will exacerbate the climate and biodiversity impact of agricultural practices. The Social Democrats have some particularly strong proposals on biodiversity, but it is the bigger parties’ positions on agriculture and the sustainability of farm incomes that will be crucial in next programme for government. At the moment, neither Fine Gael nor Fianna Fáil propose to shift production away from livestock farming. Measures to promote anaerobic digestion on farms or forestry will not be sufficient to offset rising emissions from the dairy herd.

 

Conclusion

What are the prospects for a 33rd Dáil that prioritises climate action? Based on the manifestos we reviewed, the three largest parties are proposing patchy policies that are light on detail or measures that are siloed rather than making climate action an overarching priority. Above all, we will need to see, as a matter of urgency, a new climate bill that corrects the deficiencies of the 2015 Act, and that sets a net zero target well before 2050 with 5-year carbon budgets. Those parties that aim to be in the next government will need to start thinking about providing detailed costings and quantified emission reductions to match their rhetorical gestures.

Notes
1. Prof. John Sweeney of Maynooth University, Dr. Cara Augustenborg of UCD School of Planning and Environmental Policy, Sadhbh O Neill, of the UCD School of Politics and International Relations.
2. Climate policy at a turning point in GE2020 (longer version)

The Climate Bill Needs Targets and Teeth

July 5 2013, 04:08pm

In order for a Climate Bill to have any credibility it must contain targets for 2050, as well having an independent committee provide the oversight, Stop Climate Chaos said today.

Stop Climate Chaos, the coalition of 28 civil society organisations working together on climate change, were addressing the Environment Committee members today as part of the its process of hearing from stakeholders on the draft climate Bill.

Speaking to Environment Committee members today, Sorley McCaughey, Head of Policy and Advocacy, Christian Aid Ireland said, "This Bill doesn't have what is needed to be effective. Without a named target for 2050 there isn't certainty surrounding government policy, and the legislation won't deliver a low carbon Ireland. It is simply too weak to work."

Stop Climate Chaos recommended the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2013 should include an emissions reduction target of 80 to 95% below 1990 levels for 2050.

EU leaders have committed to transforming Europe into a highly energy-efficient, low carbon economy by endorsing the objective of reducing Europe's greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050. This Bill aims at a "low carbon climate resilient, environmentally sustainable economy" but doesn't define "low carbon". There is no justification for omitting this solid scientifically based objective from the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill and without targets, slippage is inevitable.

"Putting these international commitments into domestic law will provide certainty for businesses and investors and will ensure timely and adequate action to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Without these targets set in national law there is a risk that the Government will not act in time to reach these targets. Without targets there is nothing in the Bill to drive the transition." said spokesperson for Stop Climate Chaos, Gavin Harte.

SCC also called for a strong Climate Change Commission, independent from Government with real powers of oversight and reporting. The coalition pointed out that last year the Government established a Fiscal Advisory Council which could serve as a model.

ENDS

Notes:
1. Stop Climate Chaos is a coalition of civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. The members of Stop Climate Chaos are: Afri, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlámh, Community Workers' Co-operative, Concern, Cultivate, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Liberia Solidarity Group, Methodist Church of Ireland- Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Progressio Ireland, Sustain West Cork, Trócaire, An Taisce, VITA, V.O.I.C.E.
2. Stop Climate Chaos' submission to Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht on the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2013 can be accessed here.

 

 

Campaigners call on the Government to pass new climate law by Christmas

Stop Climate Chaos launches 5 tests for faster and fairer climate action

September 22 2020, 04:50pm

Stop Climate Chaos Coalition
For Immediate Release
Tuesday 22 September 2020


Campaigners call on the Government to pass the new climate law by Christmas

Stop Climate Chaos launches 5 tests for faster and fairer climate action

Public webinar at 5pm this evening

Climate campaigners have called on the Government to pass its promised climate law by Christmas. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition said the climate law is crucial but the Government needs to move from legal frameworks to real action as quickly as possible. The Government has promised to publish a new Climate Bill within its first 100 days, by October 5th. The campaign group expects the Bill to closely follow the recommendations of an all-party committee on climate action, and today set out 5 tests for the policies and measures that must follow the law.

Commenting, Oisín Coghlan, a spokesperson for Stop Climate Chaos, said:

"We're calling on the Government to have the Climate Bill signed into law before the end of the year, 100 days from now."  "Crucial as the Bill is, it is just the first step on the path to the urgent climate action we need. It enshrines in law a policy process based on forward planning, expert-advice, transparency and accountability. But it doesn't on its own cut emissions." 

"That's why we're calling on the Government to relaunch the national dialogue on climate action at the same time as publishing the Bill. At national level we need key stakeholders from business, farming organizations, trade unions, the community and voluntary sector along with environmental and climate organisations around the table to discuss how we are going to cut pollution in line with our commitments. No doubt we won't agree on everything, but we agree on the need for better social dialogue, we have all been calling for it for over a year." 

"And at the local level we need the Government to convene, facilitate and resource meaningful public participation in looking at how local communities and local authorities can work together to manage the impacts of climate change that is now unavoidable, and to cut pollution enough to avoid climate breakdown that is unmanageable." 

Stop Climate Chaos has set out 5 principles it will use as benchmarks for Government climate action:

  • Fairness
  • Urgency
  • Science
  • Dialogue
  • Accountability

 

Sorley McCaughey, Head of Policy in Christian Aid Ireland, a member of Stop Climate Chaos, said:

"It's almost five years since Ireland signed the Paris Climate Agreement. We need to see urgent action in line with climate science and climate justice. Everyday the people we work with around the world, who have done least to cause climate change, are being hit hardest. There is no more time to waste."


The campaign group is urging the Government to apply the 5 principles as it takes 5 key steps over the next 9 months to deliver on the commitments in the Programme for Government:

  • Pass the new Climate Bill that puts policy planning and parliamentary accountability into law
  • Launch a proper climate dialogue with interest groups and the public, both locally and nationally, about how we reduce our emissions fast enough and fairly enough.
  • Appoint a new Climate Action Council by Christmas with fewer economists and fewer men, and more climate scientists, social scientists and ecologists.
  • Propose the 5-year pollution ceilings the Council recommends to the Dáil for adoption as legally binding targets, known as carbon budgets.
  • Prepare a new statutory climate action plan to replace the one struck down by the Supreme Court in August.

Stop Climate Chaos is calling on its supporters to contact their TDs asking them to support the new Climate Bill and to push the Government to immediately launch a new national dialogue on climate action.

The Campaign Group is holding a public webinar at 5pm this evening on the new climate law, as it launches the next phase of its campaign for faster and fairer climate action. Speakers include Dr Diarmuid Torney, Assistant Professor at the DCU School of Law and Government, Oisín Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth and Sadhbh O'Neill, Stop Climate Chaos Policy Coordinator.

ENDS

The Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change: 5 Key Questions on Climate Action in the Agriculture Sector

November 3 2017, 12:29pm

On the 4th and 5th of November, the Citizens’ Assembly will conclude a ground-breaking process in democratic decision-making on climate change. Following an inspiring initial meeting in October, the Assembly will return to the topic of ‘How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’.

The Assembly meeting includes a specific session on climate action in the agriculture sector. From our work on agriculture and climate change in Ireland, here are the 5 key questions that we often face:

 

  1. Is it enough for Ireland to focus on how efficiently our meat and dairy is produced in order to reduce polluting emissions?

 

How efficiently we produce is relevant but limiting the agriculture sector’s actions to efficiency is a very poor response to climate change and leaves Ireland very far from climate leadership.

In recent years, State agencies have kicked off a number of climate-related initiatives in the agriculture sector. These include a major focus on improving efficiency/productivity, in other words reducing the polluting emissions released per unit of meat/dairy.  Trying to improve carbon efficiency (or what’s also called ‘emissions intensity’) may be significant and worthwhile action BUT it’s not the whole story, it’s not Ireland’s key goal, and could actually result in increases in emissions:

  • Our climate obligations to reduce emissions under national, EU and international law are not made on the basis of efficiency, whether we’re talking about cattle, cream, coal or cars! The only game in town for Ireland and, all other states, is reducing our overall levels of polluting emissions.

  • At the heart of the Government’s agriculture strategy (Food Wise 2025) is a plan to significantly increase meat and dairy exports. This means producing and exporting more meat and dairy which will increase Ireland’s overall emissions, and efficiency gains will not yield anything close to the levels of mitigation required from agriculture.

  • While efficiency gains can bring benefits, such as cost-savings, these savings can easily end up being spent on more cattle and increasing production that in turn increases overall emissions!

  • And even when we look at the efficiency benchmark the picture is far from rosy: although industry have noted certain indicators which highlight Irish agriculture’s productivity, there is also significant research and analysis of Ireland’s production which points to Ireland’s climate inefficiency.

  1. Does increasing Irish meat/dairy production contribute to food security for the world’s poorest?

 

In a word – ‘No’. And in three words - ‘Not at all’!

  • Ireland has a proud reputation of humanitarian and development assistance. Irish NGOs, aid workers and diplomats have long sought to ensure that the poorest communities around the world receive the aid they need, improve production of local sustainable food and get access to local resources.  However, we shouldn’t confuse Irish exports with Irish aid and we shouldn’t confuse Ireland’s food production with developing countries’ food security.

  • Ireland’s emissions, including those from agriculture, are fuelling climate change that is resulting in more frequent and severe droughts and crop failures, undermining food security of the poorest, particularly in east Africa.

  • More food is not the same as less hunger. Food security is not simply about inadequate production of food; it's about access to local resources and nutritious food for all. Efforts to address global food security should focus on the real issue of supporting the majority of the world’s farmers who are small scale farmers who, for example, produce 70 per cent of Africa’s food supply.

  • Irish produce is not helping to ‘feed the world’. In net calorie terms Ireland is importing food rather than exporting it, enough to feed over a million people. The vast majority of Ireland’s production goes to other developed countries, mainly in Europe. While demand for meat and dairy is rising in developing countries, increasing Irish production does not help vulnerable communities whose food needs are either already insecure or whose ability to grow or access food is threatened by climate change.  And even when Irish exports do go to developing countries, they are expensive products aimed at the middle classes.

  1. Does the Paris Agreement include the need to protect food production? Does this mean that Ireland’s agriculture sector should not have to reduce emissions?

 

The impact of climate change on food is addressed in the Paris Agreement but there is no suggestion that agriculture, or any sector for that matter, should simply be given a free pass in reducing its polluting emissions!

  • The Paris Agreement includes high level goals which, importantly, are set out in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty. One of these is to respond to the threat of climate change by ‘[i]ncreasing the ability to adapt to […] adverse impacts […] and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production’.  [Article 2(1)(b)]

  • The Paris Agreement does not mention specific sectors when it talks about emissions reductions. It rather leaves it to states to address individual sectors. The Agreement sets out how states must prepare and update their national commitments and rapidly reduce emissions to achieve specific long-term goals.

  • Unsurprisingly, when it comes to food in the Paris Agreement, the priority is not about protecting meat and dairy exports from developed countries.  The Agreement is very clear -  the focus must be on those who do not have access to food, as well as on the severe effects of climate change on agriculture: it is noted in the explanatory preamble that in signing up to the Agreement, states ‘[r]ecogniz[e] the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change.

  1. Is it a case of either having a vibrant agricultural sector or taking action on climate change? Do we simply have to choose one or the other?

This type of false opposition is one of the most damaging interpretations of action on climate change in Ireland and must be left behind.

  • It has been suggested that the development of the rural economy (meat and dairy production in particular) must be balanced against the environmental objective of reducing emissions. This appeal to balance puts forward the false thinking that the development of Irish agriculture and climate action is a ‘zero-sum game’, and assumes emissions reductions and a resilient rural economy are inherently in conflict.

  • In order to achieve necessary emissions reductions and become a climate leader, Ireland should be charting a different course for agriculture, one which recognises the importance of diversification of production within a rural economy and supports the need for dietary change.

  • This should involve supporting farmers to transition away from intense ruminant production to more truly sustainable agriculture, recognising and working with Ireland’s unique cultural and ecological heritage to support High Nature Value farming.

  • The State also needs to take action on diet and food waste. Our appetite for meat and dairy is a major driver of climate change and global demand is continuing to rise. It isn’t the case that everyone simply has to become a vegetarian tomorrow! But governments must take greater action to ensure our diets are not so meat-intensive. Several international studies have outlined the major health, environmental and climate benefits of shifting diets away from animal-based food and guidance has been prepared for governments to support a change consumer habits. Ireland must also tackle how we produce, remove and recycle our food - approximately one third of all food produced for consumption in the world is lost or wasted, according to the FAO.’

  1. Can we simply plant more trees which will absorb our agricultural emissions?

Ireland has substantially less forested land than other EU Member States but increasing forestry is no silver bullet.

  • Ireland’s national climate goal for 2050 is set out in the 2014 National Policy Position. This document sets out that Ireland must deliver 1) an 80% reduction in combined emissions from electricity, buildings and transport and 2)  ‘an approach to carbon neutrality in the agriculture and land-use sector, including forestry, which does not compromise capacity for sustainable food production.’ This objective for agriculture means that Ireland is going to have to do more to expand and protect land (mainly forests but also restored peatlands) which can take in and hold emissions.

  • BUT it’s important to be clear that there’s no such thing as a free lunch when it comes to agricultural production - high levels of polluting emissions from increasing meat and dairy exports cannot simply be cancelled out (or ‘offset’) by more forests. Widespread afforestation also presents major threats to Ireland’s biodiversity, in the case where planted forests replace more diverse habitats.

                                                                                          ----------------


The Citizens’ Assembly is also discussing climate action in the transport sector.
Our website has 7 questions that we’d like to see the speakers answer, together with background information on the topic.

So what recommendations should the Citizens’ Assembly make to the Government?  In a joint submission the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition and the Environmental Pillar have put forward 18 practical recommendations that would (1) bring the years of inaction to an end, (2) move Ireland to the level of most of our EU partners, and (3) take a leadership role in certain areas, notwithstanding our poor record to date. They range across all sectors of the economy and society: energy, buildings, transport and agriculture.

Our press release also has further information, quotes and insights on the upcoming Assembly meeting.

Interested in more information on any of the above questions on agriculture? See the in-depth report ‘Not So Green: Debunking the Myths around Irish Agriculture’ produced by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition and the Environmental Pillar.

Dáil calls time on fossil fuel exploration in historic vote

Bill to end offshore drilling licences passes first legislative hurdle

February 8 2018, 06:01pm

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has described today's Dáil vote in favour of the Climate Emergency Measures Bill as "historic". The Bill, proposed by People Before Profit TD Brid Smith, would end the issuing of licences to explore for oil and gas in Irish waters. It passed the second stage debate and was referred to the Climate Action Committee by 78 votes to 48, with cross-party support emerging to overcome Government opposition to the Bill.

Stop Climate Chaos spokesperson, Meaghan Carmody, said:

"Leo Varadkar put his Government on the wrong side of history today. The Government clung to the past but they lost. Dáil Eireann voted to take another step towards a fossil fuel free future.

"This vote is also a testament to the thousands of citizens who contacted their TDs in the last few weeks and to the young activists who are leading the charge to keep fossil fuels in the ground."

Cliona Sharkey, Policy Advisor with Trócaire, said

"There is no time to lose in the fight against climate change. We hope the Government will come on board and help see this important piece of legislation through as quickly as possible.  If passed, it will be one of only a handful of laws like it internationally - a rallying call to others to act. 

"The impacts at today's level of warming on the communities Trócaire is working with are devastating.  The majority support for the Climate Emergency Measures Bill, following the majority support for the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill currently making its way through the Oireachtas, are signs of hope for those suffering the impacts."

Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth, commented

"Today's vote once again shows the potential of new politics to produce positive, progressive results in an empowered parliament. The veto power not only of government but of the civil service has been broken. A more open, deliberative, and collegiate legislative process is slowly taking root.

"A quiet word from a powerful vested interest is no longer enough to kill a Bill. Every party has to be able to justify its position in the light of day to concerned citizens."

The Climate Emergency Measures Bill now goes to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action and the Environment for detailed scrutiny.

ENDS

Notes

1. Details of the Bill are here: http://bit.ly/CEMBill18 

2. The Stop Climate Chaos briefing on the Bill and the issues it addresses are here: http://bit.ly/SCC010218 

3. Stop Climate Chaos  is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.

Coming soon - Towards a New Agricultural and Food Policy for Ireland

A Position Paper from the Environmental Pillar, the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition and the Sustainable Water Network

April 27 2021, 12:00pm

Along with the Environmental Pillar and the Sutainable Water Network (SWAN) Ireland, we have today published policy recommendations that could transform agriculture in Ireland, the sector with the most significant impacts on climate, biodiversity and water. 

 

Towards a New Agricultural and Food Policy for Ireland is the fruit of over 70 organisations’ collective labour and expertise, and was jointly published today by The Environmental Pillar, Stop Climate Chaos, and Sustainable Water Network (SWAN).

 

This new vision for agriculture comes 10 days after the Department of Agriculture published its industry-led draft AgriFood strategy for 2030, which has been widely criticized as entirely inadequate from a climate and environmental perspective. 

 

Environmental NGOs reluctantly withdrew from the Department's stakeholder committee in February, when it became clear our concerns were being ignored.

 

The report makes constructive recommendations that will drive down agriculture emissions while simultaneously restoring our depleted biodiversity and water bodies. 

 

These measures can also play a role in revitalising rural and farming communities, who time and time again have been let down by misaligned agricultural policies and roadmaps.

 

Read our full report here

EPA's warnings about Ireland exceeding it's emissions targets makes a climate law all the more urgent

May 29 2014, 02:42pm

Stop Climate Chaos has today said the government must heed warnings from the EPA and bring the climate Bill to the Dáil before the summer recess. The coalition said the EPA's projections that Ireland will exceed its EU 2020 target of reducing emissions by 20 per cent were worrying but not unexpected, given Ireland’s national climate change strategy ran out in 2012 and there has been nothing guiding action since.

Ciara Kirrane, Coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos, said ‘The projections from the EPA reinforce why Ireland needs climate legislation and why Stop Climate Chaos and our member organisations have been calling for a climate law since 2007. The government is not taking its EU targets seriously, preferring to risk financial penalties from the EU than taking steps to reduce emissions. Having a climate law in place would mean these choices are not as easy and that the government would have to account for its inaction.’

Ciara Kirrane continued ‘The evidence shows that we are going in the wrong direction. As well as missing our 2020 target, it’s likely our emissions will be even higher by 2030. The government has allowed climate change to drift off the agenda with the economic crisis. Exceeding our targets not only puts us at risk of hefty fines from the EU but it also fails to recognise the connection between climate inaction and poor economic growth in the future.’

‘The introduction of robust climate legislation can turn this situation around, but only if it makes clear what we want to achieve by 2050 and has the independent oversight to ensure that this happens. Minister Hogan committed to the introduction of climate legislation by the end of 2013. It is now essential that the revised heads, published last month, be debated before the summer so that we can see the passing of a climate law as soon as possible. This will be a significant step towards putting Ireland on a path to a low carbon future.’

Internationally the pressure to agree steps towards achieving a global agreement on climate change in 2015 is increasing. Next week ministers from around the world will meet in Bonn to discuss domestic action on climate change and future commitments. The convening of ministers at this meeting reflects the scale of the challenge and the importance of agreeing a global deal in Paris at the end of 2015. Stop Climate Chaos is disappointed that Minister Hogan is not attending these talks with his international counterparts, meaning Ireland will have less of a role to play and reflecting his low level of commitment to the issue.

Civil society says climate bill to be taken up by next government

January 24 2011, 06:30pm


The Stop Climate Chaos coalition, made up of Irish environmental, youth, development and faith-based organisations lamented today that the climate bill is among the many victims of recent political developments. The Climate Change Response Bill was published in late December with the intention of seeing it passed before the dissolution of the Dáil ahead of the general elections. With the elections looming earlier than expected, it is now clear there will not be enough time to see the legislation through both houses.

'Climate change is not going away; the new government will have to pick up the issue of climate legislation as a matter of priority', said Cliona Sharkey from Trócaire. 'People in Ireland have woken up to sustainability', Cliona said. 'If the current crisis has taught us anything, it's that the attitude that business as usual can go on forever is a recipe for disaster'.

Stop Climate Chaos contend that strong climate legislation can provide the cornerstone of a low-carbon Irish recovery that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

'The Irish people must be provided with the space and the mechanism to decide how we want to address climate change. The efforts of well-oiled interest groups over the last weeks to undermine climate legislation by painting the proposed bill as detrimental to Ireland's recovery are not only disingenuous, they are dangerous', said Molly Walsh of Friends of the Earth.

'Countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas are hiking up their investment in the renewable sector and in energy efficiency. A climate law in Ireland would send a strong signal that we are building the institutional framework to support a modern and ecologically-sustainable economy, attracting our share of growing international investment. Otherwise we risk being left behind in an outdated and declining model', said Molly.

Stop Climate Chaos coalition members are making submissions to the public consultation which remains open until Friday, January 28th, 2011.

ENDS

Notes:
1. A list of TDs that have signed the Stop Climate Chaos Climate Commitment to support the Climate Bill is available here
2. The members of Stop Climate Chaos are: Action Aid, Afri, Birdwatch Ireland, Christian Aid, Climate Action Ireland Platform, Comhlámh, Concern, Cultivate, Dublin Friends of Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre, Methodist Church of Ireland- Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Students Against Climate Change, Sustain West Cork, An Taisce, Trócaire, VITA, V.O.I.C.E.

 

Campaigners express disappointment at another missed deadline on the Climate Bill

December 17 2014, 02:09pm

Government must recognise urgency of putting a framework in place to limit emissions

After pitiful progress was made at international climate negotiations in Lima last weekend, campaigners have said they are disappointed to see yet another deadline pass on the introduction of climate legislation in Ireland. The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill was expected to be published this week but it was dropped from the Cabinet’s agenda yesterday and will now not be published until January.  

Commenting, Coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos Ciara Kirrane, said:

‘Deadlines set by government for the introduction of the climate Bill have been repeatedly missed over the past 2 years. Phil Hogan said the Bill would be introduced by the end of 2013 and last week the Taoiseach said the it would be published before the end of the current Dáil session. Moreover, the Statement of Government Priorities for 2014-2016 committed to the enactment of climate legislation before the end of 2014. The slippage is disappointing and frustrating, considering we are now two years without a climate strategy. 

'At the UN climate negotiations in Lima last week, we saw a reluctance from governments to treat the climate crisis with the urgency required to meet a challenge of this scale. In order to stay below the internationally agreed temperature threshold of 2 degrees of warming we need to immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate legislation provides a framework for achieving this and for ensuring accountability, which is why we have been campaigning for its introduction for the past number of years.

‘What we now need to see in January is a prioritisation of the Climate Bill. We also need to see significant improvements in many important areas of the Bill, especially relating to how low-carbon is defined and whether the advisory committee is truly independent. The Bill must, at a minimum, take into account the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht who consulted widely on the draft Bill last year and arrived at a set of recommendations that were agreed to by all parties.’

Rise for Climate

Dublin, Galway, Clare & Cork

September 7 2018, 02:01pm

Dublin (x3), Galway, Clare and Cork.

Six Irish events in one day, to show solidarity with those facing the impacts of climate change, to resist false solutions, and to stand up to corporate power and demand a fast and fair transition to a fossil fuel free world.

Will you take part?

What's happening on Saturday and why?

On September 8th, cities, states, businesses and civil society from around the world are gathering in California for the Global Climate Action Summit. Thats same day, thousands of actions will take place all across the world demanding that our local leaders commit to building a fossil fuel free world that puts people and justice before profits. 

The Summit has invited every mayor, governor, and local leader in the world to make a bold climate commitment to help the world reach the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, and so presents a unique opportunity to pressure local governments and institutions to raise their ambition and do more for climate action.

Let's respond by showing them that we demand a  fast, fair and just transition to 100% renewable energy and an immediate end to new fossil fuel projects.

Map

 

A map of the actions taking place across the globe on Saturday

Dublin Event 1 - Trinity: Rise for Climate, a Conference on Climate Change and Party to celebrate Climate Activism!

Stop Climate Chaos are collaborating with Trinity College Dublin to host 'Trinity: Rise for Climate' in the Graduates Memorial Building, Trinity College Dublin from 10:30am on - you guessed it! - Saturday 8th September.

10:30-11:00 Coffee and tea reception 
11:00-11:30 Introduction to the issues with Stop Climate Chaos 
11:30-12:00 Townhall 
12:00-13:00 World Café with Concern Worldwide 
13:00-14:00 Picnic lunch 
14:00-14:45 Speaker 1  
14:55-15:40 Speaker 2 
16:00-16:45 Speaker 3  
16:45-17:00 Closing remarks 
18:00-close Celebrate at the Pav!

There will be a number of groups there on the day to talk to you about how to get involved with climate activism in Ireland, such as Not Here Not Aywhere, Young Friends of the Earth, Trócaire who spearheaded the national campaign to take public funds out of fossil fuels, the Dublin Ecofeminist Collective and many more!

More Trinity Rise for Climate details here.

Dublin Event 2 - Immediate Climate Action Dublin, a gathering on Rosie Hackett bridge to demand Climate Action

Immediate Climate Action Dublin details here

Dublin Event 3 - Climate Change in your Local Community

Tell your local TD how you have seen climate change impact your local community, and then arrange to deliver the story to them in person. You could share the impacts of July’s heatwave, which was made more than twice as likely by climate change. Or what you saw during the midlands floods. Farmers lost whole crops because of the snow in March, and faced a fodder crisis due to near drought conditions in June. Or it could be something as simple as not seeing the snowdrops blooming when they used to anymore.

How? Use Uplift's handy tool by clicking the link below. Together we’ll deliver our stories of the devastating impact of climate change in Ireland to our TDs, and call on them to support the Climate Emergency Measures Bill.

Climate Change in your Local Community

Galway - People Power Aerial Photo

The organisers of this event want to show that the people of Galway care about climate change and want action now . The aim of this event is to gather as many people as they can outside Knocknacarra Community Centre (Cappagh Park) so that they can take an aerial photo that shows the number of people in Galway who want Ireland to up its game. All they need is about 15 minutes of your time and for you to bring something yellow to hold up (e.g. a flower, a piece of paper) or for you to wear something yellow.

Galway Rise for Climate Event

Clare - Clare Free of LNG* Concert, Kilkee

From 2pm, at the Community Centre Kilkee, join climate activists as they call on the government to reject the construction of two huge liquefied natural gas terminals in Ireland at a time when we have just 8 years left of gas to burn before we completely blow our carbon budget and erase any chance of keeping global temperature rise to 2C higher than that before the Industrial Revolution.

*Liqueified Natural Gas

Cork - Rise for Climate March

Join Cork Climate Action for a climate march in Cork at 2:30pm at Bishop Lucey Park!

Details here.

At a time when feedback loops threaten to create a ' hothouse Earth ' within two decades, where sea ice around Greenland is breaking up for the first time on record, where the number of wildfires ravaging Europe is 43 per cent higher than the average for the last 10 years - will you be part of a movement to fight back against the potential spread of offshore drilling for oil and gas, to resist new gas terminals on Irish soil, to demand a system that allows citizens to drive the renewable energy revolution?

If so, now is the time to get involved. 

Will you Rise for Climate?

 

kiitground750

TDs who have signed the Stop Climate Chaos Call to Action

December 10 2007, 03:40pm


TD Party Constituency Signed

Bobby Aylward FF Carlow Kilkenny YES
Phil Hogan FG Carlow Kilkenny YES
John McGuinness FF Carlow Kilkenny YES
M.J. Nolan FF Carlow Kilkenny NO
Mary White Green Carlow Kilkenny YES
Margaret Conlon FF Cavan Monaghan YES
Seymour Crawford FG Cavan Monaghan NO
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin SF Cavan Monaghan YES
Rory O'Hanlon FF Cavan Monaghan NO
Brendan Smith FF Cavan Monaghan NO
Pat Breen FG Clare YES
Joe Carey FG Clare NO
Timmy Dooley FF Clare YES
Tony Killeen FF Clare YES
Michael Ahern FF Cork East YES
Ned O'Keeffe FF Cork East YES
Sean Sherlock Lab Cork East YES
David Stanton FG Cork East YES
Bernard Allen FG Cork North Central NO
Billy Kelleher FF Cork North Central NO
Kathleen Lynch Lab Cork North Central YES
Noel O'Flynn FF Cork North Central NO
Michael Creed FG Cork North West NO
Michael Moynihan FF Cork North West NO
Batt O'Keefe FF Cork North West NO
Deirdre Clune FG Cork South Central YES
Simon Coveney FG Cork South Central YES
Ciaran Lynch Lab Cork South Central YES
Mícheál Martin FF Cork South Central NO
Michael McGrath FF Cork South Central YES
Jim O'Keeffe FG Cork South West YES
Christy O'Sullivan FF Cork South West YES
PJ Sheehan FG Cork South West NO
Niall Blaney FF Donegal North East NO
Jim McDaid FF Donegal North East NO
Joe McHugh FG Donegal North East NO
Mary Coughlan FF Donegal South West NO
Pat "The Cope" Gallagher FF Donegal South West NO
Dinny McGinley FG Donegal South West YES
Bertie Ahern FF Dublin Central NO
Cyprian Brady FF Dublin Central NO
Joe Costello Lab Dublin Central YES
Tony Gregory Ind Dublin Central YES
John Curran FF Dublin Mid West YES
Paul Gogarty Green Dublin Mid West YES
Mary Harney PD Dublin Mid West NO
Joanna Tuffy Lab Dublin Mid West YES
Michael Kennedy FF Dublin North NO
Darragh O'Brien FF Dublin North YES
James Reilly FG Dublin North NO
Trevor Sargent Green Dublin North NO
Richard Bruton FG Dublin North Central YES
Seán Haughey FF Dublin North Central NO
Finian McGrath Ind Dublin North Central YES
Tommy Broughan Lab Dublin North East YES
Terence Flanagan FG Dublin North East YES
Michael Woods FF Dublin North East NO
Noel Ahern FF Dublin North West NO
Pat Carey FF Dublin North West NO
Róisín Shortall Lab Dublin North West YES
Seamus Brennan FF Dublin South NO
Tom Kitt FF Dublin South NO
Olivia Mitchell FG Dublin South YES
Eamon Ryan Green Dublin South NO
Alan Shatter FG Dublin South NO
Seán Ardagh FF Dublin South Central NO
Catherine Byrne FG Dublin South Central NO
Michael Mulcahy FF Dublin South Central NO
Aengus Ó Snodaigh SF Dublin South Central YES
Mary Upton Lab Dublin South Central YES
Chris Andrews FF Dublin South East NO
Lucinda Creighton FG Dublin South East YES
John Gormley Green Dublin South East NO
Ruairi Quinn Lab Dublin South East YES
Brian Hayes FG Dublin South West YES
Conor Lenihan FF Dublin South West NO
Charlie O'Connor FF Dublin South West YES
Pat Rabbitte Lab Dublin South West YES
Joan Burton Lab Dublin West YES
Brian Lenihan FF Dublin West NO
Leo Varadkar FG Dublin West YES
Barry Andrews FF Dun Laoghaire YES
Sean Barrett FG Dun Laoghaire YES
Ciarán Cuffe Green Dun Laoghaire YES
Eamon Gilmore Lab Dun Laoghaire YES
Mary Hanafin FF Dun Laoghaire NO
Ulick Burke FG Galway East NO
Paul Connaughton FG Galway East NO
Michael P. Kitt FF Galway East NO
Noel Treacy FF Galway East NO
Frank Fahey FF Galway West NO
Noel Grealish PD Galway West NO
Michael D. Higgins Lab Galway West YES
Pádraic McCormack FG Galway West YES
Eamon Ó Cuív FF Galway West NO
Jimmy Deenihan FG Kerry North YES
Martin Ferris SF Kerry North YES
Tom McEllistrim FF Kerry North NO
Jackie Healy-Rae Ind Kerry South NO
John O'Donoghue FF Kerry South NO
Tom Sheahan FG Kerry South NO
Aine Brady FF Kildare North YES
Bernard Durkan FG Kildare North YES
Michael Fitzpatrick FF Kildare North YES
Emmet Stagg Lab Kildare North YES
Seán O'Fearghail FF Kildare South YES
Seán Power FF Kildare South NO
Jack Wall Lab Kildare South YES
Brian Cowen FF Laois Offaly NO
Olwyn Enright FG Laois Offaly YES
Charlie Flanagan FG Laois Offaly YES
Seán Fleming FF Laois Offaly YES
John Moloney FF Laois Offaly NO
Michael Noonan FG Limerick East NO
Willie O'Dea FF Limerick East NO
Kieran O'Donnell FG Limerick East NO
Jan O'Sullivan Lab Limerick East YES
Peter Power FF Limerick East YES
Niall Collins FF Limerick West YES
John Cregan FF Limerick West YES
Dan Neville FG Limerick West NO
James Bannon FG Longford Westmeath YES
Peter Kelly FF Longford Westmeath YES
Mary O'Rourke FF Longford Westmeath YES
Willie Penrose Lab Longford Westmeath YES
Dermot Ahern FF Louth NO
Seamus Kirk FF Louth NO
Arthur Morgan SF Louth YES
Fergus O'Dowd FG Louth YES
Dara Calleary FF Mayo YES
Beverly Flynn Ind Mayo YES
Enda Kenny FG Mayo YES
John O'Mahony FG Mayo YES
Michael Ring FG Mayo YES
Thomas Byrne FF Meath East YES
Shane McEntee FG Meath East YES
Mary Wallace FF Meath East NO
Johnny Brady FF Meath West YES
Noel Dempsey FF Meath West NO
Damien English FG Meath West YES
Frank Feighan FG Roscommon Leitrim Sth NO
Michael Finneran FF Roscommon Leitrim Sth NO
Denis Naughten FG Roscommon Leitrim Sth YES
Jimmy Devins FF Sligo Leitrim North NO
John Perry FG Sligo Leitrim North YES
Eamon Scanlon FF Sligo Leitrim North NO
Noel J. Coonan FG Tipperary North NO
Máire Hoctor FF Tipperary North NO
Michael Lowry Ind Tipperary North NO
Tom Hayes FG Tipperary South NO
Martin Mansergh FF Tipperary South NO
Mattie McGrath FF Tipperary South NO
Martin Cullen FF Waterford NO
John Deasy FG Waterford NO
Brendan Kenneally FF Waterford NO
Brian O'Shea Lab Waterford YES
John Browne FF Wexford NO
Sean Connick FF Wexford NO
Michael D'Arcy Jnr FG Wexford NO
Brendan Howlin Lab Wexford YES
Paul Kehoe FG Wexford NO
Joe Behan FF Wicklow YES
Andrew Doyle FG Wicklow YES
Liz McManus Lab Wicklow YES
Dick Roche FF Wicklow NO
Billy Timmins FG Wicklow NO

Make sure you tell us and your TDs when you'll be in Buswells

Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice

November 29 2018, 02:42pm

There's just a week to go until Buswells Hotel is filled with constituents concerned about climate change demanding #ClimateActionNow. If you've registered, great, and thank you. If not, don't worry, you can still register here as there's still time.

Coordinating a 9-hour event with hundreds of constituents and 158 TDs is no simple task - so your assistance in making the coordination as simple as possible would be greatly appreciated.

How can you help?

1. Please view the file below that has the times TDs have so far committed to attending the event. This updates in real time as TDs input or update their availability, and will continue to be updated right up until 10am on Wednesday 5th December.

TD Times - for constituent viewing

2. Now that you have this information, if you haven't done so already please input the times you definitely will be in Buswells here. This information will be shared with TDs so they can arrive at Buswells to meet you at the correct time. *Completing this form only takes 1 minute*

What if my TD isn't listed?

If your TD isn't on the list, you can ring their office to ensure they are working on organising a meeting with you on the 5th.

You can call the Dáil switchboard on +353 (0) 1 618 3000 or +353 (0) 76 100 1700, and ask tohttps://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/takeaction/i-cant-make-it-to-buswells-but-im-asking-my-td-to-go/# be put through to your TD's office. Their direct lines are also listed here.

Can't attend on the 5th?

Don't worry, you can still take action! Click the link below to ask your TD to attend on the day even though you can't make it. This still shows them the level of concern across Ireland, and the desire from constituents to see them taking real and meaningful #ClimateActionNow.

 I'll be there in spirit

 We're a small operation with not a lot of staff time for this event, so we may will struggle to respond to every query. However we hope with the list of TDs and their times, plus the contact details linked above, you have enough to follow up with your TDs to ensure you're in Buswells at the same time as them. That's all for now. We've had an amazing response from people concerned about climate change, and we are hard at work ringing TDs ensuring their commitment to turn up on the day. As always, we can't ensure every one of you will get to speak to all of their TDs, but we can guarantee that we'll try our best to make this happen. 

See you next week,

Meaghan Carmody
Mobilisation Coordinator
The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

Ireland pursuing special treatment for Irish agriculture at the expense of an effective EU agreement to tackle climate change

October 23 2014, 04:20pm

Stop Climate Chaos has criticised the government for seeking special treatment for Irish agriculture in the EU 2030 climate negotiations. The coalition of 28 development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations are concerned that Ireland's approach to the negotiations will lead to a zero sum game and not deliver the types of measures required to limit climate change. 

SCC Coordinator Ciara Kirrane said:

"The approach being taken by the government, to push the EU to make a special exemption for Ireland, is unhelpful and unwarranted. All member states could argue that a special case should be made for their national industries but this will not deliver the rapid reductions in emissions required to keep the increase in global temperatures below 2 degrees. In particular the Irish government has tended to suggest that restricting agricultural production here in Ireland threatens global food security. However it is clear from both the scientific evidence of the IPCC and our members’ experience of working with farmers in the developing world that climate change is the fundamental threat to food security, not climate action.

Stop Climate Chaos is calling on Heads of State and Government attending the European Council to agree to a set of three coherent, mutually supportive, ambitious and binding targets of at least 55% greenhouse gas emission reductions, 40% energy savings and 45% renewables by 2030. The coalition argues that the targets currently being discussed lack ambition and will not enable Ireland and Europe as a whole to fully grasp the significant economic, social and environmental benefits offered by an appropriate post-2020 climate and energy policy framework. 

Stop Climate Chaos are also calling for the following text to be inserted, which acknowledges the role of agriculture in carbon sequestration and does not set up a false contradiction between climate mitigation and food security:

the multiple objectives of the agriculture and land use sector should be acknowledged, including the need to ensure global food security in the light of the threat posed by climate change. The European Council invites the Commission to examine the best means of optimising the sector's contribution to greenhouse gas mitigation and sequestration, including increasing the climate efficiency of production, minimising food waste, directing consumption away from high-emissions foodstuffs, and other means of increasing the sustainability of food production and consumption.

Students Demand Immediate Action on Climate Change

Irish schools and students preparing for the global #SchoolStrike4Climate next week

March 8 2019, 10:49pm

Schools’ Climate Action Network
Press Release
8th March 2019

Students from schools across Ireland are joining the global School Strike for Climate Action next Friday 15th March. As well as marches in Dublin and Cork there will be strike events outside local authority offices in counties from Tralee to Donegal, Meath to Galway, and locally at school gates across the country. This global strike was called by the 16 year-old schoolgirl Greta Thunberg who began striking outside the Swedish Parliament last August.

The rising wave of students striking on March 15th follows on from many smaller strikes that have been taking place over the past three months in Ireland, organised by grassroots groups that are emerging organically and coordinating as best they can. These include two autonomous groups, Fridays for Future (1) and School Strikes 4 Climate (2)  as well as the Schools’ Climate Action Network (3), which is a student-driven network of young people in Ireland, whose schools support them in their decision to strike for climate.

Molly Mercier-Redmond, a 2nd year student from North Wicklow Educate Together said:

'If the leaders of our country are not willing to act, then we have no choice but to step up to the plate and demand action. We have always been taught that adults know best, but the truth is, they are the ones ignoring climate scientists and destroying our future! Please join us and see what a difference we can make!’

On Wednesday March 6th a group of 40 students from around Ireland met in Dublin to discuss their demands and later presented six key demands to TDs and senators at Dáil Eireann in advance of the strike. Their discussion were based on the results of a survey (4) which was sent to students across the country.

The student demands are:

  1. The Government ensures all fossil fuels are left in the ground and should not allow any new fossil fuel infrastructure to be built and that Ireland uses 100% renewable electricity by 2030.

  2. The Government declares a climate emergency, communicates the severity of the ecological crisis to the general public and reforms the primary and post-primary educations systems to address the need for ecological literacy. The government must prioritise the protection of life on Earth, taking active steps to achieve climate justice.

  3. The Government makes transitioning to a CO2-neutral Ireland socially fair. We demand of the government that it takes its responsibility seriously and avoids having regular citizens carry all the burden towards transitioning to a sustainable society.

  4. The Government implements all the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change. As this is a climate emergency, we demand that the recommendations be implemented immediately.

  5. The Government creates and enforces stronger regulations on corporations that are causing the climate crisis and ensure a transformation to reduce emissions from agriculture in Ireland.

  6. The Government implements a Green New Deal and ensures that after leaving school, all young people in Ireland can have livelihoods that don't damage the Earth.

These demands will continue to evolve as the network grows and more students get involved in deciding which demands to prioritise.

Cian Parry, a 5th year student from Newpark Comprehensive School stated,

'The urgency of this situation necessitates direct and immediate action. On Friday the 15th you have the opportunity to take part in history when schools all over the world will be brought to a standstill by students walking out and joining protests against their respective governments.'

Maisy Morgan-Sutton (14), a 2nd year student from Cork Educate Together Secondary School said,

‘The Earth isn’t dying, it’s being killed. The government is doing nothing and then blaming us for our personal choices. Sustainability isn’t a luxury - if we fail now there is no undo button. If you truly cared for your kids you’d fight for their future.’

A map of events around the country has been created. This facility allows for decentralised student-led events to be mapped nationally: https://www.actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/climate-strike-map

The march on the 15th is a Global event, called by Fridays for Future and, as such, is public in nature. Some schools, responding to requests, have chosen to support and accompany their students who have decided to take part. Naturally, these schools cannot take any responsibility for students that are not in their care.

For public information:

schoolsclimateactionnetwork@gmail.com

www.schoolsclimateaction.ie

https://www.facebook.com/SchoolStrike4ClimateIreland

While the Schools’ Climate Action Network includes many more schools, due to time constraints this press release has been issued by six schools in the network; North Wicklow Educate Together Secondary School, Cork Educate Together Secondary School, Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School, St.Michael's College in Dublin,  Newpark Comprehensive School and Coláiste Bríde, Enniscorthy.

EVENT SCHEDULES - School Strike for Climate Ireland - March 15th 2019

Dublin:

12:00 – Gather at 22 St. Stephen’s Green (outside Cliff Townhouse)

12:30 – March via Dawson Street to Molesworth Street

13:00 - 14:00 – Rally outside the Dáil (on Molesworth Street)

More details here: https://www.facebook.com/SchoolStrike4ClimateIreland

https://www.instagram.com/climateaction999/

Cork:

11:00 – Gather in front of the Opera House

11:30  - Walk via Patrick’s Street, Grand Parade and the Mall to City hall

12:00 – 13.00 Protest outside City Hall

More details here: https://twitter.com/pullthebrakes

               schoolsclimateactionnetwork@gmail.com

Links:

  1. http://schoolstrikes4climate.ie/ https://twitter.com/SchoolStrikesIE

  2. https://www.fridaysforfuture.ie/strikes https://twitter.com/SchoolStrikesIE, global event map https://fridaysforfuture.org/events/map

  3. A press release was issued on 30th January jointly by nine schools who have connected with one another through the Schools’ Climate Action Network. Please find a  link to this press release on the Network’s website: www.schoolsclimateaction.ie 

  4. Students called on fellow students to complete a short survey to help begin a discussion about prioritising which climate action demands they feel are most important. The survey can be found here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TTHH67C

CEOs of Stop Climate Chaos member organisations write to the Taoiseach about forthcoming heads of a climate Bill

September 25 2012, 05:00pm

CEOs of the member organisations of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition wrote to Taoiseach Enda Kenny to request a meeting with the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change and the Green Economy ahead of the publication of the forthcoming heads of a climate Bill.

The letter can be downloaded here.

Dáil will debate 'historic' motion to declare Climate Emergency tonight

Motion to declare Climate Emergency is a rational response to climate threat

May 9 2019, 02:27pm

Endorsing Oireachtas Committee report on climate action – a first response to climate emergency

Committee recommendations help put Ireland on the right track, but more to do

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has written to all TDs urging them to support a motion declaring a Climate Emergency which will be debated in the Dáil this evening (from 6 to 9pm). According to the civil society coalition, tonight’s debate and the vote on the motion that is due to take place next week, could mark an historic turning point in Irish climate policy. The motion would also “accept and endorse” the recently published report of the special all-party Committee on Climate Action.

Commenting ahead of the debate, Catherine Devitt, Head of Policy with the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition said:

Declaring a Climate Emergency is a rational response to the threat level and our failure so far to stem the pollution poisoning our life support system on Earth

‘Accepting and endorsing the report of the Committee on Climate Action is a good first response to that emergency. The report lays out a path for Ireland to step up action on climate change. However, this will only be achieved if the Report’s recommendations are implemented in full and on time.’

The landmark report – Climate Change: A Cross-Party Consensus on Climate Action – was the outcome of eight months of intense cross-party scrutiny of Irish climate policy by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action. Building on the highly successful Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change, the Committee’s Report provides the necessary political impetus and robust policy foundation to enable Ireland to finally begin to act in line with its obligations under the Paris Agreement.

Stop Climate Chaos is calling on all Parties, Groups and TDs to demand that the Government incorporates the full suite of recommendations of the Joint Committee in the forthcoming All-of-Government Action Plan on Climate Change and the National Energy and Climate Plan due to be submitted to the European Union at the end of 2019.

However, Stop Climate Chaos has warned that more is needed to achieve the deep emissions reductions called for by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Ms. Devitt added:

‘The Committee itself is clear that their recommendations alone will not cut our emissions sufficiently or fast enough. However, endorsement of the report by the Dáil and implementation of its recommendations in full and on-time, will be a significant down-payment on securing our common future.’

Jennifer Higgins, Policy and Advocacy Advisor with Christian Aid Ireland said:

‘Tonight’s debate could not be more timely. Declaring a climate emergency, followed by implementation of the full suite of Committee recommendations will help us begin to shed our shameful record on climate change and honour our binding commitments on strong climate action.

‘This is the Dáil's opportunity to rise to the climate change challenge and represent the public's increasing desire for urgent action.’

Cliona Sharkey, Policy Advisor with Trócaire, said:

‘Some of the poorest regions of the world are already experiencing the severe impacts of climate change. Flooding in parts of east-Africa, following swiftly in the wake of tropical cyclones Kenneth and Idai, is only one of the numerous unfolding large-scale human emergencies of climate change.‘Failure to declare a climate emergency and endorse and deliver on the recommendations of the Joint Committee would be an inexcusable missed opportunity to reduce our emissions and show our solidarity with those most affected by climate change.’

Notes

  1. Stop Climate Chaos is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.
  2. Ahead of this evening’s debate, SCC has prepared a new information briefing entitled The Dáil can make this week an historic turning point in Irish climate policy 
  3. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action was established with cross-party consensus in July 2018, charged with considering the thirteen high level recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on climate change, and how current departmental climate policies could be strengthened. Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has consistently urged the Committee to respect and represent the level of policy ambition called for by the Citizens’ Assembly, by providing new substantive, concrete policy recommendations to ensure that action from now on is adequate and timely, and is line with Ireland’s international climate obligations.

As Climate Bill debate continues in the Dáil campaigners say it is now time to pass it into law

September 30 2015, 05:52pm

Stop Climate Chaos today welcomed the fact that the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill is back in the Dáil for Report Stage and says it is now time to pass the Bill into law. Acknowledging the progress made to date, in part from pressure applied by campaigners but also thanks to the interest from TDs on all sides, the coalition says that the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill must now be urgently passed into law. The Report Stage debate resumes two months ahead of major UN climate talks in Paris. The coalition adds however that passing the Climate Bill does not, in and of itself, constitute action.

Commenting, Ciara Kirrane, Coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos, said:

"While progress on the Climate Bill is to be welcomed, the real test is whether the government can translate this into action. Ireland has not had a national action plan on climate change since 2012, when the last plan expired, and there is currently no prospect of a new plan being in place until 2017. This means the government will have had no action plan on climate change for their entire term in office.

The lack of progress on implementing climate mitigation measures has been echoed by the European Commission in a recent report which saw Ireland criticised for having ‘insufficient’ climate related policies.

Ms Kirrane continued:

“With only two months to go until major climate negotiations begin, the government must signal their intention to tackle climate change by setting out their vision and plan for decarbonising our society in the forthcoming Energy White Paper. The government must also live up to commitments made on providing climate finance to the Green Climate Fund. Ireland is one of only a handful of countries that has yet to pledge its contribution to this fund, which was a source of considerable embarrassment at last year’s UN climate negotiations. Finally they must ensure adequate time is dedicated in the Dáil to passing the Climate Bill.”

Following calls from campaigning organisations that the Climate Bill was too weak to work, a number of amendments were accepted at Committee Stage in June. These changes included a reference to climate justice, a guarantee ensuring the independence of the Advisory Council and clarity on the low carbon objective.

Climate campaigners to release "end of term" Report on Government's climate plan

July 9 2019, 07:04am

Buswells Hotel, Board Room, 1pm Tuesday 9 July 2019

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition [1] and the Environmental Pillar [2] have now carried out a detailed assessment of the Government's Climate Action Plan. Tomorrow (Tuesday) the two coalitions will launch a 20-page "end-of-term" Report on the Government: Will the new Climate Action Plan deliver the revolution the Minister promised?

Click here to download the 20-page report

Click here to download the 2-page summary

There will be Briefing in Buswells Hotel Board Room at 1pm tomorrow Tuesday 9th July followed by a Q&A with our expert panel:

  • Catherine Devitt, Head of Policy for Stop Climate Chaos and lead author of the Report
  • Karen Ciesielski, Coordinator of the Environmental Pillar
  • Cliona Sharkey, Policy Advisor, Trócaire
  • Prof Barry McMullin, An Taisce Climate Change Committee
  • Oonagh Duggan, Head of Policy, Birdwatch Ireland
  • Kevin O'Farrell, Cyclist.ie
  • Oisín Coghlan, Director, Friends of the Earth.

We will have some printed copies of the Report available at the Briefing, after which the Report will be available online.

The Briefing will also address the implications of the Government's refusal last week of a money message for the Climate Emergency Measures Bill.

Notes

  1. Stop Climate Chaos is a coalition of 33 civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland does its fair share to tackle climate change. It was launched in 2007 and is the largest network of organisations campaigning for action on climate change in Ireland. Its membership includes overseas aid and development, environmental, youth, community and faith-based organisations. See: www.stopclimatechaos.ie
  2. The Environmental Pillar is made up of national environmental non-governmental organisations that work together to represent the views of the Irish environmental sector. The Environmental Pillar creates and promotes policies that advance sustainable development and acts as an advocacy coalition promoting sustainable solutions in areas such as climate change, biodiversity, tree-cover, resource efficiency, transport, planning and water. See: https://environmentalpillar.ie /

New Dail must legislate to tackle climate change

June 10 2007, 03:04pm


Stop Climate Chaos, an umbrella group of Irish aid, environment, faith and youth organisations, has called on the incoming government to introduce legislation to reduce Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 3% a year.

The recently formed coalition [1] is holding an Umbrella Action Day at 3pm at the Martello Tower on Sandymount Strand in Dublin today. Billed as a fun, family day out with a serious message, the crowd will raise their umbrellas in a call for a law to protect the climate.

Speaking ahead of the event, Oisín Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth, said:

"Today's event is a chance for the public to send a message to the government that we want to see real action to cut Ireland's climate pollution. Bring an umbrella, bring the kids and a picnic, do a biodiversity survey and have some fun, but above all show the government you want Ireland to do its fair share to prevent climate chaos."

What that fair share is has become clearer after the G8 deal on Thursday, which will see the US join UN talks aimed at halving global emissions by 2050. EU Heads of Government, including Bertie Ahern, have already said achieving that goal will mean richer countries cutting their emissions by 60 - 80%.

"The sort of reductions Ireland needs to make can't be made overnight, and they certainly can't be made at the last minute. That's why Stop Climate Chaos wants to see legislation that cuts pollution step-by-step, year-by-year until we reach our target. If we start now that means cuts of about 3% a year," Mr Coghlan added.

The G8 talks on climate change and Africa remind the world that it is the poorest communities on Earth, who have done least to cause climate change and are least able to withstand its impacts, who are being hit first and hardest. In Bangladesh alone, tens of millions of people could lose their homes and livelihoods to flooding from sea-level rise and storm surges if we let climate change run out of control.

ENDS

 

Notes
1) The members of Stop Climate Chaos are: ActionAid, Afri, An Taisce, Cap and Share, Christian Aid, Climate Action Ireland Platform (CAIP), Comhlámh, Concern, Cultivate, Eco-Congregation, Eco-Unesco, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Methodist Church in Ireland - Council of Social Responsibility, National Youth Council Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, People Against Climate Change, Students Against Climate Change, Trócaire, Voice.

2) At today's Umbrella Action Day event Choreographer Muirne Bloomer and some dancers will lead the crowd in an umbrella demonstration to the strains of the Beach Boys "Wouldn't it be nice".

3) Stop Climate Chaos makes three demands of the incoming government:

  • Ensure Ireland does its fair share to prevent climate chaos by immediately bringing in a climate change law which provides for an annual carbon budget and 3% year on year reductions in Irish green house gas emissions.
  • Push for an international agreement to keep the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius or less. This means that global greenhouse gas emissions must reach their peak and begin to decline irreversibly within 10 years.
  • Support developing countries to adapt to the unavoidable effects of climate change.


New scientific report: intensive land use is driving climate breakdown

Climate coalition calls for new land use plan to reduce emissions, protect biodiversity, and adapt to climate impacts

August 8 2019, 01:37pm

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition has today [Thursday 8th August] called on the Government to bring forth a new land use plan that reduces emissions, protects biodiversity, and helps with adaptation to climate change. The call follows the publication earlier today of the report on climate change and land from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This latest comprehensive assessment draws on contributions from over a hundred leading scientists from 52 countries across the world to explore how use of land contributes to climate breakdown and how climate breakdown affects land. 

The report warns that intensive human activity has turned land into a major source of carbon pollution. It delivers unequivocal evidence that radical change is now needed in how we use land for food production and energy, and that sustainable land use has huge potential for combating climate breakdown. 

 

Catherine Devitt, Head of Policy with Stop Climate Chaos Coalition commented, 

“The report demonstrates how deforestation and drained peatlands, and the continued and intensive degradation of soil on a global scale means that how we use land is now a major source of emissions. We urgently need to preserve and enhance our natural ecosystems if we are to combat climate change.”

 

The IPCC’s latest assessment shows that up to a third of all greenhouse gas emissions are now estimated to come from land use. The report emphasises that intensive farming and the escalating use of land for energy is increasing emissions of carbon dioxide, and that rising temperatures and changing weather patterns are already undermining availability and access to food, as well as agricultural stability and productivity. 

 

Ms. Devitt added, 

“The report is very clear in its conclusions that if we are to avert catastrophic climate change, we must transform how we produce food, and how we use and manage land. We need to produce food in a way that doesn’t harm nature. We must diversify our diets and eliminate food waste, and we must ramp up climate action across all sectors to ensure future food security.”

“The IPCC’s conclusions have considerable implications for how we use land here in Ireland. Irish farmers are not immune from climate breakdown. As we’ve seen in recent episodes of severe flooding and prolonged drought, the degradation of land and climate change are already impacting negatively on Irish agriculture.”

“The potential for flooding and drought, disruption to our food system, and decreased animal and crop productivity will increase if we continue to use land intensively and if we continue to emit greenhouse gas emissions at the current rate.”

 

A review of the Government’s recent climate action plan, carried out by Stop Climate Chaos and the Environmental Pillar found that although intensive agriculture, forestry, and peatland drainage and extraction are a major source of Ireland’s emissions, there is little in the Plan to adequately address land use as a contributor to climate change. This is despite recommendations made earlier this year from the special Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action for a national land use review of afforestation, forestry and peatlands, to align the sector with the Paris Agreement. As part of their recommendations, the Committee also called on the Government to respond to the findings of today’s IPCC special report. 

 

Jennifer Higgins, Policy and Advocacy Advisor at Christian Aid Ireland, 

“The recent Climate Action Plan failed to deliver any detailed, comprehensive plan for a more sustainable approach to land use and management in Ireland. This is despite the vital role that Ireland’s unique habitats, such as our peatlands, can play in combating climate breakdown and helping us adapt to climate impacts, such as flooding.”

“A rapid reduction in emissions from the land use sector, and enhancing Ireland’s natural ecosystems over the next decade will be crucial if Ireland is to comply with its commitments under the Paris Agreement.”

“Given that the IPCC are calling for a transformation in how we use and manage land, it’s clear that Ireland needs a new vision for land use.” 

 

Today’s report comes just ten months after the last IPCC publication which concluded that limiting global warming to 1.5ºC would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.

Election Day is looming – see what our members are calling for!

February 19 2016, 03:38pm

Last year was a really big year for climate change. Ireland finally passed a Climate Law and, after two decades of negotiating, 195 countries agreed to a new global climate deal which aims to reduce global emissions to zero. In November citizens of Ireland took to the streets in greater numbers than ever before to call for climate action at the People's Climate March62

But stark reminders that our work to tackle climate change is just beginning came in the form of record breaking global temperatures (2015 was the hottest year on record since records began) and devastating flooding across Ireland (December was the warmest and wettest month on record).

This day next week we go to the polls. The results of Election 2016 will shape how Ireland translates the Climate Law, and indeed the global agreement, into action. We’re calling on you to talk to politicians who knock on your door about the reality of climate change and how concerned you are about it. Here’s a rundown of what Stop Climate Chaos members are calling on candidates to do:

Trócaire's Vote for Justice, Friends of the Earth's fossil free action, Christian Aid's asks on Climate and Tax, Oxfam's calls for Equality, An Tasice's Climate Action asks, the National Youth Council of Ireland's manifesto, the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice's calls for a Stand on Climate Change and Good Energies Alliance Pledge to Ban Fracking.

If you want to know where political parties stand on the environment but didn’t get a chance to attend the Environment Hustings hosted by Young Friends of the Earth and the Environmental Pillar on Wednesday, catch up here.

Please also sign on to the call from Ireland’s leading academics for a Citizens' Convention for a Post-Carbon Ireland

Upcoming events

Saturday 20th Feb – if you missed our screening of This Changes Everything with Happenings last September, you can catch it tomorrow night in the Lutheran Church in Ireland, St. Finian's Church, 24 Adeleide Road, Dublin 2.

Saturday 19th March - Earth Hour will be marked in Ireland by churches all around the country ringing their bells as a Clarion Call to action on climate action.

Thanks for all your support in 2015. Let's make 2016 even better than last year for action on climate change!

International expert analysis shows Ireland remains a laggard on climate action

Climate coalition urge Government to support higher EU ambition at COP 25

December 10 2019, 09:30am

The 2020 Climate Change Performance Index, launched this morning (9.30am Irish time, December 10th) at the UN Climate Conference (COP 25) in Madrid, shows that although Ireland has slightly improved its position since last year, it still ranks among some of the worst performing countries in Europe for climate action. In this year’s Index, Ireland climbs up to place 41st out of 57 countries worldwide, moving up from the group of very low to low-performers. This is an improvement in the ranking by seven places on last year, when Ireland was ranked the worst EU performer. 

Speaking on the results from Madrid, Christian Aid's Policy and Advocacy adviser, Jennifer Higgins, said

“Ireland has managed to climb up seven places from very low to low performer this year. Unfortunately, this improvement is not something to celebrate, and we still sit at the bottom of the EU pack on climate action.”

“Being ranked a low performer is a clear signal that current plans and policies continue to be inadequate to deal with the climate crisis, and they fail to put us on a pathway consistent with a sustainable future for developing as well as developed countries.” 

 

The Index highlighted the continued growth and competitiveness of renewable energy globally. However, it is also emphasised that the gap between current emission levels and what is needed to put the world on track for a well below-2°C or even 1.5°C pathway is widening. Polluting emissions are on the rise and continued investments in fossil fuel infrastructure are leading to a major risk of a lock-in into high emissions pathways. Head of policy with the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, Catherine Devitt commented, 

“We expected Ireland to rise a little in the rankings this year - we could hardly go any lower! The Index shows slight improvements in Ireland’s support for an increase in its share of renewable energy.”

“Nevertheless, Ireland’s polluting emissions remain on an upward trend, the Government has yet to join other member states in calling for the EU to urgently raise its ambition in line with the Paris Agreement, and the scale of 2% emissions cuts per year presented in the Government’s Action Plan is wholly inadequate.”

“The science and the mounting evidence clearly demonstrates that we need far-reaching transformation across all aspects of society. If the Government is serious about wanting to improve its reputation on climate change and to do its fair share of the global effort, there needs to be a frontloading of concrete action across all sectors to ensure the scale of reductions needed can be delivered.”

 

The Index report welcomes the new governance proposals set out in the 2019 Climate Action Plan, including putting the 2050 target into law and introducing legally-binding five-year carbon budgets. Minister Bruton is due to bring a new draft climate law to Cabinet before Christmas. The elements of this law will be essential to driving real action across all Government Departments and improve Ireland’s global reputation on preventing climate disruption. 

Ms. Devitt added, 

“We need to see a new climate law without delay to give us a fighting chance of meeting our climate obligations and to put us on a path that will help bring about net zero pollution and ensure a sustainable future for all.” 

 

The publication of the CCPI Report comes as Minister Bruton is expected to participate in the high level segment on December 10th and 11th at COP 25, where Heads of State and Government will make national statements on increasing their targets. Earlier this week, Stop Climate Chaos wrote to the Minister in advance urging the Government to align Ireland with other EU member states calling for an increase of the EU's 2030 target to at least 55%, and for Ireland to urge the European Commission to advance a proposal to increase the EU NDC target (in line with the science and the EU's fair share of the global effort) in the first 100 days in office. 

Ends

The 2019 Climate Change Performance Index is available to download here.

Notes for the Editor

  1. Stop Climate Chaos  is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.
  2. The Letter sent from the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition to Minister Bruton in advance of the high level segment on December 10th and 11th is available here
  3. About the Climate Change Performance Index 2019: The Climate Change Performance Index by Germanwatch and the NewClimate Institute is a ranking of the 56 countries and the EU, together responsible for about 90% of global GHG emissions. The four categories examined are: GHG emissions (40%), renewable energy (20%), energy use (20%) and climate policy (20%). The latter is based on expert assessments by NGOs and think tanks from the respective countries. The CCPI also evaluates to what extent the respective countries are taking adequate action within the categories emissions, renewables and energy use to being on track towards the global Paris-goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C. Since no country is on a Paris-compatible path yet, the top three of the CCPI 2018 are left unoccupied.
  4. In 31 of the 57 high emitting countries assessed, collectively responsible for 90 percent of emissions, falling emission trends are recorded. However, none of the countries assessed are on a path compatible with the Paris climate targets. While some EU countries such as Sweden (4th) and Denmark (5th), one of the best climbers, achieve overall high or very high ratings, the performance of EU countries varies largely: Eight EU countries are rated high, eight low and two very low. Bulgaria (49th) and Poland (50th) are the worst performing EU countries, both with a very low policy rating and Poland with low to very low results on renewable energy. The European Union as a whole ranks 22nd, Germany 23rd (both "medium"). 
  5. On Ireland’s position of 41st, it is noted in the Index: "In this year’s CCPI, Ireland climbs up to place 41st and thereby moves up from the group of very low to low-performers. There has been a slight improvement in the GHG Emissions category. Nevertheless, Ireland’s GHG per capita emissions remain at a relatively high level, and significant challenges lie ahead in closing Ireland’s emissions gap, meeting the (current) 2030 target and aligning Ireland’s emissions trajectory with a net zero goal for 2050. Therefore, the country still ranks among the bottom ten performers in this indicator. Ireland was able to keep up the positive trend in increasing its share of renewable energy, which led to an overall high rating in the Renewable Energy category. Further, Ireland moves up in the Energy Use category, from low to medium-performers. However, national experts criticise the significant lack of progress in decarbonising key parts of the economy, mainly in agriculture, road transport and the residential sector, and highlight that renewable support schemes are insufficient and also slow to progress. At the international level, Ireland has in the past, called for less demanding targets due to claims regarding the economic importance of the agricultural sector. On a positive note, the government has indicated its support for an EU net zero target by 2050, and while at the time of writing (November 2019), the Government had signalled support for a higher 2030 EU target, they had not explicitly committed to the higher 55% target. While the country is rated low for its international climate policy performance, national experts’ evaluation leads to a very low rating for national performance. Experts acknowledge the new Climate Action Plan’s governance proposals, including putting the 2050 target into law and introducing legally-binding five-year carbon budgets, as positive if enacted without delay. They highlight however, that the Government must go much further in implementing policies across all sectors that drive sustained emissions reductions over the next decade. Near-term ambition needs to be ratcheted up quickly by specifying deep cuts in fossil fuel and reactive nitrogen usage to put Ireland on a net zero emissions pathway aligned with the Paris temperature goals."
  6. Last year, the Climate Change Performance Index noted Ireland as being the worst performing country in Europe for action on climate change. The Index placed Ireland 49th out of 56 countries.

A climate Bill without targets won't provide certainty.

February 26 2013, 04:00pm

Climate coalition slams proposed legislation as "too weak to work".

Stop Climate Chaos, the coalition of 27 groups working together on climate change have expressed frustration at the weakness of draft climate legislation published today. Their main concern is that the proposed legislation doesn't have targets for reductions in carbon emissions.

Responding to the draft Heads of Bill, Sorley McCaughey from Christian Aid said,
"This Bill doesn't have what is needed to be effective. Without a named target for 2050 there isn't certainty surrounding government policy, and the legislation won't deliver a low carbon Ireland. It is simply too weak to work."

"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has indicated that developed countries like Ireland must reduce our emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050. There is no justification for omitting this solid scientifically based objective from the Bill", said Ciara Kirrane from Trócaire.

"Economic transition to a low-carbon economy is a long-t erm goal and emissions targets should be set for every 5 year period up to a decarbonised economy in 2050. Without targets there is nothing in the Bill to drive the transition." said Ciara Gaynor from Oxfam.

One Future Campaign Launch

The National Women’s Council, Concern Worldwide and USI are among organisations joining forces for faster and fairer climate action

January 22 2020, 02:35pm

One Future, a new campaign group calling for faster and fairer climate action launched today, Wednesday, 22nd January 2020 at an event on Sandymount Strand, Dublin 4. Concern, The Union of Students in Ireland and National Women’s Council of Ireland are among the civil society organisations joining forces to highlight climate as a central priority for voters in the upcoming election.

The campaign is encouraging people to challenge election candidates on the doorstep about their climate action plans. The recent Government plan foresees emissions reductions of only two per cent a year when the very least Ireland needs to do is eight per cent a year.

One Future will be providing colourful ‘Ask Cards’ people can hand to candidates with key policy asks, and window stickers to tell canvassers they support faster and fairer climate action. The campaign will also be supporting people who want to go door-to-door to distribute campaign materials and encourage their neighbours to raise climate issues with candidates who call to the door.

The campaign is continuously growing and is calling on all organisations

Policy ‘Asks’

The campaign has nine key policy ‘asks’ of soon-to-be elected TDs and Senators, which focus on accelerating a transition to a sustainable society in a way that ensures no-one is left behind. The key policy asks for the incoming Oireachtas include:

  • Reduce Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 8% every year;
  • Support the rural economy as farms reduce emissions and become more sustainable;
  • Ban new fossil fuel projects;
  • End peat and coal burning for electricity and ensure fair treatment of workers;
  • Deliver an ambitious State-backed home insulation programme;
  • Advocate internationally for faster and fairer climate action and justice;
  • Restore and protect nature and wildlife;
  • Ensure affordable and accessible public transport for all; and
  • Enable and support community-owned renewable energy projects.

Speaking today at the launch of the event today, Oisin Coghlan, a spokesperson for One Future said: “One Future is a people’s campaign to turn the tables on election candidates. We want to empower people to challenge politicians to commit to faster and fairer climate action.

“Recent studies show that 89% Irish adults say we need to take action now on environment, while 60% of adults say prioritising climate action is very important. With One Future, we want to highlight how great a priority climate action is for the electorate, to election candidates.

“Every party is paying lip service to climate action in this election. One Future will help people test whether politicians are promising to do enough and whether they are promising to make sure what they do is fair.

“Climate action is not a trade off with better public services. Climate action is about better public services. It is not a trade off with job creation and economic opportunity; it is about job creation and economic opportunity.

“It will require serious Government investment to transform our transport, housing and energy systems, especially in public transport, social housing and community energy. It will bring immediate in the shape of warmer homes, better bus, train, cycling and walking infrastructure, and opportunities to share in the ownership of the energy system that will power our future.

“We’re looking forward to a busy few weeks in the lead up to 8th February making #ClimateVote2020 the talking point of the general election.”

Upcoming Events

During the next three weeks, One Future will be staging a number of events including:

  • A canvas of Fianna Fail & Fine Gael HQ on Friday, 24thJanuary;
  • A hustings event in Co. Cork on Wednesday, 29thJanuary; and
  • A number of further events will be taking place around Ireland, with details to be announced soon.

The campaign is continuously growing and is calling on organisations, from all sectors, with an interest in effecting real change to join.

ENDS

Notes to Editors: 

Statistics drawn from:

‘89% Irish adults say we need to take action now on environment’ - Consumer Sustainability Tracking by RED C 
‘60% of adults say prioritising climate action is very important’ - The issues which will matter in 2020, compiled by Core Research 

About One Future

One Future is The People’s Campaign for Faster and Fairer Climate Action by Government to deliver the positive transformation we need this decade to prevent climate breakdown. The campaign highlights the necessity for State investment in energy, transport, housing, food and economic systems that have zero climate impact. As well as reducing emissions, these investments will improve public services and promote greater equality and social justice. Then Ireland can use this country’s influence internationally, to become a powerful voice for faster and fairer global climate action.

Follow One Future at:

Twitter: @OneFutureIre
Facebook: @OneFutureIre
Instagram: @OneFutureIre

#ClimateVote2020

Campaign Supporters

 

The full list of campaign supporters at the time of launch is:

An Taisce - the National Trust for Ireland, AnnaB.ie, Aran Islands Energy Co-operative, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Cork Climate Action, Cultivate / Sustainable Ireland Cooperative, Cyclist.ie, Django's Hostel, Dóchas – the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organizations, The Environmental Pillar, Faiths for Climate Action, Foodture, Fridays for Future, Friends of the Earth, Irish Doctors for Environment, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Just Forests, Love Leitrm, Not Here Not Anywhere, National Women’s Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Safety before LNG, Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, Sustainable Projects Ireland, The Bike Circus - Clonakilty, Tipperary Energy Agency, Tuistí Don Todhchaí / Parents For Future Ireland, Union of Students in Ireland, Voice Of Irish Concern For The Environment, Wicklow Planning Alliance.

Minister Brings Action Plan on Climate Pollution to Cabinet

March 8 2017, 01:49pm

Stop Climate Chaos
For immediate release
7 March 2017

Minister Brings Action Plan on Climate Pollution to Cabinet

5 tests for its credibility published by climate campaigners

Minister Naughten has announced he is bringing Ireland's first plan to cut climate pollution in 10 years to Cabinet today. Publication of the draft National Mitigation Plan and the launch of a public consultation is expected within days.

The new action plan is a successor to the National Climate Change Strategies of April 2007 and October 2000, and the CO2 Abatement Strategy of June 1993. However, Irish greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change are higher now then they were at the time of the first plan in 1993. This is despite the National Policy Position on Climate Action which sets a national objective of cutting CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050 and capturing all our agricultural emissions by planting more trees and restoring our peatland bogs.

Stop Climate Chaos, the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change, has today published "Five Tests to for Ireland's draft National Mitigation Plan".

5 Tests for Ireland’s climate action plans

  1. Does the new plan add up to doing our fair share?
  2. Does it start the phase out of fossil fuels?
  3. Does it ramp up renewable energy and kick-start community ownership?
  4. Does it put agriculture on a path to carbon neutrality?
  5. Does it realign transport investment to reduce emissions?

The full 5 tests briefing document can be downloaded here.

Commenting, Cliona Sharkey, Trócaire Policy Officer and a spokesperson for the coalition said:

"Ultimately the plan needs to demonstrate Ireland is preparing to deliver not only on its EU targets, but also on the even more ambitious action agenda set out in the Paris Agreement. If we fail to meet our EU targets we will face significant fines.but if we fail to deliver on the Paris Agreement, we invite climate catastrophe with devastating consequences across society, the environment and the economy."

The Paris Agreement commits Ireland and all the other parties to the treaty to hold: “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”.

Unfortunately, Ireland is a persistent laggard – not a leader. According to latest figures, Ireland’s current emissions are 6.6% above 1990 levels, and emissions increased by 3.7% in 2015. Ireland, with the 8th highest emissions per person in the OECD, is one of only two countries in the EU which will overshoot its 2020 targets for emissions reductions.

Ireland needs to immediately embark on a rapid and just transition to a carbon-free future. Both the EPA and the new Climate Change Advisory Council describe what is required as “a major societal and economic transformation”. Ireland’s last action plan on climate was launched in 2007 –by the then Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche – and expired in 2012. The Advisory Council is clear the new National Mitigation Plan should not just focus on our EU targets for 2020 and 2030 but "should outline the roadmap to achieve the 2050 national objective". That objective, set out in the National Policy Position on Climate Action, is an 80% aggregate emissions reduction between the buildings, energy, and transport sectors, and carbon neutrality in agriculture.

Under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act, which became law on December 10th 2015, Minister for Climate Action, Denis Naughten TD, is obliged to submit a final action plan on how Ireland will cut climate pollution (called the National Mitigation Plan) to Government by 10th June 2017.

ENDS

Leaked assessment from Attorney General’s office regarding lack of energy security is misleading and inaccurate, say Stop Climate Chaos

April 7 2020, 08:05am

Ireland’s largest climate coalition, Stop Climate Chaos, has today refuted the claim by the Attorney General’s office, reported in last Sunday’s Sunday Times[1] that Ireland’s energy security is at risk unless we invest in more gas infrastructure. According to the Sunday Times article, the undated analysis by the AG stated that the Irish state could incur fines if we are found not to comply with European standards for energy security.

Prior to Brexit, Ireland’s security of gas supplies had been assessed together with the UK since we import around 40% of our total gas requirements via a twinned interconnector with Scotland (the remainder comes from the Corrib/Kinsale fields). However, since the departure of the UK from the EU, Ireland is no longer capable of meeting the EU N-1 standard/requirement in isolation from the UK. The article suggests that it would be inappropriate to ban offshore oil and gas exploration and warns that the public might not fully appreciate the risks to Ireland’s energy security.

According to Stop Climate Chaos spokesperson Sadhbh O’Neill,

“The AG’s assessment is wrong and contradicts studies by other leading agencies and experts. It should not influence the public debate about climate action. This leak from the AG’s office does not mean that Ireland needs more gas. It means that the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment urgently needs to file an application with the European Commission for a derogation so that we do not incur fines."

"It also means that the next government needs to act urgently to reduce Ireland’s dependence on fossil fuels. According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, over 80% of Ireland’s total energy is met with combustible (i.e. fossil) fuels. This degree of dependence is risky, unsustainable, polluting and it is completely at odds with our obligation to reduce emissions under the Paris Agreement.”

This leak comes at a crucial moment in energy policy. The Government announced in December 2019 that it would conduct an Energy Security Review to assess the need for new infrastructure to meet the 70% target for renewable electricity by 2030.[2] Stop Climate Chaos recently published its own draft Terms of Reference (see here) along with a background study into energy security. The coalition has demanded a public consultation prior to the commencement of the Review to ensure that the process is guided by the priority of decarbonisation.

However, the Sunday Times report, based on a leak from the AG’s office of an undated assessment into Ireland’s gas supplies, appears to relate to public opposition to LNG terminals and the prospect of a ban on all further offshore gas and oil exploration considered by the last Dáil (the Climate Emergency Measures Bill 2017). This bill was blocked by the Ceann Comhairle and the Government using a Money Message procedure.

According to Ms. O’Neill,

“The AG’s assessment should not stop the new Dáil from banning offshore oil and gas development, or the imports of fracked gas. The next Government needs to invest in measures to reduce energy demand and develop clean renewable energy alternatives for power generation, heating and transport.”

"Ireland’s gas supplies are well met since the completion of the second pipeline interconnector to Scotland. The completion of the fully twinned connection means that in the event of a disruption to either pipeline, there is an alternative pipeline which can provide full capacity to meet Ireland’s gas demand."

In 2018, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) examined potential disruptions to supply from the Moffat entry point to Ireland including risk of loss of supply from Great Britain and outside of the EU under various scenarios. The CRU concluded that there is no significant risk to gas supplies to Ireland from Great Britain or from outside the EU via Great Britain.

 

Ms. O’Neill concluded,

“As we begin a decade in which global emissions must decrease by half if the 1.5°C limit set out in the Paris Agreement is to remain viable, there is no scientific justification for investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure. The Energy Security Review should set the energy and climate agenda for Ireland for the coming decades, as we transition to a zero-carbon future. It needs to show how we can decarbonise our economy whilst keeping the lights on, by ensuring sufficient interconnection and energy storage infrastructure.”

 

ENDS

 

[1] Tighe, M. 5th April 2020 The Sunday Times, Ireland edition ‘EU fines may be in air for Ireland over gas supply’.

[2] The review into the security and sustainability of Ireland’s energy supply was announced in late 2019, by the Minister with responsibility for Climate Action, Richard Bruton following public outcry over the Shannon LNG project. Many environmental organisations expressed a concern that the Review, as announced, was established to justify the Government’s support for the LNG terminal. The Irish Government confirmed support for the fracked gas import facility in Shannon without a sustainability or climate assessment of the project.

70 TDs sign commitment to a strong climate law and additional climate finance

June 2 2010, 12:01am


Over half of all TDs meet with voters at mass lobby in Buswells

70 TDs signed a "climate commitment" today calling for a strong climate law as well as new climate finance for developing countries. Earlier the Government rejected calls for a debate today on an opposition climate change bill in the Seanad, but Senator Dan Boyle, Deputy Government Leader in the upper house, promised that the Government Bill would be published before the end of June. Over half the TDs in the Dáil attended the all-day event in Buswells Hotel, organized by the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, which saw voters from all over the country come to Kildare Street to lobby their TDs.

The TDs who signed the "climate commitment" pledged that Ireland would meet the targets in the law by reductions in emissions here in Ireland rather than by buying "carbon offset credits" overseas. The Government target is to reduce emissions by 3% a year on average between now and 2020. The TDs also agreed to insure that the independent advisory committee to be established under the law would have the authority to publish its reports rather than giving their advice in private. The climate commitment also calls for Ireland's financial contribution to addressing climate change in developing countries would be separate from and additional to overseas aid commitments.


Niamh Garvey of Trocaire, said
"We're delighted by the turnout today and the number of TDs who have signed-up to support clear and effective climate legislation. A strong climate law is not just a matter of environmental sustainability, it's a matter of global justice. Ireland is the eighth most generous aid donor per person but we're the sixth most climate-polluting country per person among industrialized countries. So a law that shows Ireland is finally ready to do its fair share to cut emissions is the biggest contribution we can make to getting the international negotiations back on track.


Oisín Coghlan of Friends of the Earth said
"We welcome the promise of climate legislation, but it must mean what it says to be credible. The Government is committed to reducing emissions by 3% a year. That's got to mean cutting emissions here in Ireland, not wasting taxpayers' money on overseas credits: the law must rule out meeting the target by offsetting."


Today's mass lobby comes as Department of Environment officials are finalising the first draft of the climate Bill. Minister Gormley had promised to publish the Bill, one of the Green's key gains in the renegotiated Programme for Government, before the end of March. It is now expected that the heads of bill will be approved by Cabinet before the end of June.


Leaders of several Stop Climate Chaos member organisations will meet Minister Gormley when he comes to talk with a group of his constituents today. As well as urging him to deliver a strong bill they will be asking him to follow up his personal commitment to climate finance being additional to overseas aid commitments with a Cabinet decision that actually makes it Irish policy.

Derek McDowell of Concern said
"We in the developed world have caused the climate change that the poorest countries are now facing. The money we give to help them cope cannot be instead of long-promised aid to provide education, basic healthcare and clean water. We welcome Minister Gormley's statements that climate change assistance should be in addition to our overseas aid, however it is important that we get confirmation that it is the policy of the entire government that it is additional to our aid promises."

ENDS

 


Notes

1. Stop Climate Chaos members are:
Action Aid, Afri, Birdwatch Ireland, Christian Aid, Climate Action Ireland Platform, Comhlámh, Concern, Cultivate, Dublin Friends of Earth, Eco-Congregation, Eco-Unesco, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre, Methodist Church of Ireland- Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Progressio Ireland, Students Against Climate Change, Sustain West Cork, An Taisce, Trócaire, VITA, V.O.I.C.E

2. The Climate Commitment signed by TDs can be downloaded here: www.stopclimatechaos.ie/download/pdf/tds_climate_commitment.pdf

3. The draft framework document on what the law will look like is available at http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/Environment/Atmosphere/FileDownLoad,21824,en.pdf

Stop Climate Chaos calls for action on agricultural emissions that does not rely on faulty interpretation of science.

Programme for Government will have to include faster reductions in methane and nitrous oxide

June 5 2020, 06:30am

[Note: a revision was made to this press release on June 9th 2020 to clarify the reference to 'faulty science', which should have read 'faulty representation of science'.]

As government formation talks reach a critical phase, the question of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions is the subject of intense scrutiny. Today, World Environment Day, the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition [1] has published a briefing called Agricultural emissions in Irish climate change mitigation policy: Science and Solutions [2] intended to inform public and political debate on the role of agriculture in Ireland's climate action plans.

Introducing the briefing, Sadhbh O Neill, Policy Advisor with the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition commented:

“If Ireland is going to reduce our total emissions by at least 7% a year, as called for by the UN Emissions Gap report, then agricultural emissions can't keep rising as they have for the last decade. We need to see reductions in methane and nitrous oxide gases. Nothing else counts as real mitigation."


“While nobody expects farming to cut emissions as fast as other sectors, agricultural emissions will need to fall from about 20 million tonnes a year to around 12 to 15 million tonnes. That’s additional savings of 4-6 MtCO2e compared to current plans [3]. Even then all of the rest of the economy and society together will have to cut emissions from 40 million tonnes to between 15 and 18 million tonnes, so this is a very good deal for agriculture. It is vital that the government formation negotiations are not misinformed by faulty science getting coverage due to its supposed novelty.”

In a recent opinion poll conducted by Friends of the Earth, 92% of the respondents stated that the government should be guided by science and expert advice on climate action as they have been on Covid-19.
“Climate policy should be guided by IPCC science and advice from an independent climate change advisory body. We can’t just rely on misinterpretations of new science if we don’t like the inconvenient truth that emissions must come down. That is just another form of denial.”, continued Ms O’Neill.

Recent scientific publications [4] have proposed a new way of accounting for methane that captures its warming impact more accurately. Methane for instance is 28 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, but it lasts for just 12 years in the atmosphere. However according to Ms. O'Neill:

"It is mistaken to suggest that the shorter life cycle of methane in the atmosphere, by comparison with carbon dioxide, implies that control of its emissions is somehow less important. Even though an emission of one tonne of methane in 2018 will have long since been removed from the atmosphere by 2118, it will still have been responsible for 34 times [5] more heat trapping than the tonne of carbon dioxide emitted at the same time."

The research of the Oxford Martin research group has been misrepresented by some sectoral interests who seek to downplay the role of methane in climate mitigation strategies. The GWP* method seeks to link emissions more accurately to warming. But it does not mean that methane emissions do not need to be substantially reduced. Media reports are also suggesting that some political parties are seeking special exemptions for agriculture on the basis that soils, hedgerows and marine kelp forests can absorb emissions from livestock. Land use in Ireland is a net emitter under IPCC methodology. In other words, even when carbon sequestration is taken into account, we are still emitting more greenhouse gases from land-use and land-use change than we are absorbing. Increasing sequestration by rewetting bogs, afforestation (including natural regeneration) and improving soil carbon are slow, highly uncertain methods for climate action through land use management.

According to Dr. Elaine McGoff, Natural Environment Officer with An Taisce, a member of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition:

"Such measures can be highly beneficial for biodiversity and soil health if planned appropriately, but they are of limited benefit to near-term climate mitigation. If the additional carbon dioxide removed (sequestered) from the atmosphere is to be measured with required accuracy, it requires costly monitoring, measuring and verification." 

"Prioritising retention of existing carbon stocks by ending all peat extraction as fast as possible, ending drainage and restoring wetlands, limiting forest harvesting, and changing agricultural practices on organic soils are faster, more certain land-use policies for immediate climate action." 

"There is no scientifically verifiable method of measuring the carbon stored in hedgerows, kelp and soils yet. And even if there were, this approach is not a reliable or permanent solution to livestock emissions."

Just over a year ago the Dáil declared a climate and biodiversity emergency. Now is the time to act on that, by putting a new approach to agricultural emissions at the heart of any Programme for Government. Ireland will not be able to achieve our climate obligations if rising emissions from the agriculture sector are not meaningfully addressed. Commitments made in current negotiations will be crucial in determining the pathway Ireland will take over the coming decade if we are serious about meeting our climate obligations.

According to Ms O Neill:

"We are not proposing a particular target for agricultural methane. But there are international precedents Ireland could usefully follow in this regard. The most important intervention that can be made is a commitment to no further increases in methane and nitrogen, steady declines in methane emissions and a cap on nitrogen use which in turn could drive further methane reductions."
"The EPA reported just yesterday that Ireland is continuing to breach EU directives on ammonia (NH3) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions due to further agricultural expansion. Sooner or later, the agricultural model in Ireland will have to change course towards a more diversified, food secure and biodiversity-friendly model. Agricultural pollution to air, water and soil is getting worse under FoodWise 2025 and the next agri-food strategy must turn this situation around."

Notes

[1] Stop Climate Chaos is the civil society coalition that has campaigned since 2007 for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle the causes and consequences of climate change. It launched the One Future campaign just before the General Election.

[2] The new Stop Climate Chaos briefing, Agricultural emissions in Irish climate change mitigation policy: Science and Solutions is online here: https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/assets/files/pdf/agricultural_emissions_science_and_solutions.pdf

[3] Achieving the economy-wide target of reducing emissions by at least 7% a year, as called for by the UN Emissions Gapreport, means halving Ireland’s annual emissions by 2030, from 60 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) a year to 30 million tonnes. Agricultural emissions are currently a third of the total at 20 MtCO2e a year, mostly in the form of methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N20) from livestock. The outgoing Government’s Climate Action Plan only envisaged a drop of 1 or 2 million tonnes a year by 2030. That would mean agriculture using 18 million tonnes of a totala nnual carbon budget of 30 million tonnes in 2030 with only 12 million tonne left for the all other sectors of the economy and all other activities of society.  

[4] Allen, M.R., Shine, K.P., Fuglestvedt, J.S. et al. A solution to the misrepresentations of CO2-equivalent emissions of short-lived climate pollutants under ambitious mitigation. NPJ Clim Atmos Sci 1, 16 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41612-018-0026-8  

[5] The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 34 in this case takes other feedbacks into account. 

Citizens’ Assembly is a momentous opportunity to shake up Ireland’s backward climate policy

September 29 2017, 02:59pm

Stop Climate Chaos Coalition 
Friday the 29th September 2017
For Immediate Release

Citizens’ Assembly is a momentous opportunity to shake up Ireland’s backward climate policy

The Citizens’ Assembly will begin a ground-breaking process in democratic decision-making on climate change this weekend (September 30th). The 99 citizen members will hear presentations from national and international experts on ‘how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’.

The experts will address several key topics, including the devastating effects of climate change both in Ireland and around the world. Assembly members will also learn about the significant changes needed in Irish policy-making, as well as a specific session on action in the energy sector. After a second weekend of debate, the Assembly will vote on recommendations to Government on November 5th.

Speaking on behalf of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, Jerry Mac Evilly commented:

 "This is a historic opportunity for Irish action on climate change. We have already seen the positive impact of this type of deliberative exercise by citizens, such as the previous consideration of marriage equality. The Assembly received a huge number of practical recommendations and will get key insights from climate change experts. They will have a unique opportunity to mandate our politicians to act urgently and decisively to cut climate pollution.”

The Assembly has already benefited from an extremely successful public consultation. This consultation generated major public interest both within Ireland and abroad and received close to 1,200 submissions from individuals, NGOs and businesses. The recommendations, which are available online, contain a huge number of transformational but practical ideas across energy, housing, agriculture and transport.

Actions put forward in the joint submission of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition and the Environmental Pillar include setting an end date for peat burning and coal-fired electricity generation, putting concrete support in place for small-scale community renewable projects, providing significant funding for deep retrofitting of Ireland’s housing stock and increasing the share of investment that goes to walking, cycling and clean public transport.

Spokesperson for the Stop Climate Chaos member group, Friends of the Earth, Dr. Cara Augustenborg, explained:

“The consideration by the Citizens’ Assembly of Ireland’s response to climate change is an innovative approach that will be closely watched not just in Ireland but around the word. The public consultation brought in such a great selection of positive ideas on how Ireland should respond urgently to cut polluting emissions. The Assembly now has the opportunity to make sure the Government takes positive action on this crisis.”

The Assembly’s consideration of Government efforts to reduce harmful emissions is one of the most innovative approaches to the issue yet seen, both nationally and internationally. While the Assembly has been asked how Ireland can be a leader in tackling climate change, for decades Ireland has been a laggard on climate action. Our emissions are rising not falling and we are going to miss our 2020 targets.

ENDS

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Mr. Jerry Mac Evilly, Policy Coordinator, Stop Climate Chaos Coalition: jerry@stopclimatechaos.ie

Also available for interview are the following representatives who will be attending the public sessions of the Assembly this weekend:

Oisin Coghlan, Director, Friends of the Earth Cara Augustenborg, Head of Communications, Friends of the Earth Niamh Garvey, Head of Policy, Trócaire Philip Kearney, Chair, Climate Change Committee, An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland Niall Sargent, Communications and Development Officer, Irish Environmental Network

Civil society will also be tweeting on the following hashtags -

#CitizensAssembly

#LeadOnClimate

Notes for the Editor:

1. The public sessions of the Assembly meeting will be live streamed on www.citizensassembly.ie

2. Information on the remit of the Citizens’ Assembly, as well as submissions received from the public, is available here. Their 2017 meeting to consider abortion in Ireland, which recommended significant changes in abortion law is here. The Assembly is a successor to the 2012–14 Constitutional Convention, which catalysed the legalisation of same-sex marriage approved in Ireland’s 2015 momentous Marriage Equality Referendum.

3. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.

4. The Environmental Pillar is a national social partner, comprising 26 national environmental organisations. It works to promote the protection and enhancement of the environment, together with the creation of a viable economy and a just society, without compromising the viability of the planet on which we live for current and future generations of all species and ecosystems.

5. In their joint submission the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition and the Environmental Pillar make 18 practical recommendations that would (1) bring the years of inaction to an end, (2) move Ireland to the level of most of our EU partners, and (3) take a leadership role in certain areas, notwithstanding our poor record to date. They range across all sectors of the economy and society: energy, buildings, transport and agriculture.

6. Ireland is the third highest producer of emissions per person in the EU, and eighth in the OECD with polluting emissions increasing by 3.7% in 2015. Ireland is only one of five EU Member States which is set to miss its 2020 emission reduction targets under the EU Effort Sharing Decision, and the only one of these five States where emissions are predicted to continue to rise and where the State will likely be highly reliant on special flexibility procedures, such as the buying of credits from other countries, to close the gap based. See analysis from European Environment Agency available here.

7. The Institute of International and European Affairs reported that Ireland faces non-compliance costs of between €3bn and €6bn by 2030 without new substantive climate action measures to significantly reduce polluting emissions. Ireland’s reputation among EU partners has suffered as the Irish Government has repeatedly called for less demanding obligations rather than planning on how to meet them, thereby undermining rather than supporting EU collective action on climate change.

Loopholes in Climate Bill must be closed

With public hearings on the Climate Action Bill resuming today in front of an Oireachtas Committee, TDs and senators have crucial work to do to ensure that Ireland’s new climate law is fit for purpose.

October 21 2020, 02:43pm

Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

For Immediate Release

Wednesday 21st October 2020

 

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has today published a briefing that identifies key loopholes in the Government’s new Climate Action Bill, published two weeks ago, that must be closed if the new law is to drive the promised reductions in Ireland’s polluting emissions.  Publication of the briefing [1] comes on the day the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action resumes its pre-legislative scrutiny of the Bill in order to recommend changes to the Government.

Commenting, Sadhbh O’Neill, Stop Climate Chaos Policy Coordinator said:

"The new Climate Bill substantially improves the 2015 Climate Law but we have identified serious loopholes that could undermine the purpose of the law."

"TDs and Senators have the opportunity now to recommend that these loopholes are closed and make the new climate law work as it was intended."

"Much of the progress on climate policy in recent years has come from TDs and Senators forging a cross-party consensus in the Oireachtas and driving official policy in the right direction. We urge them to do that again now."

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition of over 40 civil society organisations is urging TDs and Senators on the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Climate Action to recommend the following key changes to the Bill:


1. "The State shall pursue 
and achieve" the 2050 objective. 
The Heads of Bill published by the outgoing Government in January included the word achieve in the 2050 objective. This draft Bill does not. It needs to go back in again. Simply pursuing the objective is not good enough, we need to achieve it.

2. The state shall achieve the objective of a climate neutral economy by 2050 
at the latest
The 2050 objective in the Bill must be a floor for Ireland’s climate ambition, not a ceiling, particularly as net-zero by 2050 still does not represent our fair share of the global effort to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

3. The definition of a Carbon Budget must be tightened to make it explicit that it will cover all gases and all sectors in a single national emissions limit.

4. The Bill must oblige the Climate Change Advisory Council to propose Carbon Budgets that are in line with the 2050 climate objective in the Bill. 
That clear and direct relationship between the long-term target and the 5-year Carbon Budgets is the driving force of effective climate laws in other jurisdictions. The budgets must ensure consistent, sustained action between now and 2050 in line with EU targets. It is currently missing in this Bill.

5. There must be a clear duty on the minister and the government to produce plans that are in line with the Carbon Budgets.
Not just to “have regard to” the Carbon Budgets when producing their plans.

Michael McCarthy Flynn, Senior Research and Policy Coordinator at Oxfam Ireland said:

"Many of the world’s poorest communities, who have done the very least to cause climate change, are already suffering most from its impacts. Climate change is not a future threat but a lived reality that people are already battling every day, facing increasingly frequent floods, droughts and heatwaves."

"The Bill must recognize the need for real climate justice and ensure that Ireland, as a rich, highly polluting country, is doing its utmost to reduce emissions. Achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 is far short of our fair share of global efforts to tackle the climate crisis. The Bill must make clear that this is the floor, not the ceiling of our ambition, and that early action is required to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees."

 

Dr. Ciara Murphy, Environmental Policy Advocate for the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice said: 

"The Government must take the lead in tackling the climate crisis  but public participation and buy-in will be a vital component of any climate action. The Bill should ensure that there is a legal commitment on the State to provide opportunities for the public to meaningfully engage with climate policy decision-making."

"We need key stakeholders from  trade unions, farming organisations, business, the community and voluntary sector along with environmental and climate organisations around the table to discuss how we are going to cut pollution in a way that is fair and just. Public participation at the local level and dialogue between communities and local authorities is essential too."

"Climate action must leave no one behind, especially the most vulnerable and those who are most impacted by the transition to a low carbon economy."

 

ENDS

Notes

 

  1. A full copy of Stop Climate Chaos’s briefing on the Climate Action (Amendment) Bill 2020 can be accessed here https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/assets/files/pdf/what_needs_to_change_in_the_climate_bill_-_scc_briefing_oct_2020.pdf.
  2. Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) is a coalition of over 40 civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. It was launched in 2007 and is the largest network of organisations campaigning for action on climate change in Ireland. Its membership includes development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. Its members are: Afri, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlámh, Community Work Ireland, Concern Worldwide, Cultivate, Cyclist.ie, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Fossil Free TCD, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Irish Environment, Goal, Good Energies Alliance Ireland, Self Help Africa, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Just Forests, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Liberia Solidarity Group, Methodist Church of Ireland – Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group, National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Peoples’ Climate Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Tearfund Ireland, Trócaire, An Taisce, VITA, VOICE., and Young Friends of the Earth.

Stop Climate Chaos presents IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report

September 27 2013, 03:00pm

Ireland's leading climate scientist Professor John Sweeney addressing the audience at today's Stop Climate Chaos public briefing on the fifth report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). More photos from today's event are available here: www.stopclimatechaos.ie/gallery/

 

NO FEE Stop Climate Chaos presents IPCCs fifth assessment report 01

Press release: Government’s 10 year Agri-Food Strategy loses credibility as environmental organisations quit Strategy Committee

Agri-Food Strategy development should be led by Government, not by industries pushing for highly polluting business-as-usual that will sabotage climate targets and hurt small farmers

February 25 2021, 11:47am

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition welcomes the decision by Ireland’s leading coalition of environmental organisations, the Environmental Pillar, to formally withdraw today from the Agri-Food 2030 Strategy Committee [1]. Karen Ciesielski of the Environmental Pillar was the only environmental civil society representative on the Committee, which is dominated and led by industry groups. Ms Ciesielski cited repeated failures by the committee to heed environmental and social concerns raised by the Pillar and its member organisations. 

The soon to be published Agri-Food 2030 Strategy will serve as a follow-up to Food Wise 2025, thus playing a critical role in determining the future of Irish food production and farming. In its present form it will not facilitate the ecological transformation we need for agriculture but will perpetuate business-as-usual destruction of the environment, rising greenhouse gas emissions and unsustainable models of farming that will drive small farmers out of the sector. 

Sadhbh O’Neill, Policy Coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos said:

“The last Government outsourced agricultural policy to a stakeholder group dominated by industry reps with a vested interest in business-as-usual. 

We engaged in good faith but it’s clear now that the draft Agri-Food strategy would do nowhere near enough to reduce agricultural pollution.

It’s now time for our elected ministers to take back responsibility for ensuring the final 2030 plan for agriculture is in line with our national and international obligations on climate, nature and water.”

 

Michael McCarthy Flynn from Oxfam Ireland said:

“The idea that agricultural emissions could continue to grow is completely inconsistent with Ireland’s obligations under the Paris Agreement as a wealthy country. We need an agricultural model that reduces Ireland’s total climate impact. The poorest communities and countries in the world are already experiencing severe climate impacts, including drought and crop failures. Ireland must shift to a model of food production that does not include exporting commodities that undermine local markets and food production in low income countries.”


Many countries are starting to realise that we cannot ignore the role of food production and exports in climate action. CSO data shows that there was a 41% increase in dairy cows from 2010 to 2019, making Ireland an outlier in comparison to other EU member states [2]. It is worrying to note that the Teagasc dairy strategy to 2027 envisages yet further growth in herd numbers [3]. If current projections for the sector are realised in terms of animal numbers and milk and beef output, there will be an inevitable increase in absolute greenhouse gas emissions. 

Instead of another industry-led strategy for expanding the dairy sector, the Stop Climate Chaos coalition wants to see a roadmap for agri-related greenhouse gas emissions reductions to achieve, as a minimum, compliance with EU and national law by 2030 so that agricultural emissions of ammonia, methane and nitrous oxide are brought down in line with our climate and environmental obligations.

 

Aedin McLoughlin of Good Energies Alliance Ireland said:

“There needs to be herd reductions across both beef and dairy sectors but farmers relying on CAP payments should not be worse off by implementing sustainable food and agricultural policies. 

Reducing cattle numbers by sacrificing the beef sector is not a just transition for Irish agriculture. No farmer should be left behind as we shift to a sustainable farming model.

Farmers must be incentivised to diversify from livestock production to ensure stable incomes into the future, and to facilitate reduced stocking rates. We want to see a government-led,  not industry-led, strategy that involves all stakeholders and envisions a food and agricultural system that is healthy, sustainable and non-polluting.” 

 

ENDS

Notes

  1. Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) is a coalition of civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. It was launched in 2007 and is the largest network of organisations campaigning for action on climate change in Ireland. Its membership includes development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. Its members are: Afri, An Taisce, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlámh, Community Work Ireland, Clare PPN, Concern Worldwide, Cultivate, Cyclist.ie, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Fossil Free TCD, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Irish Environment, Goal, Good Energies Alliance Ireland, Irish Climate and Health Alliance, Irish Heart Foundation, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Just Forests, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Liberia Solidarity Group, Methodist Church of Ireland – Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group, National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Peoples’ Climate Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Self Help Africa, Tearfund Ireland, Trócaire, VITA, VOICE, and Young Friends of the Earth.
  2. See Eurostat (2020) data at this link: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-datasets/product?code=tag00014 
  3.  Launched in late 2020, the Teagasc dairy strategy for 2027 envisages an increase in the dairy herd to 1.65 million dairy cows which, in conjunction with increases in milk output, will lead to additional methane and nitrous oxide emissions. The N20 emissions are also likely to increase further if the dairy sector remains reliant upon imported feed and additional grazing land, and this dependency could increase further if climate change attributes to more droughts. See: Teagasc (2020). 2027 Sectoral road map: Dairy. Available at: https://www.teagasc.ie/publications/2020/2027-sectoral-road-map-dairy.php  




Dance for Climate Action!

Stop Climate Chaos collaborate with Dublin Youth Dance Company to host a celebration of the Citizens’ Assembly

November 10 2017, 11:48am

On Saturday November 4th the Stop Climate Chaos coalition collaborated with the Dublin Youth Dance Company to host 'Dance for Climate Action'.

There were 48 youth dancers dressed in red, dancing to the beautiful song 'Halfway There' by Mary & the Pigeons on a gorgeous stretch of grass just in front of the sea in Malahide. The dance was interspersed with open mic on the topic of climate change, where we heard views on nature and mental health, the 'overview effect', and Shambala warriors.

This family-friendly event took place to highlight the proceedings of the Citizens' Assembly, as just down the road, 99 citizens were discussing 'How the State can make Ireland a Leader in tackling Climate Change'. With a positive atmosphere created with dance, hope, optimism and emotive stories, we strived to communicate our support to the 99 citizens, whose time and insights will have repercussions spanning many years ahead.

The event didn't finish there, however, as we travelled by DART to Trinity College Dublin to host another performance on the cricket pitch in Trinity College Dublin. A number of tourists, members of the public and passers-by stopped to watch the dancers and listen to more spoken word.

Saturday's TV3 News at 5:30 broadcast snippets of the event and an interview with Joanne McGarry of Trócaire, as well as drone footage of the dance in action. Monday's papers picked up the event, with a picture in the Irish Independent, The Irish Times and The Irish Times (London Edition).

IMG-20171106-WA0003                  IMG-20171106-WA0000             IMG-20171106-WA0001

 

IPCC Report lays bare dire risks of climate delay

April 4 2022, 06:43pm

IPCC Report lays bare dire risks of climate delay

Government action to reduce emissions immediately and phase out fossil fuels must begin now - not in ten years time.

Today’s UN IPCC Working Group III climate report paints a stark picture of increasing emissions and a wide gap between climate pledges and action. This Report is the third of three major UN climate reports published in the last eight months and follows the release of IPCC WG I and WG II reports which raised the alarm on climate breakdown, climate impacts and the closing window for action. Today’s WG III Report puts a focus on different models or “pathways” that could be used to address climate change. These models are very conservative; they assume that current economic systems will be retained and do not consider transformative systems change or different economic systems that could reduce emissions much more rapidly. As a result, many pathways presented in the report overshoot the crucial 1.5 degrees guardrail [1][2]. This is despite the fact that the scientific findings of WG I and WG II have unequivocally stated that breaching the 1.5°C threshold would put humanity in grave danger. Models used in the WG III Report also rely on unproven carbon removal technologies which opens up a major “moral hazard” and will distract from the need to cut emissions at source by phasing out fossil fuels and considering alternative economic systems that are compatible with reducing emissions in a faster, safer way. 

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition has noted two important developments highlighted by the Report: 

1. Renewables are cheap, fast, resilient, and offer greater price stability. Since 2010, the unit cost of solar has plummeted by 85%, wind by over 50%, and lithium batteries by 85%.Transitioning to low carbon energy systems is now as, or more, economically attractive than maintaining carbon-intensive systems.

2. The Report makes clear that we must phase out fossil fuel subsidies, and existing fossil fuel infrastructure, as well as building no new fossil fuel infrastructure. To remain below 1.5 degrees, new fossil fuel infrastructure in the energy sector will have to be cancelled, and existing installations will need decommissioning, retrofitting or reduction in use [3].

The following three findings from the Report are particularly concerning:

1. Emissions have continued to rise at an alarming pace. Average annual greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest level between 2010 and 2019. Global CO2 emissions from energy reached a record high in 2021 and are set to continue rising over the next few years. If current emission trends continue, we will have used up the remaining carbon budget in 9.5 years (with a 67% likelihood).

2. Financial flows are up to 6 times lower than levels needed by 2030 to limit warming to below 1.5 degrees. There is sufficient global capital to close this investment gap, but action is needed now. The challenge of closing this gap is most difficult for poorer countries who are already suffering most from climate impacts that have been largely caused by the emissions of rich countries.

3. All of the WG III Report’s modelling scenarios include some degree of reliance on carbon dioxide removal, even though such technologies remain unproven at scale, and would be deeply harmful if implemented at the scale needed [4]. This runs the risk of legitimizing such technologies as an acceptable part of governments’ climate action strategies which could distract from the urgent need to phase out fossil fuels, and have dire implications for frontline and Indigenous communities. Further, large-scale emissions reductions and carbon removals are suggested to come from the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use sector despite the significant human rights and social justice implications of such measures.

Commenting on the Report, Caoimhe de Barra, CEO, Trócaire, a member organisation of Stop Climate Chaos said:

“The Report comes at a time when the world is sliding backwards on its climate commitments, when richer countries must urgently reconsider their ill-advised reliance on fossil fuels, particularly in light of the Ukraine war. It makes clear that the richest nations have not taken adequate climate mitigation actions in time.The world’s richest 10% are responsible for nearly half of all emissions, while the world’s poorest account for just 12%. Countries in the Global North must now step up to support a fair and fast transition to renewable energy, phase-out fossil fuel subsidies, infrastructure and production, while increasing climate finance flows to poorer countries. Ireland needs to adopt a much stronger leadership role at EU and international level to support these changes.”

Dr. Bríd Walsh, Stop Climate Chaos Coalition Policy Coordinator said:

“The IPCC’s Working Group II Report rang the alarm bell that breaching the 1.5°C threshold, even temporarily, could push us over a series of tipping points, setting off feedback systems that would cause irreversible impacts. We should not ignore those warnings - our window of opportunity for action is closing but there is still time to avoid the worst if we start acting seriously now. There is no justification for pursuing policies that mean Governments allow emissions to keep rising and fail to respect our Paris Agreement commitments. Any increase in fossil fuels means ‘borrowing’ emissions from the future. Frontline communities in the Global South already bear the brunt of the impacts caused by current temperature rises, suffering more than 90% of the costs of climate change, and 98% of the deaths associated with climate breakdown.”

Commenting, Caroline Whyte, Ecological Economist, Feasta, a member organisation of Stop Climate Chaos said:

“Avoiding an overshoot of 1.5°C means that we need to embrace system change and a Just Transition which can accelerate emission reductions while creating sustainable societies. The priority for our communities, movements, and decision-makers must now be to move away from the era of fossil fuels and transform our societies and economies towards sustainable systems that prioritise justice, equality, and the health of our societies and planet.” 

ENDS

Notes to editor:

  1. The report’s 1.5°C modelling assumes that immediate action would have taken place from 2020 to lead to a peaking of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. It is now 2022 and we are not on that pathway i.e. the scale of action required has not taken place and emissions have continued to rise.

  2. The likelihood of remaining below 1.5 has dropped since the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5 because emissions have continued to rise since it was released in 2017. 

  3. About 30% of current oil, 50% of gas, and 80% of coal reserves are unburnable if we want to limit warming even to 2 degrees.

  4. CDR can include Nature Based Solutions, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture & Storage, and Direct Air Capture with Carbon Capture & Storage. The report argues for the need for accelerated research, development, and incentives for carbon removal measures but climate campaigners are very concerned that this will distract from the need to cut emissions at source. Friends of the Earth International has published a number of reports discussing the dangers associated with CDR and negative emission technologies - they can be accessed herehere and here

About Stop Climate Chaos

Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) is a coalition of civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. It was launched in 2007 and is the largest network of organisations campaigning for action on climate change in Ireland. Its membership includes development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. Its members are: Action Aid, Afri, An Taisce, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlámh, Community Work Ireland, Clare PPN, Concern Worldwide, Cultivate, Cyclist.ie, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Irish Environment, Good Energies Alliance Ireland, Irish Climate and Health Alliance, Irish Heart Foundation, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Just Forests, National Women’s Council of Ireland, National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Trócaire, Union of Students in Ireland, and VOICE.

 

 

Development organisations call for urgent changes to Climate Bill’s definition of “Climate Justice”

In a letter published today, the organisations said it would be better to have no definition of “climate justice” than to use the Bill’s current, misleading definition 

June 30 2021, 06:32pm

Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

For immediate release

Wednesday 30th June 2021

Development organisations call for urgent changes to Climate Bill’s definition of “Climate Justice”

In a letter published today, the organisations said it would be better to have no definition of “climate justice” than to use the Bill’s current, misleading definition 

Leading international development organisations, Oxfam Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Concern and Trócaire, have today published a letter [1] to all TDs and senators, seeking an urgent change to the definition of “climate justice” in the Climate Bill, which is currently before the Seanad. The organisations, who are all members of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition [2], say that the Bill’s current definition of “climate justice” is too weak and will undermine efforts to ensure that Ireland does its fair share of the global effort to limit warming to below 1.5 °C. 


They are calling for amendments to the Climate Bill to ensure that:

  • The Bill provides a clear and binding commitment to remaining below 1.5°C.
  • Action on climate change and biodiversity loss is fully complementary.
  • Climate Justice and Just Transition are enshrined as the Climate Bill’s central organising principles.


Rosamond Bennett, CEO of Christian Aid Ireland said: 

“While there’s much to welcome in the Bill, it was disappointing that the Minister rejected all proposed amendments for a stronger definition of Climate Justice during the Dáil debates, particularly as this was a clear, cross-party recommendation from the Oireachtas Climate Committee. There’s a last chance to get this right in the Seanad. A Bill that does not capture the extremely unequal, international dimension to this problem and our fair share of the global effort to keep warming below 1.5 degrees will be a huge missed opportunity.”

 

Sinead Morgan of Concern’s 1Planet4All campaign said:

“We are deeply concerned that the definition currently included in the Bill actually weakens and undermines the principle of climate justice by omitting any reference to the issue of global justice and equity. We urge the Seanad to consider replacing the current definition to reflect the obligation to support the people who are most impacted by climate change. This Bill must help address inequality, not deepen inequalities even further”

 

Jim Clarken, CEO of Oxfam Ireland said: 

“Oxfam’s own research has highlighted the global problem of carbon inequality where the world’s poorest 50% (c.3.1 billion people) were responsible for just 7% of cumulative global emissions, and used just 4% of the available global carbon budget. Yet climate change threatens the lives and livelihoods of the poorest people on the planet, even though they have contributed the least to the problem. The UN Convention on Climate Change established the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities which means that developed and wealthy countries with high emissions per capita such as Ireland must step up and do more.”

 

Caoimhe de Barra, CEO of Trócaire said: 

“The communities that we work with daily are already experiencing the impacts of the climate crisis, which is why we have argued over the last decade that it is essential that climate breakdown is understood and tackled as an international, social justice and equality issue.” 

 

The organisations have noted the strong commitment from all governing parties to enact the Climate Bill with urgency and have acknowledged the progress to date in strengthening the Bill. But they say that if the Government will not change the Bill’s current definition of “climate justice”, then the proposed definition should be deleted altogether. That would restore the existing position in the 2015 Climate Act that climate justice is an undefined principle which the Government must have regard to when adopting climate policies. That would be preferable to the weak definition in the current Bill.

ENDS

 

Notes

[1] The full text of the letter can be viewed at this link: https://www.foe.ie/assets/files/pdf/ltr_to_gov_on_climate_justice_from_troc_caid_ox_concern.pdf

 

[2] Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) is a coalition of civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. It was launched in 2007 and is the largest network of organisations campaigning for action on climate change in Ireland. Its membership includes development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. Its members are: Afri, An Taisce, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlámh, Community Work Ireland, Clare PPN, Concern Worldwide, Cultivate, Cyclist.ie, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Fossil Free TCD, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Irish Environment, Goal, Good Energies Alliance Ireland, Irish Climate and Health Alliance, Irish Heart Foundation, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Just Forests, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Liberia Solidarity Group, Methodist Church of Ireland – Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group, National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Peoples’ Climate Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Self Help Africa, Tearfund Ireland, Trócaire, Union of Students in Ireland, VITA, VOICE, and Young Friends of the Earth.

Stop Climate Chaos Responds to IPCC Report on Impacts of Climate Change

March 31 2014, 01:34pm

Leading campaigners on climate change give reaction to major international report and outline increased flooding risks for Ireland

Ireland will face an increased risk of extreme weather events, with more coastal and river flooding, unless the Government steps up action to contain climate change and urges its international counterparts to do likewise. That's according to Stop Climate Chaos, a coalition of 28 civil society organisations, who today (31.03.14) held a public briefing on the IPCC report in the Project Arts Centre in Dublin.

Stop Climate Chaos was responding to the publication of the second of four reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body for the assessment of climate change. The report was prepared by over 800 leading scientists from 39 different countries over the past two years. It focuses on the impacts of climate change already being experienced, as well as future risks and adaptation strategies, and shows that with no adaptation, coastal flooding in the 2080s is projected to affect millions more people in Europe per year, with the Atlantic, Northern and Southern European regions most affected.

According to the coalition, the increased flooding risk that comes with extreme weather events could spell chaos for Ireland's economy.

"The report looks at how climate change impacts on people, plants, animals, the environment and the economy - and how we can adapt," explained Niamh Garvey, spokesperson for SCC. "We enjoy a temperate climate in Ireland, but that does not mean that we are exempt from the direct impacts of climate change. If climate change continues unchecked, the weather in Ireland will become more volatile and floods will be commonplace.

"An increase in flooding would have a negative impact on our economy and our quality of life. Earlier this year, we witnessed first-hand the chaos wreaked by flooding on people's homes, businesses and day-to-day lives. We are also seeing rising insurance costs and growing unwillingness amongst investors to place assets in areas affected by flooding. These are serious issues for coastal and island economies like Ireland.

"Even more serious are the impacts that will be felt by the poorest communities around the world. This report shows that we will all be more vulnerable to extreme weather but that it is the poorest and most marginalised who will suffer most. Left unchecked, climate change will continue to negatively affect food production and human health, and has the potential to reverse many of the gains made in reducing poverty over the last decades."

Government Action Required
Ms. Garvey called on the Government to strengthen its proposed climate legislation and put in place immediate steps to ensure we meet our emissions reduction targets in response to the IPCC report.

"The focus must now be on ensuring comprehensive government action that avoids the worst impacts of climate change," she said. "The Government published draft climate legislation this time last year which Stop Climate Chaos described as 'too weak to work'. However much good work was done by the Oireachtas Environment Committee to improve the legislation and in the revised Bill due next month, the Government must implement its recommendations. . They must also work with their partners at EU and international levels to achieve a global deal on climate change which they have promised in 2015.

"Without further action In Ireland, we will have exceeded our 2020 emissions targets as early as next year.. This will leave Ireland, and the taxpayer, facing financial penalties as well as missing the economic opportunities in making the transition to a low carbon economy. Clearly, the costs of inaction or delayed action are substantial. The time to prevent extreme climate change and reduce our emissions is now."

Speaking in advance of the event Professor Barry McMullin, a leading expert in societal responses to climate change and chair of the Climate Change Committee of An Taisce, said: "By taking action now, we can save lives and money. As climate change worsens, it will make people poorer, hungrier and more ill due to having to contend with more extreme flooding, heat waves and droughts. Delaying action on climate change will cost more and be less effective. Acting now will save lives and deliver many other benefits, such as green jobs and more sustainable economies, to our communities and the environments they depend on."


Friends of the Irish Environment appears at UN talks in Bonn to discuss landmark climate case against the Irish Government

Press Release from Friends of the Irish Environment

May 8 2018, 10:51am

Press release
Friends of the Irish Environment
May 7th 2018

Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE), a network of citizens committed to protecting Ireland’s environment, will today appear at the UN climate talks in Bonn to discuss the legal challenge it has brought against the Irish Government’s failure to take the action needed to avert dangerous climate change. FIE will appear alongside lawyers and campaigners representing four other climate cases across Europe – from Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Norway. Inspired by global climate change litigation, including the 900 Dutch citizens who won a case against the Dutch Government, FIE is taking the Government of Ireland and Ireland’s Attorney General to court. The case is the first of its kind in the country.

Sadhbh O’Neill of FIE commented, “Ireland’s per capita emissions are among the highest in the EU, and our emissions are projected to increase by 7.5-10% by 2020 compared to 1990. This is the opposite of what’s needed: the Government has repeatedly acknowledged in the UN that to avoid dangerous climate change Ireland should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25-40% by 2020 compared to 1990. ”FIE’s legal challenge claims that the Irish National Mitigation Plan—one of the main planks in the Government’s climate change policy—does not do enough to reduce Ireland’s emissions and is a violation of Ireland’s Climate Act, the Irish Constitution and its human rights obligations. FIE also claimsthat the Plan falls far short of the steps required by the Paris Agreement on climate change.
O’Neill continued, "The consequences of climate change are already hitting home in Ireland, including ex-Hurricane Ophelia and the ‘Beast from the East’. But our Government refuses to take the action needed. Its National Mitigation Plan is on course to be a National Rising Emissions Plan. The Irish Citizens Assembly has voted overwhelmingly for ambitious climate leadership, so this case is for everyone in Ireland, young and old.”
Professor John Sweeney, one of Ireland’s leading climate scientists, added, “Ireland’s current actions are not producing the results needed to fulfil its responsibilities under the Paris Agreement, or its commitments to its EU colleagues. Our increasing emissions make the Government’s reluctance to place the well-being of its citizens before short-term economic interests ever more apparent. There can be no ‘free riders’ as the climate emergency deepens - present and future citizens are entitled to seek climate justice.”

The case is one of a series of cases that have been filed against European governments for failing to deliver climate policies in line with the Paris Agreement. In 2015, the Urgenda Foundation successfully sued the Dutch Government for its weak emissions reduction targets.

Dennis van Berkel, Legal Counselto the Urgenda Foundation, stated, “Our case proved that all governments have a legal duty to protect their citizens against climate change by doing their part to lower emissions. Governments all over the world, including in Belgium, Switzerland, the UK, the US, Colombia, and New Zealand are being held legally accountable for their climate inaction, and all eyes will now be on what unfolds in Ireland.”

FIE hopes to build on its success in another groundbreaking case against the Irish Government in 2017, in which an Irish Court for the first time recognised a constitutional ‘right to an environment that is consistent with the human dignity and wellbeing of citizens at large’.The climate case will next be before Ireland’s High Court for a procedural hearing on Tuesday 5th June. It is expected the case will be heard in full within the next year.

Background information:

1. For more information about the Irish Climate Case, see https://www.climatecaseireland.ie

2. Ireland is one of 195 countries to have signed the Paris Agreement, which commits countries to preventing dangerous climate change and holding warming to well below 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels as well as pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.

3. A more detailed press release relating to the event at which FIE will appear at the UN talks in Bonn is available here.

4. Ireland has the third-highest level of greenhouse gas emissions per capita in the EU and a recent report confirmed that Ireland’s emissions have increased since 1990 and are projected to increase further between now and 2020, and again by 2030. The projected total increase in Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2020 is between 7.5% and 10%. See the EPA’s estimates of emissions in the period 1990 to 2015 and the EPA’s emissions projections 2016-2035. This compares to the required reduction of 25%-40% between 1990 and 2020 in order to help avert dangerous climate change, as recognised by Ireland repeatedly via the UNFCCC process

5. Ireland’s Climate Act is the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015.

6. FIE is represented in the case by O’Connell & Clarke Solicitors and by barristers Eoin McCulloughSC and John Kenny BL.

7. For more information about global climate litigation, see https://www.climatecaseireland.ie/climate-case/#about-the-case (scroll to bottom)

Briefing on the Government's Climate Change response Bill

January 13 2011, 09:00am

Executive Summary

- Stop Climate Chaos Coalition welcomes the Climate Change Response Bill 2010, however it needs significant strengthening to be effective.
- It is considerably weaker than the Government's Framework Document published in December 2009, and than the commitment to legislation in the renewed Programme for Government.
- The Bill is weaker in key respects than the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change's cross-party Bill e.g. absence of legally-binding 5-year carbon budgets.
- There is no provision for five year targets in the Bill. The first target is for 2020, which is too far away to be politically effective.
- Carbon Budgets, the best way of managing the delivery of emissions targets, and much vaunted by this Government, are completely absent from the Bill.
- The Framework Document promised the Bill would enshrine emissions reductions of 3% a year until 2020. The published Bill only promises reductions of 2.5% a year.
- IBEC are mistaken - the 2020 target in this Bill is the same as Ireland's EU target, not more demanding.
- The IFA are mistaken - agriculture is not penalised or singled out in any way. The Oireachtas Committee Bill, which has cross-party support, has much stricter targets for agriculture.
- The independence of the Expert Advisory Body is severely undermined in the published Bill - it can't even publish its own reports.
- The Government Bill is worth supporting and strengthening for two reasons. It remains a very useful building block - indeed we think it can become the cornerstone of an economically resilient, low-carbon Ireland.
- It has also been through the civil service mill. Getting any other Bill through that process would probably take another year and there's no guarantee it would emerge any stronger than this one.
- Stop Climate Chaos is urging Senators and TDs to reverse these weaknesses during the parliamentary process to ensure the Bill safeguards the long-term public interest.

 

 

The weaknesses of the Bill

The Climate Change Response Bill 2010 is significantly weaker than the Government's Framework Document published in December 2009, and than the commitment to legislation in the renewed Programme for Government. In key respects it is weaker than the cross-party Bill produced by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change. It bears all the hallmarks of prolonged bureaucratic haggling. The delay in producing the Bill has seen it diluted on behalf of vested interests. Stop Climate Chaos is urging Senators and TDs to reverse these weaknesses during the parliamentary process to ensure the Bill's maximum effectiveness in safeguarding the long-term public interest.

 

1. Absence of 5-year targets and carbon budgets
No Five year targets
- The first target that any Government faces under this Bill is 2020. That is simply too far away to be politically effective. It's exactly the problem we faced with the Kyoto Protocol that a climate law should be designed to avoid.
- The Fianna Fail-led Government which signed Kyoto in 1997 did not expect to be in power when the commitments fell due in 2008. If Ireland had passed a climate law in 1997 which provided for interim targets in 2002 and 2007 it is much more likely we would have acted in a timely and effective manner to meet our Kyoto commitments.
- In a world where politics is dominated by the 24/7 news cycle and the 5-year electoral cycle a target that is almost 10 years away is toothless.
- Good climate legislation is about hardwiring accountability on climate change into the political system. Yet under the Bill as it now is, the Government we elect in the coming months would not face any target. After 2020 the next target is 2030 and after that, 2050, so most Governments would not face any target.
- The Bill should be amended to provide for the setting of 5-year targets by Government. This would be much better aligned with the electoral cycle of political accountability and would therefore be a much greater spur to timely action.

No carbon budgets
- The Programme for Government and the Framework Document both talk about putting carbon budgeting on a statutory footing. The published Bill makes no mention of carbon budgets at all.
- A 'carbon budget' is a simply a Government statement of the total amount of greenhouse gases that will be emitted in the coming period (e.g. the next year, or the next five years), in the same way that a fiscal budget is a statement of how much money the Government will spend in a given period.
- Until recently the closest Ireland has had to a carbon budget is the figure for our "total allowable emissions" under the Kyoto Protocol for the five-year period from 2008-2012. Ireland's carbon budget for the 6 greenhouse gases covered by Kyoto is 314.184 million tonnes CO2eq for the five years.
- Stop Climate Chaos believes that five-year carbon budgets are by far the best way of managing the delivery of targets. The important difference between a target and a budget is that a target is about emissions at a single point in time, five years in the future, while a budget captures the total emissions over the five year period.
- To continue the fiscal analogy, the Government has agreed a target to reduce the annual fiscal deficit to 3% of GDP in 2014. The relevant budget is the total amount the Government will spend over the intervening four years to achieve that target.
- Government ministers said that the Irish climate law would be modelled on the UK Climate Change Act, indeed would improve on it. Under the UK Act the British Government announces 3 five-year carbon budgets at a time - the first of which is legally binding. They budget 15 years ahead in other words.

 

2. The targets are inadequate

Early action is what is needed to drive Ireland towards a low-carbon economy. This will be extremely important for putting us on the right path. There are benefits in driving change early, such as early mover advantages for business. Also the next 15 years are the most crucial in terms of atmospheric concentrations that are pushing us towards catastrophic climate change.

2020
The 2007 Programme for Government included a commitment to reduce Ireland's emissions by 3% a year on average until 2012. The Renewed Programme for Government extended that commitment to 2020 and committed to putting it into law. It is disappointing that the 2020 target in the published Bill is only the equivalent of a reduction of 2.5% a year.

2050
The IPCC report indicated that developed countries will have to reduce their emissions by 80-95%, from 1990 levels, by 2050, to do their fair share. The EU supports this position. Indeed, that will only give us a 50/50 chance of limiting global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels. In other words, this already represents a timid, not to say inadequate, approach. The Government Bill sets a 2050 target of reducing Irish emissions by 80%, the very least we will have to do to play our full part in containing climate change.

IBEC are mistaken - the 2020 target is the same as our EU target
The 2020 target in the Government Bill is not more demanding or ambitious than what Ireland is already required to do under existing EU directives concerning emissions reductions. The target in the Bill is to get gross Irish emissions down to 52.5 MT in 2020, the EU package translates to gross Irish emissions in 2020 of 52.4 MT.

The IFA are mistaken - the Bill does not penalize agriculture
The Government's Bill does not single out any one sector or seek to penalise agriculture in any way. The Oireachtas Committee Bill, which has cross-party support, has much stricter targets for agriculture. The Government Bill simply puts the 2020 and 2050 targets for the state as a whole, agreed with our partners in the European Union, into Irish law. It doesn't make the targets any more demanding, it just makes it more likely that we actually act to achieve them. But we are free as a society to decide how we achieve them and how each economic sector can best contribute to building a prosperous, resilient, low-carbon Ireland.

 

3. The Expert Advisory Body is not independent enough
The independence of the Expert Advisory Body (EAB) must be ensured for it to be effective and it must be free to contribute to the public debate on tackling climate change.

The published Bill, however, does not even allow the Expert Body to publish its own reports!

Section 9(1) says "the Expert Advisory Body shall, subject to the consent of the Government, publish an annual report in such manner as the government determines" (our bold). This leaves a sorry state of affairs where it is likely that each year the report of the expert panel will only get into the public domain on foot of Freedom of Information requests. The EAB should be free to publish their reports themselves, no later than a week after they furnish the minister with the report. It should be a responsibility of the EAB itself to publish the report not the Government, independent advice to the Ministers on matters as important as this should be in the public domain. The UK Act is much stronger on this point. Their Climate Change Committee must publish its advice "in such a matter as it considers appropriate".

 

4. The National Climate Change Plan is on a 7 year cycle which is much too long.
The National Climate Change Plan should be on a five year cycle to be relevant and effective. Politically too much can happen in seven years.

If the 2020 target is the destination we want to reach and the carbon budget sets the amount of pollution we can afford to emit in order to achieve that target, then the National Climate Change Plan details the policy measures we will take to stay within the carbon budget.

 

 

Why a strong climate law makes sense for Ireland

Cross-party approach
Containing climate change will require the commitment of every party in every government for the next 40 years. The 2007 Programme for Government commits the Fianna Fail / Green Party coalition to "agree an all-party approach to climate change targets". The establishment of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security with a Chair drawn from the Opposition was presented as part of that effort. Speakers from all parties have welcomed the principle of legislation on numerous occasions in both houses now. There could be no stronger or better expression of a cross-party approach to climate change than an Act of the Oireachtas. It hardwires action and accountability on climate change into the political system.

 

Certainty over time
The pathway to a low-carbon economy and society will require a whole series of changes by the state, businesses and households. Investment decisions will be central, for example in public transport by the state, in energy-efficient plant and processes by business, in energy-conservation by households.
Putting our long-term emissions targets into law and mapping out the pathway to get there gives decision makers in government, business and society the certainty that the rules of the game have changed for good. That certainty inspires the confidence to make investments and decisions that have upfront costs but which bring savings, returns and security as society moves down the emissions curve towards a safe level of emissions
That certainty will drive innovation in public policy, private enterprise and personal behaviour as economic and status advantages open up for first movers and early adopters.
The law will be a catalyst for decision making. If our Kyoto targets had been given the force of law we would have been much quicker to implement the policies identified to help us meet those targets. It would not have taken seven years for the proposals for VRT(vehicle registration tax) reform to make it from the National Climate Change Strategy in November 2000 to the Budget in December 2007. A carbon tax would have been implemented in 2002 which would have initiated a shift away from fossil-fuel dependency before the price of oil headed over the $100 a barrel level and towards $150 eroding our competiveness as it went.

 

Attracting international investment
The certainty the law gives to investors about the long-term direction of Irish policy could also act as a spur to foreign direct investment looking for opportunities to invest in green R&D and enterprise. Ireland can become a testbed for the development of green technology in areas such as wind and wave power and the use of electric vehicles. The climate change law would be a powerful signal that Ireland is intent on becoming a leading location for the development of a green enterprise economy. Corporate Leaders have backed the call for strong climate legislation - see what they have to say here: http://www.corporateleaders.ie/node/36

 

 

Stop Climate Chaos is a coalition of civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. Current members include development, environmental, youth and faith based organisations. Its members include
Action Aid, Afri, An Taisce, Birdwatch Ireland, CAIP, Cap and Share, Christian Aid, Comhlamh, Concern, Council on Social responsibility of the Methodist Church, Cultivate, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage DSC, LASC, Mountmellick Environmental Group, National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam, People Against Climate Change, Presentation Ireland, Sustain West Cork, Trocaire, Voice.

Not So Green

Debunking the Myths around Irish Agriculture

July 18 2016, 05:05pm

Irish cattle less climate-efficient than European average and emissions per head up from 1990

Stop Climate Chaos and the Environmental Pillar have published a new report titled “Not So Green: Debunking the Myths around Irish Agriculture”. Drawing heavily on scientific evidence, the report challenges government and industry claims and shows that Ireland’s current agriculture and land-use policy is neither ‘climate-smart’ nor sustainable.

The short 2 page summary is available to download here.

The full report is available to download here.

According to the study by the two NGO coalitions Ireland’s cattle-based agriculture is actually less efficient than the European average - in terms of the level of greenhouse gases emitted per calorie of bovine food produced - and methane produced per head of cattle has increased in Ireland since 1990.

Spokesperson for the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, Catherine Devitt, said:

“Based on detailed evidence, our analysis clearly shows that Ireland’s livestock agriculture is less efficient than claimed, and does not contribute to global food security. In fact, due to increasing emissions, the livestock sector is actively contributing to increased climate pollution and global food insecurity, putting the lives and livelihoods of some of the world’s poorest populations at risk. For reasons outlined in our report, meaningful efforts to address food security should aim to support small-scale producers.”

Allowing an increase in emissions, inevitable under current policy plans for expansion of the livestock sector, will mean that Ireland will fail to do its part in meeting its EU and Paris Agreement climate targets. The report outlines that intensive livestock production is an extremely climate, calorie and fertiliser intensive way of producing protein at scale. The extent to which the current model of production actually provides a sustainable livelihood for Irish farmers is also called into question.

Commenting on the biodiversity implications of Ireland’s proposed strategy to offset emissions from intensive agriculture by intensifying afforestation, Oonagh Duggan, Policy Officer with BirdWatch Ireland said:

“Both agriculture and forestry can be significant pressures and threats to birds and other biodiversity in Ireland. Environmental integrity is lacking in policies that are being being rolled out for these sectors. We need to re-align agricultural policy so that the environment is at its core. The claims of sustainability in agriculture that we hear about regularly are not substantiated by the reality for many upland and lowland farmland birds and other environmental or sustainability indicators”.

The report also identifies glaring inadequacies in the government’s claim that afforestation presents a viable option to offset increasing emissions from the agricultural sector. Land-based carbon sequestration cannot count as climate mitigation because it cannot guarantee the permanent carbon dioxide removal required to limit global warming. Continued coniferous afforestation and timber harvesting on the existing model also presents significant threats to Ireland’s biodiversity and water quality. Preserving Ireland’s carbon rich peatlands needs to be a far higher priority than afforestation; climate action requires a halt to peat extraction.

The new report just comes days before the European Commission publishes its proposed national shares of the EU’s 2030 target. The Fine Gael - led governments since 2011 have made a concerted lobbying effort to have Ireland’s 2030 target watered down based partly the special place agriculture has in the Irish economy. Stop Climate Chaos and the Environmental Pillar call on the European Commission to ensure that Land Use and Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) is dealt with in a separate pillar to ensure that all sectors including agriculture reduce emissions first rather than making unjustified use of offsets.

Stop Climate Chaos and the Environmental Pillar believe a change in direction in current agriculture and land-use policy is necessary and possible. However, a first step must be to accept the reality of the sector’s past and projected impacts on climate, food security and the environment. A re-aligned policy pathway is needed to plan for sustained year-on-year reductions in absolute emissions from agriculture, to avoid reliance on forestry for emissions offsets, to restore past damage to biodiversity and water quality, and to truly contribute to achieving food security for the world’s poorest.

Not So Green: Debunking the Myths around Irish Agriculture

Stop Climate Chaos hosts climate picnic as part of weekend of worldwide actions on climate change

September 22 2014, 03:49pm

On Sunday 21st September Stop Climate Chaos, and our friends in Climate Gathering and People's Climate Ireland, hosted a picnic in St Stephen's Green as part of a worldwide mobilisation highlighting the need for action on climate change. It was one of 2,646 events that took place in 162 countries around the world that weekend. More people took to the streets calling for climate action than on any other day in history. Events from New York City to Rio, London to Delhi showed that people everywhere want to see world leaders doing more to tackle climate change.

Close to 1,000 people turned up to the Picnic in central Dublin where they were greeted by live music, circus performers, artistic activities, games, face-painting and more. Messages were gathered from picnicers about the things they love that they don't want to see changed forever by climate change. RTE news were there and the picnic featured in national newspapers the day after.

Follow the link (http://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/gallery) to see photos from the Picnic, while images captured from around the world are here https://www.flickr.com/photos/peoplesclimate/sets/. A short photofilm from the Picnic - put together by Trocaire - can be viewed here http://youtu.be/rv3rNKQa6j8

Stop Climate Chaos Parade for the Planet

December 8 2007, 03:29pm

Parade for the Planet - crowd 2

Photo (Martin Maher): Eco-Santa leads the Parade for the Planet in Dublin City

The past week has been one of the busiest of the year for Stop Climate Chaos. On Thursday 6 December members of Stop Climate Chaos made their way to Government Buildings with Eco-Santa to hand over a 'gift' of 22,847 Stop Climate Chaos petition signatures to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. We barely had time to draw our breath before making our way to our major event of the year on Saturday 8th December, the Stop Climate Chaos Parade for the Planet. It was a miserable wet windy day but despite the inclement conditions over 800 brave souls came out to Sound the Alarm for action on climate change.

Petition Handover

The past week has been one of the busiest of the year for Stop Climate Chaos. On Thursday 6th December, Minister John Gormley announced Ireland's first ever carbon budget, one of the Government actions Stop Climate Chaos has been calling for this year. Also on December 6th, Stop Climate Chaos representatives from Concern, Trocaire, Friends of the Earth, CAIP, National Youth Council of Ireland and Cultivate made their way to Government Buildings with Eco-Santa to hand over a 'gift' of 22,847 Stop Climate Chaos petition signatures to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. The Taoiseach happily posed for photographs and thanked us for the petition acknowledging he understood the amount of work that had gone into collecting them. We also handed him an envelope containing the petition signatures of the 77 TDs who signed the Stop Climate Chaos Call to Action at our 'Carbon Date' event in Buswell's Hotel last month and a copy of the book, 'Carbon Detox'.

Parade for the Planet bertie ahern and trevor sargent accepting scc petitions

Photo (Tony Mclean): An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Green Party TD Trevor Sargent accepting 22,847 petition signatures from Eco-Santa and members of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

Parade for the Planet

After our petition hand over we barely had time to draw our breath before making our way to our major event of the year on Saturday 8th December, the Stop Climate Chaos Parade for the Planet. It was a miserable wet windy day but despite the inclement conditions over 800 brave souls came out to Sound the Alarm for action on climate change. Our MC Gavin Harte did a fantastic job energising the crowd and keeping everyone's spirits up as the clock counted down to 2pm. Volunteers were on hand to give out whistles, shakers, apply temporary tattoos and gather signatures for the petition. Ciara Gaynor from Trocaire highlighted how climate change is already impacting on the poor in developing countries, Senator Ivana Bacik stressed how Ireland must introduce a climate change law and Dave Curran from Student Action on Climate Change underlined the need for urgent action from the goverment to curb Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions.

At 2pm the bells of Christchurch Cathedral, the Pro-Cathedral and bells across the country rang out to signal that the world cannot warm by more than 2 degrees if mankind is to continue living on this planet in comfort and safety. The parade, led by Eco-Santa on a tricycle made its way noisily up Parliament Street, Dame Street, across O'Connell Bridge and along the north quays into the grounds of the Custom House. Miraculously, the rain stopped 30 minutes before the parade commenced and the sun even shone down on us for some of the time.

In the grounds of the Custom House, Minister for Energy, Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamonn Ryan, addressed the assembled crowd articulating how climate change is the greatest crisis of our time. TD Liz McManus from the Labour Party stressed how all political parties must work together to combat climate change. Justin Kilcullen, Director of Trocaire recounted his experience of witnessing first hand the devastation caused to a community in Honduras by a landslide that was brought on by severe weather conditions. Lastly, Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth urged the government to bring in legislation which would underpin the Governments commitments on climate change. As Oisin made his concluding remarks the heavens once again opened and the rain came beating down. However the downpour did not dampen the spirits and resolve of those who had taken part in the Parade for the Planet and thousands more supporters across Ireland who are determined to keep the pressure on our elected leaders in 2008 to rise to the challenge of preventing runaway climate change.

Finally, thanks to everyone who took part in the parade, to the volunteers, stewards and the dozens of people who worked behind the scenes these past few months to make it such a colourful, noisy and successful day. Happy Christmas and see you in 2008!

Parade for the Planet - customs house

Parade for the Planet - people

Parade for the Planet - samba drums

Draft Lima deal undermines progress towards a global climate agreement in Paris

December 9 2014, 01:16pm

The UN climate negotiations are under increased pressure following the release of new draft negotiating text yesterday. The draft text is the result of a process that was widely criticised by developing countries during the first week of negotiations for being non-transparent and biased.

Speaking in Lima, Ciara Kirrane, Stop Climate Chaos Coordinator said:

“The new draft text is exceptionally weak. It fails to do anything to increase the speed at which rich countries reduce emissions before 2020, something that would be easy for the EU to do since it has already reached it 2020 target – 6 years ahead of schedule. In fact it weakens rich countries’ responsibility for action, by allowing them to ‘self differentiate’ i.e. provide voluntary rather than binding commitments."

Later today, a high level ministerial will take place on climate finance. Ireland has been embarrassed by the fact that it is one of the few developed countries yet to pledge a contribution to the Green Climate Fund. Ireland was named "Fossil of the Day" by the civil society coalition CAN International for the first time in the history of the negotiations. 

Tomorrow afternoon Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White will address the negotiations. 

Commenting, Ciara Kirrane said:

“Ireland has already been embarrassed at these negotiations by being presented with a Fossil of the Day award by NGOs for not committing to provide climate finance to developing countries. I hope the Minister’s intervention will make up for that and offer some firm commitments on providing finance for developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change, as well as a clear timeline for the publication of the long-awaited climate Bill, which was expected to be published by now but which we are still waiting on."

Ireland and Poland worst countries in EU for action and ambition on climate change

Analysis by Climate Action Network Europe puts Ireland in second last place emphasising weak climate policy-making and failure to support greater EU collective action

June 18 2018, 09:44am

The 2018 ‘Off Target’ report by Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe* highlights Ireland as the second worst performing country after Poland in relation to climate change, both in terms of national action and support for greater ambition at EU level. CAN Europe assessed both the role that Member States play in setting ambitious EU climate and energy targets and policies, and what progress they are making in reducing polluting emissions and promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency at home.

Ireland’s poor position stems from dismal progress on 2020 climate and renewable energy targets, rising emissions from the transport and agriculture sectors, the absence of effective policies, and a failure to support greater ambition in EU 2030 climate and energy legislation. The report does welcome the innovative deliberative process of the Citizens' Assembly and recommends that the Irish government now radically revise is climate action plan (the National Mitigation Plan) on the basis of the Assembly' proposals on climate change.

Jennifer Higgins, Policy and Advocacy Advisor at Christian Aid, stated:

‘Despite the welcome recognition by the Taoiseach in January of  Ireland's position as a climate ‘laggard’, and commitments to change this, 6 months on it appears Ireland’s reputation when it comes to climate action is stagnating, not improving. This dismal ranking highlights the inadequacies of current policies and plans to fulfil our fair share of the global effort to deliver on the Paris Agreement. It should be a clear signal to government to rapidly remedy this by revising the current National Mitigation Plan.’

Phil Kearney, Chair of the Climate Change Committee of An Taisce, stated

‘It is extremely concerning to see Ireland again labelled as a laggard in terms of domestic and EU climate action. Not only is Ireland falling behind its EU counterparts due to the failure to decrease polluting emissions, the Government has continued to trumpet supposed exceptionalism and push for loopholes in EU legislation which serves to undermine EU-wide progress on climate change. The report by Climate Action Network highlights the urgent need for Ireland urgently implement the recent Citizens’ Assembly proposals and increase ambition in accordance with Paris Agreement commitments.’

The report shows that several Member States are failing to advocate for sufficiently ambitious EU climate and energy targets and policies, and too many are lagging behind in reducing polluting emissions at the level needed to implement the Paris Agreement. Estonia (24%), Ireland (21%) and Poland (16%) rank lowest because of inaction on climate change domestically and opposition to greater ambition at EU level. The five EU countries that score the highest are Sweden (77%), Portugal (66%), France (65%), the Netherlands (58%) and Luxembourg (56%), thanks to the fact that they are advocating for more ambitious climate targets at EU level. Aside from this group, the majority of Member States scores less than half of the possible points, which shows they are not progressing fast enough towards the Paris Agreement goals.

ENDS

The report. ‘Off target: Ranking of EU countries’ ambition and progress in fighting climate change’ is available to download here: http://www.caneurope.org/docman/climate-energy-targets/3357-off-target-ranking-of-eu-countries-ambition-and-progress-in-fighting-climate-change/file

*Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 150 member organisations from 35 European countries, representing over 1.700 NGOs and more than 40 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.

Notes for the Editor

  1. Stop Climate Chaos is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/about/

  2. Ireland is the third highest producer of emissions per person in the EU, and eighth in the OECD with polluting emissions increasing by 3.7% in 2015. Ireland is one of seven EU Member States which is set to miss its 2020 emission reduction targets under the EU Effort Sharing Decision. Ireland is also the only one of these seven States where emissions are predicted to continue to rise. See analysis from European Environment Agency here

  3. In May 2018 the Environmental Protection Agency emphasised the need to urgently move away from fossil fuels. The EPA’s latest projections show that Ireland’s total polluting emissions will increase from current levels to 2020. This is despite an EU target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent on 2005 levels from the non-Emissions Trading Scheme (non-ETS) sector – agriculture, transport, residential, commercial, non-energy intensive industry and waste. Their projections show that, at best, Ireland will only achieve a one per cent reduction by 2020 compared to the 20 per cent reduction target. http://www.epa.ie/newsandevents/news/name,64049,en.html

  4. The 13 recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on climate change are available at https://www.citizensassembly.ie/en/How-the-State-can-make-Ireland-a-leader-in-tackling-climate-change/Recommendations/  

  5. Last year, the Climate Change Performance Index noted Ireland as being the worst performing country in Europe for action on climate change. The Index placed Ireland 49th out of 56 countries. - https://germanwatch.org/en/14639  

  6. Ireland has pushed for the inclusion of several loopholes in EU legislation currently under negotiation concerning reductions in polluting emissions to be made by Member States between 2021 and 2030. Ireland’s reputation among EU partners has suffered as the Irish Government has repeatedly called for less demanding obligations rather than planning on how to meet them, thereby undermining rather than supporting EU collective action on climate change. See Editorial by the Times here (final section). See articles by the Irish Times, the Irish Examiner, two articles by Politico (here and here), as well as Climate Change News.

Election Candidates who have signed the Stop Climate Chaos Candidate Commitment

February 23 2011, 03:00pm

Election candidates who have signed the Candidate Commitment, which pledges to seek and support a strong climate law for Ireland this year, are:

  • Gerry Adams - Sinn Féin - Louth
  • Ivana Bacik - Labour - Dun Laoghaire
  • Mick Barry - Socialist Party - Cork North Central
  • Dan Boyle - Green Party - Cork South Central
  • John Bracken - Independent - Laois/ Offaly
  • John Brady - Sinn Féin - Wicklow
  • James Breen - Independent - Clare
  • John Browne - Fianna Fáil - Wexford
  • Michael Browne - Sinn Féin - Wexford
  • Niall Byrne - Green Party - Wicklow
  • Sheila Cahill - Green Party - Limerick City
  • John Carey - Green Party - Mayo
  • John Cassin - Sinn Féin - Carlow/ Kilkenny
  • Joan Collins - People Before Profit - Dublin South Central
  • Mark Collins - Green Party - Cork North West
  • Michael Colreavy - Sinn Féin - Sligo/ North Leitrim
  • Oonagh Comerford - Green Party - Kerry South
  • Rose Conway Walsh - Sinn Féin - Mayo
  • Donna Cooney - Green Party - Dublin North Central
  • Sean Crowe - Sinn Féin - Dublin South West
  • Ciaran Cuffe - Green Party - Dun Laoghaire
  • David Cullinane - Sinn Féin - Waterford
  • Vivian Cummins - Green Party - Kildare South
  • Clare Daly - Socialist Party - Dublin North
  • Mark Deary - Green Party - Louth
  • Peter Dempsey - Independent - Wicklow
  • Pearse Doherty - Sinn Féin - Donegal South West
  • Paul Donnelly - Sinn Féin - Dublin West
  • Tom Donovan - Green Party - Kerry North/ West Limerick
  • Francis Duffy - Green Party - Dublin South West
  • John Duffy - Green Party - Donegal South West
  • Dessie Ellis - Sinn Féin - Dublin North West
  • Anne Ferris - Labour - Wicklow
  • Martin Ferris - Sinn Féin - Kerry North/ Limerick West
  • Christopher Fettes - Green Party - Laois/ Offaly
  • Shane Fitzgerald - Green Party - Kildare North
  • Danny Forde - Green Party - Wexford
  • Kathleen Funchion - Sinn Féin - Carlow/ Kilkenny
  • Michael Gallagher - Sinn Féin - Meath East
  • Michael Gleeson - Independent - Kerrry South
  • Johnny Gogan - Green Party - Sligo/ North Leitrim
  • Paul Gogarty - Green Party - Dublin Mid-West
  • John Gormley - Green Party - Dublin South East
  • Malachy Harty - Green Party - Cork East
  • Paul Hayes - Sinn Féin - Cork South West
  • David Healy - Green Party - Dublin North East
  • Seamus Healy - Independent - Tipperary South
  • Joe Higgins - Socialist Party - Dublin West
  • Paul Hogan - Sinn Féin - Longford/ Westmeath
  • Ruari Holohan - Green Party - Dublin North West
  • Murphy Humphrey - Green Party - Donegal North East
  • Fiona Irwin - Green Party - Meath West
  • Phil Kearney - Green Party - Dublin Central
  • Andrew Keegan - People Before Profit - Dublin North West
  • Anthony Kelly - Sinn Féin - Wexford
  • Martin Kelly - Sinn Féin - Kildare North
  • Ciaran Kennedy - Green Party - Galway East
  • Paddy Kennedy - Independent - Kildare South
  • Martin Kenny - Sinn Féin - Roscommon/ South Leitrim
  • Kevin McCaughey - Green Party - Cork South West
  • Siobhán Kinahan - Green Party - Longford/ Westmeath
  • Darcy Lonergan - Green Party - Cavan/ Monaghan
  • Ruadhan MacAodhain - Sinn Féin - Dublin South East
  • Conor MacLiam - Socialist Party - Carlow/ Kilkenny
  • Padraig MacLochlainn - Sinn Féin - Donegal North East
  • Helen McCormack - Sinn Féin - Dublin North Central
  • Gareth McDaid - Green Party - Roscommon/ South Leitrim
  • Mary Lou McDonald - Sinn Féin - Dublin Central
  • Finian McGrath - Independent - Dublin North Central
  • Sandra McLellan - Sinn Féin - Cork East
  • Paul McLally - Green Party - Tipperary South
  • Brian Meaney - Green Party - Clare
  • Seamus Morris - Sinn Féin - Tipperary North
  • Catherine Murphy - Independent - Kildare North
  • Gerald Nash - Labour - Louth
  • Ben Nutty - Independent - Waterford
  • Eoin Ó Broin - Sinn Féin - Dublin Mid-West
  • Niall Ó Brolcháin - Green Party - Galway West
  • Sean Ó Buachalla - Green Party - Meath East
  • Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin - Sinn Féin - Cavan/ Monaghan
  • Trevor Ó Clochtaigh - Sinn Féin - Galway West
  • Oisín Ó hAlmhain - Green Party - Dublin South Central
  • Aodhán Ó Ríordáin - Labour - Dublin North Central
  • Aengus Ó Snodaigh - Sinn Féin - Dublin South Central
  • Darragh O'Brien - Fianna Fáil - Dublin North
  • Jonathan O'Brien - Sinn Féin - Cork North Central
  • Roderic O'Gorman - Green Party - Dublin West
  • Des O'Grady - Sinn Féin - Cork North West
  • Susan O'Keeffe - Labour - Sligo/ North Leitrim
  • Chris O'Leary - Sinn Féin - Cork South Central
  • Olwyn O'Malley - Green Party - Tipperary North
  • Larry O'Toole - Sinn Féin - Dublin North East
  • Jody Power - Green Party - Waterford
  • Maurice Quinlivan - Sinn Féin - Limerick City
  • Katheryne O'Reilly - Sinn Féin - Cavan/ Monaghan
  • Thérèse Ruane - Sinn Féin - Mayo
  • Eamon Ryan - Green Party - Dublin South
  • Trevor Sargent - Green Party - Dublin North
  • Tom Sheahan - Fine Gael - Kerry South
  • Brian Stanley - Sinn Féin - Laois/ Offaly
  • Peadar Toibin - Sinn Féin - Meath West
  • Jason Turner - Sinn Féin - Kildare South
  • Stephen Wall - Green Party - Limerick
  • Ken Walsh - Green Party - Cork North Central
  • Mary White - Green Party - Carlow/ Kilkenny

Email your local candidates asking them to sign the Stop Climate Chaos Candidate Commitment.

Divestment Bill set to pass today, July 12th

Tweet and watch live

July 12 2018, 11:08am

We have three good things to tell you:

1. In under a week, over 2,200 people have emailed their TDs asking them to support a strong Divestment Bill, which if passed will seal the deal on Ireland being the first state in the world to commit to withdrawing its investments from the industry which is contributing the most to the climate crisis; the fossil fuel industry.
2. There is now cross-party support for passing the Divestment Bill today, July 12th.
3. TDs have been inundated with requests from constituents to attend the debate in the Dáil gallery, and so it will likely be filled with supporters of the bill.

But it's not over yet. So what can you do now to play a part in pushing the it over the line?

1. Click here to send a tweet thanking those parties who are supporting the bill.
2. Watch the debate live from 2:10pm via this link.
3. Keep an eye on the Stop Climate Chaos social media channels from approximatey 3:30pm when we will be sharing news and images from this historic event, and please share details of what we are hopeful will be good news! Click for links to the Stop Climate Chaos TwitterFacebook, & Instagram.

In just a matter of hours Ireland is likely to become the first state in the world to commit to withdrawing its investments from the fossil fuel industry.

When that happens, will you be able to say you were part of it?

*Divestment is the opposite of investment. For more information, click here.

Meet your TD and tell them to fix the Climate Bill - Tuesday 10th Feb Buswell's Hotel

February 9 2015, 01:04pm

The Climate Bill is due to be debated this week and Stop Climate Chaos believes it is still too weak to deliver a low carbon future for Ireland.

We want you to meet your TDs on Tuesday 10th Feb in Buswells Hotel to tell them it needs fixing!

Stop Climate Chaos will be there from 11am-8pm to provide any support you might need.

The following TDs have committed to come to Buswells to discuss the Climate Bill:

TDTimeConstituency
Lucinda Creighton (Ind)3.30-4.30 Dublin South East/Dublin Bay South
Kevin Humphreys (Lab)NO TIME CONFIRMEDDublin South East/Dublin Bay South

Ruari Quinn (Lab)

represented by PA

4.00Dublin South East/Dublin Bay South
Mary Mitchell O'Connor (FG)1.00-2.00Dun Laoghaire
Eamon Gilmore (Lab)NO TIME CONFIRMEDDun Laoghaire
Michael Colreavy (SF)2.30Sligo-North Leitrim
Joan Collins (PBP)2.30Dublin South Central
Eric Byrne (Lab)12.30Dublin South Central
Michael Conaghan (Lab)NO TIME CONFIRMEDDublin South Central
Brian Stanley (SF)11.00-5.00Laois-Offaly
Ivana Bacik (Lab)2.30Trinity Senator
Anthony Lawlor (FG)2.00-5.00North Kildare
Andrew Doyle (FG)5.30Wicklow

Stephen Donnelly (Ind)

represented by PA

4.00Wicklow

Billy Timmins (Ind)

6.30Wicklow

Simon Harris (FG)

NO TIME CONFIRMEDWicklow-East Carlow
Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy (FG)12.30Laois-Offaly

Michael Healy Rae (Ind)

NO TIME CONFIRMEDKerry South

Timmy Dooley (FF)

NO TIME CONFIRMEDClare

Finian McGrath (Ind)

NO TIME CONFIRMEDDublin North Central
Aodhan O'Riordain (Lab)NO TIME CONFIRMEDDublin North Central
Seamus Healy (WUAG)2.00-3.00Tipperary South
Dominic Hannigan (Lab)4.00Meath East
Helen McEntee (FG)NO TIME CONFIRMEDMeath East

If there is no time confirmed beside your TD feel free to call their office, tell them you're planning to be there and ask for a meeting at a time that suits you both. If your TD isn't listed here there's still time to ask them to come along. Just call 01-6183000, ask for their office and invite them to attend! If you can't make it, Stop Climate Chaos staff will be happy to brief your TDs in your absence.

 

Take Part in the Global Gasdown-Frackdown in October

September 26 2018, 02:17pm

A global movement against gas and fracking is rising.

This October people around the world will take action against the rapid expansion of the gas and fracking industry.

Fracking and gas projects are destroying our environment and our climate, violating our rights, polluting our water, grabbing our land. The time has come to stop the fracking and gas boom from locking us into another generation of fossil fuels.Sign up and add your action to the map at www.gasdown-frackdown.org/  #GasdownFrackdown

Around October 13 hundreds of groups will organize creative and impactful actions and activities to stop fossil gas and fracking projects. They will target the industry and governments, the petrochemical giants that make plastics out of fossil fuels, and call-out the banks who’re supporting the fossil gas boom and fracking infrastructure.

Sign up and get involved at www.gasdown-frackdown.org/  

#GasdownFrackdown 

#ReclaimPower 

#FossilFree

#NotHereNotAnywhere

#BeyondGas

#NoRoomForGas

#FossilFree

#ClimateJustice

National Sound the Alarm Events

December 8 2007, 02:58pm

  • Northern Ireland
  • Mayo
  • Kilkenny
  • Dublin District
  • Kildare
  • Cork
  • Kerry

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Christian Aid, Trocaire and Friends of The Earth are working together to organise an event that will mirror action in the Republic of Ireland. At 2pm on the 8th of December as many churches as possible will be asked to ring their bells to represent the 2 degrees threshold of temperature rise that cannot be crossed if we are to avoid the worst ravages of climate chaos.

At the same time in Belfast there will be a gathering at St Anne's on Donegall Street, BT1. Assemble from half past one and bring either a portable alarm clock, a mobile phone, a drum or a whistle to "Sound the Alarm" on climate change at 2pm.

For more information about the event contact: Niall Bakewell (Friends of the Earth)

niall.bakewell@foe.co.ukThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tel: 028 9089 7592

Mayo

Mayo will also be Sounding the Alarm on Dec 8th with church bells ringing throughout the county at 2pm.

In Castlebar their will be a drumming circle on Market Sq. from 1.30pm to call people to 'Sound the Alarm' at 2pm. Everyone is invited to 'Sound the Alarm' at 2pm on Market sq., Castlebar with the drummers and in unison with the church bells of Castlebar. Remember to bring something to make some noise.

Mayo TDs, county & town councillors are invited to receive signatures from the people of Mayo calling on them to 'incorporate greenhouse gas emission reducing strategies into existing and all future development plans for County Mayo'

An exhibition on Global warming and its effect on the world both globally and locally will be in the County library Castlebar from Dec 8 th until Christmas.

On Tuesday December 11th at 8pm Andy Wilson of the Sustainability Institute will be giving a public talk in the county library on Global Warming and Climate Change and the implications for County Mayo.

For more information about the event contact: Laura Heneghan

lauraheneghan@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tel: 0879745984

Kilkenny

At 2pm the Cathedral Bells of Kilkenny will ring out. In Kilkenny at the Market Cross shopping centre and Cillin Hill farmers market, an information point is being organised by locals, to give impartial advice how you as an individual, family, community or business can take action to reduce Ireland's carbon footprint. There will also be bell ringers at 2pm at these stands and TDs Mary White and Malcolm Noonan will be attending.

In addition, a selection of native Irish tree saplings will be for sale to emphasis the importance of forestation and conservation projects and how trees can play a role in mitigating climate change. Any monies raised will go towards the victims of the recent cyclone in Bangladesh.

For more information contact Brian Dillon

brian@click2go.ieThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dublin District

Churches in the following areas will ring their bells at 2 O' clock for 2 degrees

Church of the Assumption - Dalkey

St Brigid - Stillorgan

All Saints - Blackrock

St. Paul's - Glenageary

Christ Church - Dun Laoghaire

Holy Trinity - Killiney

Christ Church - Taney

Church of Ireland, Whitechurch Church of Ireland -Kilternan

Church of the Ascension of the Lord - Balally

Methodist Church - Dundrum (bell tones to be relayed !!)

Rathmichael - Shankill

Kildare

Churches around Newbridge district will ring their bells at 2 O' clock for 2 degrees

Cork - Bantry and Skibbereen

As the World's Leaders meet in Bali for Climate Change Talks, this is your chance to show the Irish Government and World Leaders we want them to take action. There are marches and events going on all over the World with a major one in Dublin.

Here, as partners in the coalition, Sustain West Cork will be at Bantry Fair on Friday 7th and we will be gathering at 1pm on Saturday December 8th at Skibbereen Farmers Market. We will also have a limited number of native trees kindly donated by Coillté which we wil be giving out to people to help them offset their Carbon Footprint. We will also have information on how you can help slow down Climate Change and petitions to sign.

At 2pm the Church Bells will ring, this will be the sign to sound the alarm, bang drums, bring whistles anything you like & and make some noise! To remind everyone there is an urgent need to take action!

For more information see www.sustainwestcork.ie

Cork - Clonakilty

Churhes all over Clonakilty will ring their bells at 2 o clock for 2 degrees. There will be an assembly at 1.50pm at the Astna Square. Everybody is asked to bring something to make some noise - be it a whistles, a mobile phone or a drum to 'Sound the Alarm' for action on climate change. For more details log onto www.sustainableclon.com

Kerry - Dingle

A Corca Dhuibhne/West kerry based conservation group are organising an information day to mark global day of action on climate change, Saturday 8th December, 2pm, at the Temperance Hall Dingle/An Daingean. The focus of the day will be on how people can save money and thus reduce their impact.

Events will include lectures, workshops, multimedia presentations and of course the ringing of the church bells (St James Church Dingle). We will also launch the Meitheal Comhshaol Corca Dhuibhne group with the inauguration of a car pool notice board.

For more information contact Darach domurchu@hotmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

New study refutes claim that gas is essential to Ireland's energy security

Academic review led by Prof Barry McMullin from DCU; Kevin Anderson among co-authors.

November 12 2018, 11:37pm

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition [1] has published new research [2] which finds the best way to ensure Ireland's energy security is the rapid development of indigenous renewables combined with energy storage technology. This would allow Ireland phase out all fossil fuels, including fossil gas, in line with our commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. The study contradicts a report from the Irish Academy of Engineering in July which claimed that fossil gas is essential to Ireland's energy security [3]. This new research comes on the closing day of a government consultation for what Minister Bruton describes as a new "all of Government plan" to tackle climate change which will "require a revolution in how we live" [4].

Lead author of the report, Professor Barry McMullin of the School of Electronic Engineering of DCU, said:

"The report of the Irish Academy of Engineering is mistaken in severely underestimating the rate at which carbon emissions from the Irish energy system must now be eliminated and in its discounting of the technical and economic feasibility of such rapid decarbonisation.

"Based on Ireland’s large natural resource of renewable energy coupled with the use of large-scale energy storage, rapid fossil fuel phase out is not only technically feasible, but can progressively eliminate the security-of-supply risks associated with all imported fossil fuels, while simultaneously decarbonising at the scale and urgency demanded by good faith participation in the Paris agreement."

Commenting, a spokesperson for the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, Oisin Coghlan said:

"This study is very timely. The recent UN climate science report concludes we need to reduce our climate pollution to zero by 2050. There is no way to achieve that if we continue to invest in and depend on fossil gas. As Minister Bruton prepares a new climate and energy plan for Ireland, this research lights the path to a fossil free energy system that is secure, sustainable and affordable.  

"Too often in the past Ministers say business-as-usual is not an option and then their Department writes a plan that is based on little or no disturbance to business-as-usual. Minister Bruton has said we need a revolution in how we live to tackle climate change. This report makes it clear that that revolution means getting off all fossil fuels, including gas."  

This new research was commissioned by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition in response to the paper published by the Irish Academy of Engineering in July 2018 called "NATURAL GAS: Essential for Ireland’s Future Energy Security". Today's report is an independent analysis of the issues by four academics. The lead author is the DCU Professor of Engineering Barry McMullin, and the co-authors include Prof Kevin Anderson, chair of energy and climate in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering (MACE) at the University of Manchester. Stop Climate Chaos has sent the report to the Department of Climate Action and Environment as part of its submission to the consultation on Ireland's new National Climate and Energy Plan [5].


Notes

1.  Stop Climate Chaos is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/about/

2. The new study by Prof Barry McMullin et al is online here: https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/download/pdf/is_natural_gas_essential_for_irelands_future_energy_security_scc_study_november_2018.pdf

3. The report of the Irish Academy of Engineering is here: http://iae.ie/publications/iae-report-on-security-of-irelands-gas-supply/

4. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/threat-of-climate-change-requires-revolution-in-how-we-live-says-bruton-1.3689512

5. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition submission to the 1st NECP consultation is here: https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/download/pdf/stop_climate_chaos_coalition_submission_to_dccae_1st_consultation_on_necp.pdf

6. The Key Findings of the study are:

  • The IAE report severely underestimates the rate at which CO₂ emissions from the Irish energy system must now be eliminated — assuming good faith action on the basis of the Paris Climate Agreement. This fundamentally undermines the analysis presented.
  • We agree fully with the IAE that reliance on imported natural gas already raises very serious security-of-supply concerns for the Irish energy system.
  • However: any energy policy involving the displacement of other fossil fuels specifically in favour of natural gas, even on a “transitional” basis (a so-called “natural gas bridge”), as suggested by the IAE, would greatly escalate that security-of-supply risk while simultaneously failing to achieve the required speed of decarbonisation of the Irish energy system. This arises from relying — by design — on a single, high carbon, fuel (natural gas) for critical stability and inter-seasonal balancing of the electricity system, while tacitly assuming progressive electrification of significant proportions of current transport and heating energy demand. Given limited (and rapidly depleting) indigenous natural gas supply, this would introduce, by design, a potential single point of failure for almost the entire energy system in the case of any major international natural gas supply disruption, while simultaneously inhibiting the required scale and speed of energy system decarbonisation.
  • In contrast, we argue that by far the best way to address both Irish energy security and the pressing need for rapid decarbonisation is to constrain and reduce energy consumption (through efficiency measures and/or absolute reductions in energy services) and to directly exit from the use of all fossil fuels, including natural gas, as quickly as is safely feasible, replacing them by indigenous zero- or (potentially) negative-carbon energy resources to the maximum possible extent.
  • In the specific case of Ireland, there are clearly identifiable pathways to transition the great majority of its energy requirement to proven indigenous zero- or negative-carbon energy sources (primarily wind, solar, and sustainably cultivated indigenous bioenergy). This does require, inter alia, the development of large scale (multi-TWh) energy storage facilities to buffer variability on at least an annual basis. We find that such energy storage is technically feasible, using well proven conversion and storage technologies, through the use of gaseous and/or liquid “electrofuels”: hydrogen, ammonia, possibly synthetic hydrocarbons (with carbon cycling), all produced primarily from indigenous variable renewable energy sources.
  • Finally, within the known physical constraints of the Paris Climate Agreement (the “Global Carbon Budget”) we find that there is no credible case to be made for bringing new fossil fuel resources into production: any such additional production would inevitably add to total global atmospheric concentration of CO₂. Short term, not to say fundamentally misplaced, concerns in relation to national energy security cannot ethically be addressed by compromising climate stability for generations to come (cf. Boyd 2018): therefore neither current energy security concerns, nor, especially, a deliberate choice to further impair future energy security (through a mistaken “gas bridge” decarbonisation strategy) can be taken as valid arguments against the immediate cessation of new Irish offshore fossil fuel exploration which has been proposed in the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) (Climate Emergency Measures) Bill 2018.

Climate change warnings expected this weekend are neither trick nor treat

October 31 2014, 04:04pm

This weekend, the most comprehensive, authoritative and scrutinized report on climate science ever produced will be released. On Sunday 2 November, the IPCC will release its synthesis report in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is the culmination of the work of 830 scientists who reviewed over 30,000 scientific papers on the impacts of climate change and how its effects can be avoided.

It is thought that this report, which provides a summary of three reports issued by the IPCC over the past year, is the one most widely read by policy makers, making it a highly influential piece of work. Stop Climate Chaos is hoping that governments will heed the report’s warnings.

Ciara Kirrane, Coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos, commented:

“The report comes just weeks after hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets around the world to demand urgent action on climate change. Governments and policy makers must recognise the calls from citizens and scientists to limit the worst effects of climate change by making the transition to a low-carbon, fossil fuel-free economy.

Stop Climate Chaos is calling for the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill to be published and debated immediately, so that Ireland can begin to take the necessary steps towards this transition. It would also be a positive signal of the government’s intention to tackle Ireland’s emissions, ahead of the UN climate change negotiations which begin a month from now in Lima, Peru.”

The report is expected to outline how unprepared the world is for the environmental, social and economic costs of climate change. Earlier this year the IPCC emphasised that severe climate impacts are already being experienced on every continent and that vulnerable countries and communities are likely to be the hardest hit. This report, which is expected to state even more strongly the threat of climate change, comes as the anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan approaches. The typhoon, which hit the Philippines on November 8th 2013 killing thousands and displacing millions, highlights the devastation caused by extreme weather events.

As well as reinforcing the threats, the IPCC will likely emphasise that the worst effects of climate change can be prevented, and that acting now will be cheaper than delaying action, but only if governments commit to a complete phase-out of fossil fuels and to 100% renewable energy.

International expert analysis ranks Ireland worst country in Europe on climate action for second year in a row

2019 Climate Change Performance Index ranking highlights gap between Minister Bruton's new rhetoric and reality of Ireland's inaction  

December 10 2018, 10:20am

The 2019 Climate Change Performance Index, launched this morning (9.30am Irish time) at the UN Climate Conference (COP 24) in Katowice, ranks Ireland as the worst performing country in Europe for action on climate change, for the second year running. The Index is produced annually on the basis of joint analysis by two leading European think-tanks. It places Ireland 48th out of 56 countries worldwide, up one place from last year. 

Speaking from Poland, Jennifer Higgins, Policy and Advocacy Advisor at Christian Aid Ireland, commented:

“We have heard consistently citizens calling for more action, and a willingness to take on the radical changes we need to see domestically to tackle climate change.  It’s time for Government ministers to wake up and listen, not only to the science and to the criticism we continually face at the bottom of the pack, but also to the people, both at home and in countries worst affected by climate change. With Minister Bruton  coming to Katowice to the UN climate conference this week, the Government needs respond immediately to the strong recommendations from the Citizens’ Assembly.”

The publication of the CCPI Report comes just one month after Minister Bruton announced the development of a new “all of Government” climate action plan which will set out obligations Government Department by Government Department with specific actions and timelines, modelled on the Action Plan for Jobs. However, just Iast week during the Government’s presentation of its annual progress report on climate action to the Dáil, three Ministers of State (from the Departments of housing, agriculture and transport) left the Dáil chamber without responding to questions from deputies, leaving only Minister Bruton in attendance.

Speaking from Poland, Clodagh Daly of Friends of the Irish Environment said:

“This report highlights the gap Minister Bruton has to close between his new rhetoric on climate change and reality of Ireland’s approach to climate action. His ministerial colleagues don’t seem to have got the memo. Minister Bruton has successfully raised expectations in recent weeks, but as yet he hasn’t taken actions that will actually lower our emissions."

Cliona Sharkey, Policy Adviser for Trócaire, commented:

‘The passage of the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill this year was an incredibly important moment and demonstrated that our elected representatives know and accept that the vast majority of fossil fuel reserves must remain unburned if we are to deliver on the temperature limits adopted in the Paris Agreement.   It’s clear however that policy makers must do much more now if Ireland is to move from laggard to leader as the Minister has recently committed to, and leave behind the Very Poor performers category in the Index.   They have the opportunity to do that right now by swiftly passing the progressive climate Bills currently before the Oireachtas to speed up the phase out of fossil fuels, committing to implement the recommendations of the Citizens' Assembly, and putting in place a robust ‘carbon budget’ approach to ensure all government action is in line with the latest IPCC science.  This in all our interests, and given the devastating impacts of climate change on the poorest women and men in the world who are being hit hardest by a problem they have not caused, it is a basic question of respect and justice.’

The Climate Change Performance Index 2019 highlights the continued growth and competitiveness of renewable energy globally. However, it is emphasised that the gap between current emission levels and what is needed to put the world on track for a well below-2°C or even 1.5°C pathway is widening. Polluting emissions are on the rise again and continued investments in fossil fuel infrastructure are leading to a major risk of a lock-in into high emissions pathways.

Sweden, Morocco and Lithuania lead the ranking. Almost half of the G20 countries are in the group of very low performers: Japan (49), Turkey (50), Russian Federation (52), Canada (54), Australia (55), Korea (57) and - at the bottom of the index - USA (59) and Saudi Arabia (60). Experts from the USA rated the climate policy of the Trump administration very low. However, positive signals have emerged due to climate action in several states and cities and because of the Democrats’ commitment to drive climate policy with their new majority in the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s polluting emissions are on an upward trend, the state is failing to meet EU obligations and the Government is not joining other member states in calling for the EU to raise its ambition in line with the Paris Agreement. A special all-party Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action is currently considering the recommendations on climate action from the Citizens’ Assembly and will produce proposals for the development of Ireland’s new National Energy and Climate Plan.

ENDS

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact jerry@stopclimatechaos.ie 

 

The 2019 Climate Change Performance Index is available to download here.

 

Notes for the Editor

 

Stop Climate Chaos  is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.

About the Climate Change Performance Index 2019

The Climate Change Performance Index by Germanwatch and the NewClimate Institute is a ranking of the 56 countries and the EU, together responsible for about 90% of global GHG emissions. The four categories examined are: GHG emissions (40%), renewable energy (20%), energy use (20%) and climate policy (20%). The latter is based on expert assessments by NGOs and think tanks from the respective countries. The CCPI also evaluates to what extent the respective countries are taking adequate action within the categories emissions, renewables and energy use to being on track towards the global Paris-goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C. Since no country is on a Paris-compatible path yet, the top three of the CCPI 2018 are left unoccupied.

 

On Ireland’s position of 48th, it is noted in the Index:

Still rated as the worst-performing EU country in the CCPI, Ireland reaches position 48 and remains in the group of very-low performing countries. The performance in the GHG Emissions category is rated very low and the country is also occupying a spot among the low-ranking performers in the Energy Use category. Due to its increased renewable energy share over the past five years, and forthcoming support schemes for renewable heat and renewable electricity which recognise the value of citizen and community participation, Ireland is rated medium in the Renewable Energy category. National experts commend the Irish Parliament for its leadership in deciding to pass the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill, which is the first of its kind in the world, and for the innovative Citizens’ Assembly process which produced far-reaching recommendations for climate action now being considered by a special parliamentary committee working on the development of Ireland’s National Energy and Climate Plan. Therefore, the performance on international climate policy is rated medium. However, existing climate mitigation efforts will not enable Ireland to achieve either its EU 2020 or 2030 targets domestically. The long-standing lack of implementation of substantive measures to put the country on a well-below-2°C pathway results in a very low rating for Ireland’s national policy performance.”

 

Last year, the Climate Change Performance Index noted Ireland as being the worst performing country in Europe for action on climate change. The Index placed Ireland 49th out of 56 countries.

 

In June 2018, analysis by Climate Action Network Europe put Ireland in second last place in the EU for action and ambition on climate change.

 

Information on Ireland’s climate action


Ireland’s leading experts in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have repeatedly highlighted the inadequacy of current policies and plans, and that our performance is getting worse not better. Ireland is set to miss its 2020 emission reduction targets under the EU Effort Sharing Decision, The EPA have indicated that Ireland is at best likely to achieve a 1% reduction (below 2005 levels in the non-ETS sector) rather the 20% pledged, with emissions projected to continue to rise across all the main polluting sectors, indicating a policy failure on a massive scale. The EPA analysis also indicates that total Irish emissions would still be 9% above 1990 in 2030.

 

In July 2018, Ireland’s Climate Change Advisory Council produced its second Annual Review report, which provides an independent, expert assessment of Ireland’s performance on climate change. The Council concluded that Ireland is ‘completely off course’ in its response to climate change. It noted that at the current rate Ireland will not meet both its 2020 and 2030 EU obligations and crucially also underlined that even with investment commitments in the latest National Development Plan, major new initiatives are necessary.

 

The Citizens’ Assembly’s May 2018 report on necessary climate action in Ireland is available here. This includes the Assembly’s 13 recommendations on ‘how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’. These were agreed by the Assembly after four days of expert presentations in 2017 and following a major public consultation which received close to 2000 submissions.

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition called for the establishment of a dedicated Oireachtas Committee to take forward the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations on climate change, as was done with the Assembly report on the eighth amendment to the Constitution. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action has been established is currently meeting to deliberate on these recommendations and report on necessary policy improvements in January 2019. For information on the Committee’s current meetings, see here.

Analysis by the EU body, the European Environmental Agency, indicates that Ireland is part of a small group of EU Member States which is set to miss its 2020 emission reduction targets under the EU Effort Sharing Decision. However, Ireland is the only one of these Member States where emissions are predicted to continue to rise and where the State will likely be highly reliant on concessions and special flexibility procedures, such as the buying of permits from other countries, to close the gap.

Stop Climate Chaos to ‘blow off steam’ at the Dáil

November 23 2011, 05:05pm

Climate Change Blows #1Vuvuzela protest urges Minister to set date for climate law as he travels to UN climate talks in South Africa

Members and supporters of Stop Climate Chaos will be blowing hundreds of Vuvuzelas, the horns made famous at the 2010 Football World Cup in South Africa, outside the Dáil tomorrow, Thursday 24th November at 1pm. Ahead of the UN Climate Change Summit in Durban this December, the coalition of Irish civil society organisations are 'blowing off steam' to express their frustration at the slow pace of political action to combat climate change. We are calling on Irish and international decision makers not to leave the future to chance.

Stop Climate Chaos want Minister Hogan to go to Durban and support the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol - the only binding global framework for climate action. While there, we also want the Minister to set a date for the publication of the promised Irish climate law, to show that Ireland is serious about its domestic commitments to addressing climate change.

Emer Mullins of Oxfam Ireland said
"The Programme for Government contains a commitment to passing a climate law. Consistent failure to implement adequate policies over the past decades has shown that this is the only way to ensure forward thinking and smart investment. When passed this legislation will be a vital part of building a sustainable and competitive Irish economy. Enacting a strong climate law is the greatest thing Ireland can do to stop climate chaos."

Cliona Sharkey of Trócaire said
"We've seen over the last year that we are all vulnerable to extreme and unpredictable weather. These events are just a taste of what's to come if we don't take serious action to reign in climate change. Poor people in vulnerable countries are dealing daily with increasingly frequent and intense storms, floods and drought, having contributed nothing to global warming. We're all in this together, and we have to stand up for the most vulnerable."

Jennifer Thompson of Concern Worldwide said
"We can't talk about tackling global poverty and hunger without tackling our contribution to one of the greatest threats to poverty eradication and food security. Ireland has a responsibility to people in developing countries who are already feeling the impacts of climate change, a crisis they played no part in creating. Ireland must work hard in Durban to secure the extension of the Kyoto Protocol which is seen as the strongest signal of the rich world's willingness to do its fair share."

ENDS

Notes:
1. The members of Stop Climate Chaos are: ActionAid, Afri, BirdWatch, Christian Aid, Climate Action Ireland Platform, Comhlámh, Concern, Cultivate, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Methodist Church of Ireland- Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Progressio Ireland, Sustain West Cork, Trócaire, An Taisce, Vita, VOICE.

New report shows that implementing the Paris Agreement is good for jobs and good for the economy

And as the Bill to ban offshore drilling is caught up in a procedural wrangle at an Oireachtas Committee, a new briefing on 5 reasons we should pass it.

February 12 2019, 04:16pm

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has today (12 February 2019) welcomed a new report highlighting the positive economic and employment impacts for Europe of implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.

The report, published by Eurofound – the Dublin-based EU agency that monitors living and working conditions across the EU – shows that a full transition towards a low-carbon economy, as defined by the Paris Climate Agreement, is projected to contribute 1.1% growth in GDP, and 0.5% growth in employment between now and 2030. This additional growth compares to a ‘business as usual’ baseline forecast, and contrasts with much commentary that claims that climate action would damage the economy.

Jennifer Higgins, Policy and Advocacy Advisor with Christian Aid Ireland stated,

‘This report highlights the economic benefits of implementing the Paris Agreement without further delay, and the positive growth implications for the European region. Even though the projected impact for Ireland is moderate compared to some of our European neighbours, it is still positive.

‘These results provide further evidence, as if more was needed, to the Government that we can’t afford to adopt a wait-and-see approach to taking climate action. Adopting the necessary policy measures now will ensure that all of society can benefit from the move to a low carbon future, not just in terms of health and wellbeing but also economically.”

The report attributes the additional economic growth to the investment and labour activity needed to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement, combined with lower spending on fossil fuel imports.

The publication of the report comes one year to the week since a majority in the Dáil voted in favour of the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) (Climate Emergency Measures) Bill, a Private Members Bill seeking to prohibit the issuing of licences for exploration of fossil fuels off Ireland’s coasts.

After public hearings by an Oireachtas Committee, the Bill is now caught in a procedural dispute as to whether it needs a majority of the Joint Committee of TDs and Senators to progress it, or just a majority of the Select Committee of TDs only. Before Christmas, the Joint Committee was deadlocked, with tied votes.

The Committees will meet again next Tuesday to try to break the deadlock. In case we lose sight of the big picture Stop Climate Chaos – the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change  – has produced a new briefing outlining five main reasons why the Bill should move to Third stage without delay. We believe this Bill is necessary, practicable and in the national and global interest.

Cliona Sharkey, Policy Advisor with Trócaire said,

"The impacts of climate change are already too much for the most vulnerable people in the world. The number of climate-related disasters such as extreme heat, drought, floods and storms has doubled between 1990 and 2016, resulting in loss of lives, increases in hunger and malnutrition. 

"We have all witnessed the impacts in Europe and Ireland in recent years aswell.  Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency has told policymakers that extreme weather events linked to climate change over recent years have already seriously tested the capacity of communities and services in Ireland, and the economy to cope."

Catherine Devitt, policy coordinator with the Coalition said that,

"The Eurofound report demonstrates why legislation such as the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act (2018), and the Climate Emergency Measures Bill, which is currently in the Dáil, are central to shifting investment towards the green economy and green growth. Passage of the Climate Emergency Bill will give investors a clear indication of Ireland’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, and where it intends to prioritise job creation and economic growth in the years ahead."

Notes

  1. The 2019 Eurofound report is available to download here.

  2. The Stop Climate Chaos briefing ‘Five Reasons the Climate Emergency Measures Bill must move to Committee Stage without delay’ is available here.

European Commission criticises failure of Irish climate policy

February 26 2015, 05:58pm

‘Policies to address climate-related commitments are insufficient’

Stop Climate Chaos has today said it is unsurprised by the European Commission’s findings that Ireland is failing to address climate change. In its ‘Country Report Ireland 2015’ the European Commission states that Ireland is likely to miss its EU 2020 target ‘by a wide margin’ and that climate-related policies are ‘insufficient’.

Reacting to the report, Ciara Kirrane, Coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos, said:

“The fact that Ireland is off track is not news to anyone who is keeping an eye on Ireland’s climate performance. But the Commission’s criticisms should act as a wake-up call to Minister Kelly and the government.

The damning statement that ‘No progress was made in identifying how Ireland commits itself to meeting its existing, binding climate and energy targets for the period up to 2020 in an integrated way’ should be an embarrassment to the government. Clearly EU targets have not provided enough of an impetus for Ireland to make the necessary emissions reductions, which is why Stop Climate Chaos – and others – have been calling for the inclusion of a national long-term emissions reduction target in the Climate Bill.

The report comes just as the Second Stage reading of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015 resumes in the Dáil, a Bill that both Fine Gael and Labour TDs have criticised. Ciara Kirrane continued:

Minister Kelly needs to listen to the concerns raised by his colleagues about this Bill, both in the Dáil and by the Oireacahtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht in their comprehensive 2013 report. Only three of the ten recommendations from the Committee which required changes to the Bill have been acted on. A number of Fine Gael and Labour TDs, as well as opposition TDs, have highlighted weaknesses in the Bill. This is a critical piece of legislation in addressing Ireland’s inaction on climate change but it’s time Minister Kelly started to take on board the recommendations being made by his fellow TDs.”

 

Notes to Editors:

Climate and energy issues are dealt with on pages 57-58 of the European Commission report, which is available at http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/csr2015/cr2015_ireland_en.pdf

The Oireacahtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht published a report on the Bill in 2013, which is available here http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/media/committees/environmenttransportcultureandthegaeltacht/Report-on-the-Outline-Heads-of-the-Climate-Action-and-Low-Carbon-Development-Bill-2013.pdf

Stop Climate Chaos is also calling for the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill to include the following:

-       A definition of low carbon in the Bill

-       That the Advisory Council is independent

-       Timely publication of the Advisory Council’s reports

-       Inclusion of the principle of climate justice

-       The rapid adoption of the first National Mitigation Plan under the Act

Irish newspaper coverage of the #SchoolStrike4Climate

Blanket coverage in Saturday's papers of unprecedented climate protest

March 16 2019, 06:01pm

Yesterday's #SchoolStrike4Climate was an unprecendented protest for climate action by school students around the world. Over 15,000 people took part in Ireland with more than 10,000 at the rally in Dublin alone.

Today's Irish newspapers have blanket coverage of the student protest:

 

The Irish Times

Irish Times 2019-0316

Irish Independent

Irish Independent 2019-0316

Irish Examiner

Irish Examiner 2019-0316

The Herald

The Herald 2019-0316

(London) Times Ireland

(London) Times Ireland 2019-0316

The Irish Sun

The Irish Sun 2019-0316

The Irish Daily Star

The Irish Daily Star 2019-0316

The Irish Daily Mirror

The Irish Daily Mirror 2019-0316

 

The Irish Daily Mail

Irish Daily Mail 2019-0316

 

Earth Hour 2008

March 30 2008, 03:44pm


earth_hour_bannerStop Climate Chaos supported this year's Earth Hour, which took place between 8pm and 9pm on March 29th. Earth Hour seeks to inspire people to take action on climate change by having individuals, businesses and public offices turn off all lights for one hour.

Last year, 2.2 million people and 2100 businesses in Sydney turned off their lights, reducing the city's energy consumption by 10.2% - the equivalent of taking 48,000 cars off the roads for one hour. This year's Earth Hour took place on March 29th between 8pm and 9pm.

In 2008, the campaign was adopted by 24 cities including Adelaide, Atlanta, Bangkok, Brisbane, Canberra, Chicago, Christchurch, Copenhagen, Dublin, Manila, Melbourne, Montreal, Odense, Ottawa, Perth, Phoenix, San Francisco, Suva, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Toronto, and Vancouver.

In Ireland, more than 30,000 homes took part and many public buildings switched off all non-essential lighting. In total, there was a 1.5 per cent reduction in energy use.

Click here to find out more.

Cross-party Oireachtas Committee delivers historic mandate for climate action. Now Government must lead.

Minister Bruton’s response – a new All-of-Government Climate Action Plan – due within weeks

March 29 2019, 01:01am

Cross-party consensus reached on practical measures across all sectors

Committee Recommendations help put Ireland on the right track, but more to do

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has welcomed the publication of the Report of the special Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, saying it represents an historic mandate for the Government to immediately step up climate action to cut Ireland’s rising emissions.

According to the coalition of overseas aid agencies, environmental groups, youth, faith and community groups, the landmark Report is an important building block for Minister Bruton’s All-of-Government Plan, promised before Easter, and the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), which Ireland must submit to the European Commission by the end of 2019.

However, the coalition has warned that Ireland, which has an international reputation as being a laggard on climate action, must now urgently play catch-up if it hopes to achieve the immediate deep emissions reductions called for by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to prevent catastrophic climate change.

Catherine Devitt, environmental justice officer with the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice and policy coordinator for Stop Climate Chaos, said:

Historically, there has been a complete absence of a detailed roadmap of agreed policies and measures to set Ireland on the right pathway towards decarbonisation. 

This milestone Report sets a baseline of ambition that will help put Ireland on the right track towards playing our part implanting the Paris Agreement. But as the Committee itself says more will be required to do our fair share.  

“The Government must now respect the mandate of the Citizens’ Assembly and the Oireachtas Committee by integrating these urgent recommendations into Minister Bruton’s All-of-Government action plan, due before Easter. “That would represent a new departure for Irish climate policy.

The publication of the Report follows eight months of intense cross-party scrutiny of Irish climate policy, based on consideration of the thirteen high level recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on climate action.

On long-term ambition, the Report recommends replacing Ireland’s current self-designated target of 80% reductions in emissions by 2050 with a target of a new net zero emissions 2050 by that date, in response to the latest climate science.  It also recommends that this 2050 target and new, aligned 2030 climate and energy targets be legally enshrined.  Importantly it also urges the Government to support an increase in EU policy ambition for 2030 targets. This would mean a change in the Government’s current stance of blocking greater 2030 ambition at the collective European level.

The Report also includes recommendations from the Oireachtas to the Government for immediate changes to policy governance and accountability through the use of five- yearly carbon budgets, in addition to more specific wide-sweeping recommendations across all sectors of the economy and society. 

Ms Devitt continued:

Many of the measures recommended are set to improve people’s lives through warmer homes, better public transport and cycling infrastructure, and supports for citizen and community participation in the low carbon transition.

The emphasis placed by the Committee on the need for fairness for households and workers is essential and the recommendations for immediate and sustained action through a Just Transition Task Force is welcome. 

This Oireachtas Report provides an unprecedented, historic cross-party mandate, that if acted and built upon without delay, will help change the course of Irish climate policy, reduce Ireland’s growing emissions and honour our national and international climate obligations.”

Acknowledging the scale and urgency of the challenge, the Committee recommend a sustained agenda of policy development and public engagement. They emphasise the need to align policy with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement, with the principles of climate justice, and with the latest science, which states clearly that radical change is needed within the next decade.

Ms. Devitt concluded,

We are currently witnessing considerable social and economic effects of climate breakdown hitting the poorest populations around the world. At the same time, thousands of young people around the world are on the streets demanding greater leadership and more action on an unprecedented threat to their future.  

Failure to implement the Committee’s Recommendations would be an inexcusable missed opportunity to deliver crosscutting and sector-specific measures that can deliver quantifiable reductions in emissions and help shift public policy toward decarbonisation.”

The report of the special Oireachtas Committee is online here: http://bit.ly/JOCCAreport1

Notes for the Editor

  1. Stop Climate Chaos is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.
  2. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action was established with cross-party consensus in July 2018, charged with considering the thirteen high level recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on climate change, and how current departmental climate policies could be strengthened. The outcomes of the Assembly showed that Irish society is ready for tangible and immediate climate action. The Assembly outcome represented the most explicit, detailed and considered public mandate for an immediate and strong political response. Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has consistently urged the Committee to respect and represent the level of policy ambition called for by the Citizens’ Assembly, by providing new substantive, concrete policy recommendations to ensure that action from now on is adequate and timely, and is line with Ireland’s international climate obligations.
  3. In March 2018, the Stop Climate Chaos coalition called for the establishment of a dedicated Oireachtas Committee to take the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations forward, as was done with the Assembly report on the eighth amendment to the Constitution. See the Stop Climate Chaos letter to the Oireachtas Business Committee.
  4. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition’s submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action is available here.
  5. The Citizens’ Assembly’s published report is available here. This includes the Assembly’s 13 recommendations on ‘how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’. The Assembly agreed these recommendations after four days of expert presentations in 2017 and following a major public consultation that received close to 2000 submissions.

Taoiseach's Support for Including Climate Justice in Law Welcome

June 29 2015, 03:32pm

But without clarity on 2050 ambition Climate Bill will still fail

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition has welcomed the Taoiseach's support for including the principle of climate justice in the Government's Climate Bill, which is due back in the Dáil on July 8th. Speaking at Leaders' Questions in the Dáil on Wednesday 24th, Enda Kenny told Maureen O'Sullivan TD that he has spoken with former President Mary Robinson who "has been very vocal on this" and he had no objection to climate justice being referred to in the Bill. The move follows support for the inclusion of climate justice from Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd at the Committee Stage discussion of the Bill.

Sorley McCaughey, Head of Policy and Advocacy for Christian Aid Ireland commented

"We very much welcome this signal from the top of Government that climate justice will be included in the Bill. The poorest communities in the world, who have done least to cause climate change, are being hit first and hardest, something last week’s Papal Encyclical underlined strongly. Given Ireland's record in international development it is fitting that climate justice be enshrined as one of the principles informing our response to the climate crisis."

The Climate Bill remains crippled, however, by the lack of clarity on Ireland's ambition for 2050. Stop Climate Chaos has always called for a simple numeric target for emissions reduction to give long-term certainty to households and businesses making investment decisions. The UK, Finland and California have all put an 80% target into law. The Irish Government has rejected a 2050 target, instead opting for the objective of a "low carbon economy". The problem with this objective is that it is not defined. The Government has also disregarded the all-party proposal from the Oireachtas Environment Committee to include its own definition of low carbon in the Bill, something first put forward by Fine Gael Senator Cáit Keane.

Barry McMullin, Chair of the An Taisce Climate Change Committee, noted one final compromise on 2050 was possible

"Clarity about 2050 is key to an effective climate law. It's what drives action and innovation across Government Departments. And without it you can't expect business and households to make the long-term investments we need for the transition to a low carbon future."
"The Government has ignored international best practice on 2050 targets and rejected the compromise proposal from the all-party committee they had specifically asked for advice. To have any credibility the Bill must at least require Ministers to have regard to the Government's own National Policy Position on Climate Action. Without that, it will fail."

Notes

  1. The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill is due back in the Dáil for Report Stage on Wednesday 8th July. Minister Alan Kelly gave positive indications on a number of amendments at and after Committee Stage. Those amendments will have to approved by Cabinet before going to the Dáil.

  2. Almost 7,000 people have signed an Avaaz petition calling on Minister Alan Kelly to strengthen the Bill. The petition was handed over at the Committee Stage in the Dáil.

European study scores draft Government climate plan at 38 out of 100

Government's current climate plan 'a clear fail' according to campaigners

May 16 2019, 06:41am

Minister must immediately implement Oireachtas Committee recommenations for action

Research published this morning by the European Climate Foundation scores the Government's draft National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), submitted to the EU last December, at 38 out of 100 - a "clear fail" according to the Irish Stop Climate Chaos Coalition. The analysis, carried out by the Ecologic Institute, an academic think tank, and Climact, a consultancy, assesses all 28 EU Member States’ draft NECPs and scores them according to (i) the level of ambition, (ii) the level of detail of the policies and measures described, and (iii) the quality and inclusiveness of the drafting process.

Commenting on the report, Catherine Devitt, Head of Policy for the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition said:

"This analysis confirms Minister Bruton's own assessment of his draft NECP, that it is a 'business as usual plan'. Obviously a score of 38 out of 100 is a clear fail. And business as usual is simply unacceptable.  

"What is imperative now is that the Minister implements the Oireachtas Committee roadmap for action on the urgent timelines they laid out, and that he incorporates all their recommendations in the next draft of his plan.

"The Dáil has declared a climate emergency and endorsed the Oireachtas Committee's pathway to implementing the Paris Agreement. It is essential that the final NECP the Minister submits to the EU before the end of the year fully reflects the urgency and the specificity of the Committee's recommendations."  

ECF Scorecard for Ireland's NECP:


The Government has until the end of the year to submit its final NECP to the European Commission. Minister Bruton has promised a new "all-of-government" climate action plan in the coming weeks.

The European Climate Foundation press release follows below for information

Brussels, 16 May 2019 - None of the 28 EU countries’ draft climate plans is on a pathway to net zero emissions by 2050. Even the highest-scoring climate plan (Spain) scores just 52% across a range of indicators, while the EU28 average is at less than one third. However, there is still limited time to change course. Member States have until the end of the year - when final versions of plans are due for submission, together with national Long Term Strategies - to get on track. They must use this time to deliver coherent climate plans, with proper public consultation, that will insure investment certainty and help to reap the many economic and social benefits of a transition to a net-zero society.


These are the findings of a report - conducted by Ecologic Institute and Climact and commissioned by the European Climate Foundation - launched today (1). This report assesses all the Member States’ draft integrated national climate and energy plans (NECPs) submitted to the European Commission and scores them according to (i) the level of ambition, (ii) the level of detail of the policies and measures described, and (iii) the quality and inclusiveness of the drafting process (up to a maximum of 100 points) (2).


According to the ranking, Spain and France lead the way with 52% and 47%, respectively, followed by Greece (44%) and Sweden (43%). The Slovenian climate plan comes in last with a score of 3%, with Slovakia (12%) and Germany (12%) slightly ahead. The average score for the EU bloc is 29% (3).


This assessment finds that, while the draft national climate plans indicate countries are taking steps towards climate action by 2030, they do not yet live up to the ambitions set by EU legislators and the Paris Agreement. Recurrent problems include limited plans for phase-out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies, few indications on the needed investments, too much use of unsustainable biomass, inadequate public consultation, and lack of explicit effort to back-cast plans from the 2050 goal.


The good news is that there is plenty of scope for improvement. The report identifies several good practices across the draft plans that national and EU policy-makers can take inspiration from and replicate. As the European Commission is expected to release its own assessment and recommendations on the national climate plans in June, Member States will have until the end of the year to review their copy.


An inclusive, socially just transition to net zero emissions can only happen with explicit intention and proper planning. The EU has taken an important step in requiring Member States to set out integrated plans showing how they will eventually arrive at the Paris goal. As this is the first time that Member States carry out this exercise, it is understandable that scores are not yet perfect. But governments cannot afford to miss this unique opportunity to set out ambitious and credible policies. These in turn will attract more public and private financing in clean energy infrastructure, improving quality of life and lowering the cost of the transition for Europe’s citizens.

ENDS

QUOTES

Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation:

“Planning for the future we want starts today. National climate plans are an opportunity to think about the countries we want to have in the next 10, 20 and 30 years. EU countries can either decide to risk a lost decade of climate inaction or make sure the right investments and policies are in place to ensure they reap the economic and social benefits of a transition to a net-zero society.“ 

 

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said:

"More and more EU member states realise that the climate emergency requires ambitious plans for the future. The national climate plans are a key enabler of the clean energy transition, which must now run at its full speed to allow the bloc to drastically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and boost energy savings and renewable energy by 2030. The more decarbonised European economies get by 2030, the more likely the European Union will be able to contribute to the objectives of the Paris Agreement and prevent dangerous climate change."

 

WindEurope Head of Advocacy & Messaging Viktoriya Kerelska said:

“Europe has a clear target: 32% renewable energy by 2030. The draft National Energy & Climate Plans must translate this ambition into reality. But none of them give enough detail on the policy measures. Without the details, the Plans just aren’t meaningful. National Governments need to tell the industry when auctions are happening, how permitting will be made easier, how heating and transport will be electrified. This gives investors certainty to plan ahead and further reduce costs. It means jobs: building on the 300,000 people working in wind energy in Europe. It also brings income to local communities. With the right policy measures the National Plans can become an investment brochure for the wind industry.”

 

Julien Pestiaux, one of the authors of the study, Climact:

“Our work shows that the EU Member States are clearly not in line with a Net Zero 2050 trajectory or any of the scientific findings of the IPCC 1.5C Report. With a few notable exceptions, they also show low ambition when it comes to concretely reaching their renewables and energy efficiency targets and fall short of properly supporting the climate and energy transition required in Europe.”

 

Matthias Duwe, one of the authors of the report, Ecologic Institute

“These draft national plans are only a first step in the process. And despite the obvious shortcomings, there is also reason for optimism:  positive examples on different aspects can be found in many Member States, which can serve as inspiration for others. Right now we need clear recommendations from the Commission and then much improved final plans by the end of the year.”

 

Notes to the editors

  1. Planning for Net Zero: Assessing the draft National Energy and Climate Plans: https://europeanclimate.org/national-climate-plans-2030/
  2. Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) are the new framework within which EU Member States have to plan, in an integrated manner, their climate and energy objectives, targets, policies and measures to the European Commission. The Governance Regulation, within which the NECP framework sits, was adopted in 2018 as part of the Clean Energy Package. It consolidates the existing patchwork of not only planning obligations but also obligations for monitoring and reporting Member States have under the different pieces of EU legislation across energy, climate and other Energy Union related policy areas. It also requires countries to develop Long Term Strategies, with which the NECPs should be consistent. Countries will have to develop NECPs on a ten year rolling basis, with an update halfway through the implementation period. The NECPs covering the first period from 2021 to 2030 will have to ensure that the Union’s 2030 targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, renewable energy, energy efficiency and electricity interconnection are met. All draft NECPs can be found here.
  3. Individual country fact sheets are available here: https://europeanclimate.org/national-climate-plans-2030/

Stop Climate Chaos welcomes the publication of NESC report on climate policy

October 1 2012, 05:00pm

Stop Climate Chaos, the coalition of civil society groups, welcomes the prompt publication of a report, Towards a New National Climate Policy, by the Secretariat of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC). The purpose of this independent analysis is to inform the development of Irish climate change policy and it was requested by Minister Hogan as part of his Roadmap for Climate Policy and Legislation earlier this year.

Stop Climate Chaos also welcomes the Ministers repeated commitment to sending heads of a climate Bill to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht before the end of this year.

Announcing the landmark publication of this report Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan mentioned again his commitment to sending a draft climate Bill to the Environment Committee by the end of this year.

"This landmark report shows that it is possible to meet our 2020 targets, but to do so we must act." Commented, Michelle Lambe, a spokesperson for the coalition.

"Strong climate legislation is exactly what we need to ensure that we do achieve our 2020 targets. We look forward to engaging with Minister Hogan and the entire Cabinet Committee on Climate Change on the forthcoming legislation." Concluded Ms. Lambe.

ENDS

Notes:
1. The members of Stop Climate Chaos are: ActionAid, Afri, BirdWatch, Christian Aid, Climate Action Ireland Platform, Comhlámh, Concern, Cultivate, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Methodist Church of Ireland- Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Progressio Ireland, Sustain West Cork, Trócaire, An Taisce, Vita, VOICE.
2. Towards a New National Climate Policy: Interim Report of the NESC Secretariat is available for download here.

June 11: Climate Emergency Day

Three ways you can take action on the Climate Emergency Bill

June 7 2019, 01:40pm

Here are three ways you can support the Bill at this stage on June 11th.

 

Complete the form below and call your TD and ask them to put you on the list for the Dáil discussion on the Bill at 3pm on the 11th. 


Join the People's Climate March 29th November

November 9 2015, 06:27pm

March for climate justice, community energy and a carbon free future 

Flyer_front 29 Nov 2015At the end of November, governments will be gathering in Paris for COP 21 to finalize a global agreement on climate change. People around the world are calling for action – especially those who are most vulnerable to climate impacts yet have had no role in creating the problem. Our voices are critical if we want a better, more just, and sustainable society.

So make your voice heard and join the People's Climate March on Sunday 29th November to demand Climate Justice, Community Energy and a Carbon Free Future. We're assembling outside the Custom House at 2pm.

Nothing less than a systemic transformation of our societies, our economies, and our world will suffice to solve the climate crisis and close the ever-increasing inequality gap. The urgency to keep temperatures down is not just about the planet and the environment. It is about people, and our capacity as humanity to secure safe and dignified lives for all. 

Make sure you're part of this international weekend of action. Join us in Dublin and if you can't make the Dublin march, please join rallies in Belfast, Cork and Galway.

 

LIVE Updates & Reports from Global #ClimateStrike events around the world

See here for live stream of content

September 20 2019, 09:35am

Morning Ireland & RTE News report on launch of Stop Climate Chaos

April 23 2007, 02:42pm

Tom Arnold, Chief Executive of Concern Worldwide speaks about the launch of Stop Climate Chaos, highlighting why the campaign has put the impacts of climate change on developing countries at its heart.

Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of Earth said "The threat of runaway climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face and so we are seeking to mobilise the Irish Government and the public to take political and personal action in support of these objectives. The coalition of such a wide group of organisations demonstrates the broad base of support among the Irish public to see action on climate change."

Tom Arnold, Chief Executive of Concern Worldwide noted, "Developing countries have contributed least to the crisis of global warming yet it is these countries that will be worst hit. Industrialised countries, on the other hand, bear the historical responsibility for causing climate change and should be to the fore in resolving this challenge."

Justin Kilcullen, Director of Trócaire said, "Climate change is a global justice issue and we have the power to halt it. It is only by mobilising the industrial nations to commit to addressing the issues that we will avoid the devastating impacts on developing nations who will suffer irreparable setback and damage if it reaches critical levels."

Mary Cunningham, Director of the National Youth Council of Ireland, said, "Climate change will impact us all in the future and it is essential for our Government to address these issues to ensure a healthy future for our environment. Young people have identified climate change as a key concern and have actively campaigned on this issue. NYCI is confident that young people and youth organisations will get actively involved in the Stop Climate Chaos campaign."

Listen to the report online.

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.

Why Ireland should establish a Climate Justice Fund

December 9 2015, 01:23pm

To meet Ireland's international climate finance commitments Stop Climate Chaos recommends establishing a Climate Justice Fund. 

Climate change is an immediate, grave, and growing threat to development, making the battle to overcome poverty increasingly harder and more expensive. International climate finance is vital in the global effort to prevent worsening climate change and to adapt to current impacts. The lives and livelihoods of millions of poor women and men, who are at increased risk of flooding, hunger, drought and disease, depend on it.

Climate Justice is the recognition that those who have done the least to cause the climate crisis are the most affected by it; this recognition is a central consideration in Irish climate policy and is being enshrined in law in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill currently making its way through the Oireachtas. We propose the establishment of a Climate Justice Fund which would be financed from relevant revenue streams such as the Carbon Tax and from ETS auctioning and use this money to meet Ireland’s international climate finance obligations.

The establishment of a Climate Justice Fund would serve to ensure Ireland meets its fair share of obligations to provide climate finance without diverting funds from Overseas Development Aid (ODA). It would also allow Ireland to continue to set an example by prioritising adaptation in its climate finance contributions.

Download our briefing paper here

The new Climate Action Plan: Will it lead to a revolution in how we live?

Report from the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition and the Environmental Pillar on their analysis of the Climate Action Plan

July 22 2019, 01:46pm

Read our assessment here of the Government's Climate Action Plan. The Plan was published in June 2019. Stop Climate Chaos collaborated with the Environmental Pillar in carrying out this joint assessment. 

Stop Climate Chaos welcomes the re-introduction of Climate Bill.

February 1 2013, 03:48pm

Stop Climate Chaos has welcomed the launch yesterday by Sinn Fein of a Climate Bill that gained all-party support in the last Dáil. Brian Stanley TD is re-introducing the bill that was published by the Climate Change and Energy Committee in 2010.

Stop Climate Chaos supporters have sent over 90,000 messages to Government in support of the Climate Bill since the start of the campaign.

Last year Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan produced a roadmap for climate legislation in which he promised to publish a Climate Bill before the end of 2012. This Bill has yet to be published.

Ciara Kirrane Environmental Justice officer with Trocaire said
'Minister Hogan had committed to sending Heads of a Climate Bill to the Oireachtas Committee on Environment before the end of 2012. The committee is now ready to start the important job of discussing this legislation but in the absence of a government bill, an all-party supported bill is a good place to start these discussions.'

Ireland has made several pledges to cut our greenhouse gas emissions however our progress in actually making these cuts has been slow. Strong legislation is now needed to make sure these promised cuts actually happen.

Stop Climate Chaos has continually called for a strong climate bill that includes:

  • Legally binding emission reduction targets
  • Five-year carbon budgets that meet up to these targets
  • Targets to be met domestically - not by purchasing carbon credits overseas
  • The establishment of an independent climate change commission to advise Government, with the power to publish its own reports.

Sorley McCaughey of Christian Aid said
'To have any credibility the law must set an emissions target for 2050 in line with EU plans for 80-95% emissions reductions and it must give our EU 2020 target the force of national law. The Department of Environment ran a public consultation on these issues last year in which 90% of respondents stated they wanted to see climate targets enshrined in national law.'

ENDS

Notes:

  1. The report of the Joint Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security can be found here http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/documents/
  2. The members of Stop Climate Chaos are: Afri, BirdWatch, Christian Aid, Climate Action Ireland Platform, Comhlámh, Concern, Cultivate, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, Eco Unesco, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Methodist Church of Ireland- Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Progressio Ireland, Sustain West Cork, Trócaire, An Taisce, Vita, VOICE.

 

New report calls on Ireland to ramp up 2030 energy and climate plans

One month left for the Government to boost clean energy policies, and plan for phase-out of fossil fuels

November 28 2019, 09:07am

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition has today (28th November 2019) called on the Government to provide a substantial increase in policy ambition in the final National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), due to be submitted to the European Union next month. 

The call comes in response to the publication of a new report from the Climate Action Network (CAN), Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues, on how much progress has been made since the European Commission published its recommendations in June this year to Member State’s on their draft NECPs. 

The Government has indicated that they will hold a public consultation on the final Plan, although no consultation has yet been announced and the timeframe for meaningful engagement is quickly diminishing. 

Commenting on the report findings, Catherine Devitt, Head of Policy for the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition said:

“In contrast to many of our European counterparts, Ireland is failing to take the necessary and commensurate action across its polluting sectors. Earlier this year, the European Commission recommended that Ireland puts forward additional measures in the final NECP to reduce the significant projected shortfalls in meeting its 2030 emissions target for sectors not covered by the ETS.”

“In particular, the Commission expressed concern about the projected increase in energy demand over the next decade, which goes in the opposite direction of what is needed collectively by the EU. They also called for a list of concrete policies sufficiently quantified to allow for a complete assessment of their impact on Ireland’s proposed contributions to the EU 2030 target.”

“The IPCC has warned us we have to cut our emissions in half within ten years if we are to stand a chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C. The policy decisions that are made now are crucial to driving sustained emissions reductions over the next decade.”

 

Commenting on concerns made in the report that the Government will use the Climate Action Plan as the final NECP, Ms. Devitt added, 

“If the Government’s Climate Action Plan is implemented in full and on time, it will deliver reductions of only 2% a year for the next ten years. This is a plan that fails to respond to the stark warnings of the IPCC SR15 published in October 2018, and it will fail to deliver on the commitments that Ireland made in 2015 at COP21 in Paris.”

“To limit warming well below 2ºC in line with science and equity, already requires Ireland sustaining cuts of well above 6% emissions reductions per year. Ireland should be using the NECP process as an opportunity to close our glaring emissions gap and pave the way for Ireland to move from laggard to leader at European level.”

The report comes as momentum grows for increasing the EU’s 2030 climate target. The European Parliament, the new European Commission President and a growing number of governments have called for upping the target from 40% to 55% greenhouse gas emissions cuts compared to 1990 levels.

Ms. Devitt added, 

“Ireland has indicated it will support greater ambition in relation to 2030, but has not yet explicitly committed to the higher 55% level. As a rich nation with high per capita emissions Ireland will need to be doing much more by 2030.” 

“At the upcoming UN Climate Conference in Madrid, Ireland must show its support for an increase in the EU 2030 target, and this should be reflected in the final NECP.”

“The Government is in a prime position to go beyond the Climate Action Plan and strengthen Departments’ sectoral plans. In particular, the Government will need to increase its contribution for energy efficiency in 2030, and indicate how it intends to address an expected increase in energy consumption over the next decade.”

 

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:

“Member States have one month left to improve their plans. It is crystal clear that the quality of these plans will weigh a lot in the EU’s ability to act on climate change in the next decade. They must set clear pathways that will allow the bloc to increase its climate target, shift away from fossil fuels and speed up the pace towards fully energy efficient and renewables-based economies.”

“The implementation of the recommendations of the European Commission is just the starting point. Member States must see the current EU’s 2030 climate and energy targets as a baseline that they must overachieve in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the scale needed to stay on track with the Paris Agreement.”

 

It is expected that EU energy ministers will discuss the state of play of the draft NECPs on the 4th of December. This will give member states an opportunity to commit to a higher level of ambition and translate this in their final plans, due by the end of 2019. 

In December 2018, the Government submitted a required draft NECP to the European Commission. Earlier this year, research published by the European Climate Foundation scored the Government’s draft NECP at 38 out of 100 - a "clear fail" according to the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition. 

 

Ends

Notes to editors:

  1. Stop Climate Chaos  is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.
  2. By the end of the year, all member states will have to submit their final NECPs detailing how they will contribute to the EU’s 2030 climate and energy targets for the period from 2021 to 2030. Plans will also have to include the extent to which they have implemented the European Commission’s recommendations issued this year on draft NECPs, and whether they plan to go beyond those recommendations. Ireland faces significant challenges in meeting EU 2030 reduction targets for greenhouse gases. Agriculture emissions are projected to increase with an expansion of animal numbers. Continued growth in emissions from the transport sector is projected in the short term, largely due to fuel consumption from diesel cars and diesel freight. Fossil fuels such as coal, peat and gas continue to be key contributors to emissions from the power generation sector. Progress in achieving targets is dependent on the level of implementation of current and future plans.
  3. The report published by CAN Europe covers 22 EU Member States. The end of editing was 15 November. Any developments after that date have not been taken into account. The report is available at this link
  4. The National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), required by the Governance Regulation adopted last year, aim to ensure EU Member States will collectively achieve the bloc’s climate and energy targets for 2030. The draft NECPs were due by end 2018. The European Commission issued its recommendations for improving the draft NECPs on 18 June. Recommendations to Ireland are available here. NECPs will have to be final by the end of this year. 

New report shows Irish agriculture is neither ‘climate-smart’ nor sustainable

July 18 2016, 03:01pm

Irish cattle less climate-efficient than European average and emissions per head up from 1990

Stop Climate Chaos and the Environmental Pillar have published a new report titled “Not So Green: Debunking the Myths around Irish Agriculture”. Drawing heavily on scientific evidence, the report challenges government and industry claims and shows that Ireland’s current agriculture and land-use policy is neither ‘climate-smart’ nor sustainable.

According to the study by the two NGO coalitions Ireland’s cattle-based agriculture is actually less efficient than the European average - in terms of the level of greenhouse gases emitted per calorie of bovine food produced - and methane produced per head of cattle has increased in Ireland since 1990.

Spokesperson for the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, Catherine Devitt, said:

“Based on detailed evidence, our analysis clearly shows that Ireland’s livestock agriculture is less efficient than claimed, and does not contribute to global food security. In fact, due to increasing emissions, the livestock sector is actively contributing to increased climate pollution and global food insecurity, putting the lives and livelihoods of some of the world’s poorest populations at risk. For reasons outlined in our report, meaningful efforts to address food security should aim to support small-scale producers.”

Allowing an increase in emissions, inevitable under current policy plans for expansion of the livestock sector, will mean that Ireland will fail to do its part in meeting its EU and Paris Agreement climate targets. The report outlines that intensive livestock production is an extremely climate, calorie and fertiliser intensive way of producing protein at scale. The extent to which the current model of production actually provides a sustainable livelihood for Irish farmers is also called into question.

Commenting on the biodiversity implications of Ireland’s proposed strategy to offset emissions from intensive agriculture by intensifying afforestation, Oonagh Duggan, Policy Officer with BirdWatch Ireland said:

“Both agriculture and forestry can be significant pressures and threats to birds and other biodiversity in Ireland. Environmental integrity is lacking in policies that are being being rolled out for these sectors. We need to re-align agricultural policy so that the environment is at its core. The claims of sustainability in agriculture that we hear about regularly are not substantiated by the reality for many upland and lowland farmland birds and other environmental or sustainability indicators”.

The report also identifies glaring inadequacies in the government’s claim that afforestation presents a viable option to offset increasing emissions from the agricultural sector. Land-based carbon sequestration cannot count as climate mitigation because it cannot guarantee the permanent carbon dioxide removal required to limit global warming. Continued coniferous afforestation and timber harvesting on the existing model also presents significant threats to Ireland’s biodiversity and water quality. Preserving Ireland’s carbon rich peatlands needs to be a far higher priority than afforestation; climate action requires a halt to peat extraction.

The new report just comes days before the European Commission publishes its proposed national shares of the EU’s 2030 target. The Fine Gael - led governments since 2011 have made a concerted lobbying effort to have Ireland’s 2030 target watered down based partly the special place agriculture has in the Irish economy. Stop Climate Chaos and the Environmental Pillar call on the European Commission to ensure that Land Use and Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) is dealt with in a separate pillar to ensure that all sectors including agriculture reduce emissions first rather than making unjustified use of offsets.

Stop Climate Chaos and the Environmental Pillar believe a change in direction in current agriculture and land-use policy is necessary and possible. However, a first step must be to accept the reality of the sector’s past and projected impacts on climate, food security and the environment. A re-aligned policy pathway is needed to plan for sustained year-on-year reductions in absolute emissions from agriculture, to avoid reliance on forestry for emissions offsets, to restore past damage to biodiversity and water quality, and to truly contribute to achieving food security for the world’s poorest.

The short 2 page summary is available to download here.

The full report is available to download here.

 

Dáil expects new Climate Action Bill as Bruton delivers annual progress report on climate change

Campaigners call on Minster to use EU policy process to ramp up domestic climate action 

December 18 2019, 02:30pm

Minister Bruton will come before the Dáil today (Wednesday 18th December) to deliver the Government’s Annual Transition on Ireland’s action on climate change. The statement is a requirement under the 2015 Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act. As part of this statement, the Minister is expected to provide an update on measures taken to reduce polluting emissions and report on progress made on national and EU commitments.

Minister Bruton is also expected to publish the new draft Climate Change (Amendment) Bill before the Dáil adjourns for the Christmas period, with a view to the Bill undergoing scrutiny in the Oireachtas in early 2020. The Bill will seek to enshrine into law a revised net zero target by 2050. Cliona Sharkey, policy advisor with Trócaire, commented,

“At the close of a year when it has been estimated that 22 million people will have been displaced by climate-related disasters, with this Bill the Oireachtas has the opportunity to finally bring accountability to climate change action in Ireland.”

“This will count for little however if the law that emerges falls short on integrity and justice. Legislators must ensure the Bill delivers a framework for action that aligns Ireland’s ambition with the latest IPCC science, and with the State’s fair share of the global effort to deliver on the Paris Agreement.”

Amendments to the legislation were recommended earlier this year by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, and committed to under the 2019 Climate Action Plan. Earlier this month, Oisin Coghlan, Stop Climate Chaos Coordinator, said that the draft Bill would be a key litmus test for the Government’s credibility on climate change. He added, 

"There are 7 key elements to a strong climate law, and we will be testing the Government's pre-Christmas draft against these benchmarks:

  1. A net-zero target for the whole economy in law
  2. A strong, independent, climate change advisory council to provide advice and monitor implementation
  3. Legally-binding 5-year carbon budgets (emissions targets) adopted by the Dáil
  4. Action plans that match the Carbon Budgets with policies and measures to deliver the necessary cuts
  5. Strong cross-government coordination of policy implementation with a central role for the Taoiseach's office
  6. A well-resourced parliamentary oversight committee
  7. An annual "accountability moment" for all relevant ministers in the full Dáil.”

Ahead of the Minister’s Statement, Stop Climate Chaos has published a detailed briefing which calls upon the Government to significantly ramp up climate ambition in the short term. The Coalition highlights that although there has been some positive gains in 2019 in the form of new proposed governance mechanisms for monitoring and ensuring climate action, the scale of emissions reductions proposed for the coming decade is wholly inadequate. Catherine Devitt, Head of Policy with Stop Climate Chaos commented,

“Earlier this month, an international climate change performance index ranked Ireland as one of the worst performers on climate action in the EU. Whilst we welcome the Minister’s commitment at COP25 to align with other states aiming for climate neutrality by 2050, the reality is that the state must be willing and ready to do more over the next decade.” 

As a requirement under the EU regulation on energy governance, Ireland must submit to the European Commission a ten year energy and climate plan at the end of this month, and a long-term strategy on January 1st. The latter will lay out how Ireland intends to decarbonise its economy over the next thirty years to deliver on the Paris Agreement. 

Ms. Devitt added,

“Stop Climate Chaos is urging Minister Bruton to use the EU mandated climate policy process as an opportunity to ratchet up its response to averting climate breakdown, close Ireland’s glaring emissions gap, and ensure that the long-term net zero goal is reflected in how we respond to climate change over the next decade.”

In their briefing ahead of the Annual Statement, the Coalition also emphasised the need for the Government to ensure coherence across all approaches to the transition to a zero emissions future. This comes in response to the Government’s recent initiative to commission a review of Ireland’s Energy Security and Sustainability and the policy statement, published just yesterday, setting out the Government’s position on the role of natural gas in the low carbon transition. 

Ms. Devitt concluded,

“Stop Climate Chaos calls on the Minister to publicise a draft of the Terms of Reference for this energy security review, and that a reasonable period of time be allowed for stakeholder feedback, which must be taken into account. This process will be essential given that a review of energy security is likely to give to climate and energy policy over the coming decades.”

Click here to read our full brief “Seizing the opportunity that now exists: Delivering on Ireland’s commitments to the Paris Agreement

 

ENDS

  1. In view of the delivery of the Annual Transition Statement, the Stop Climate Chaos coalition has prepared a briefing for TDs.
  2. The Transition Statement is scheduled to be presented to the Dáil by Minister Bruton at 8pm on Wednesday 18th December. The Statement is available at: https://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/climate-action/publications/Pages/Annual-Transition-Statement-2019.aspx 

National 'Ring the Changes' Day - This Saturday, 6th December

December 1 2008, 03:58pm

Plans are well underway in communities all across Ireland at 2pm on the 6th December to 'Ring the Changes' and herald in a new era of urgent action on climate change

In Dublin, Stop Climate Chaos supporters are gathering at Barnardo Square, on Dame Street opposite the Olympia Theatre at 2pm make some noise to Ring the Changes - Bells provided and all are welcome!

Find your local group around the country or start your own - the more the merrier!

Saturday December 6th marks the Global Action Day Against Climate Change coinciding with the United Nations Climate Talks COP14/MOP4) in Poznan, Poland, December 1st to 12th 2008. Events will be held around the world on Saturday December 6th to call on world leaders to take urgent action on climate change. In Ireland at 2pm people will get involved by ringing bells in their communities to 'Ring the Changes' and herald in a new era of urgent action on climate change.

Local Ring the Changes groups will be in the following areas...

Stop Climate Chaos Dublin Event - Barnardo Square, Dublin Castle,Dame Sreet, Dublin 2
Oxfam Shops, Nationwide
Irish Girl Guides, Newbridge and groups nationwide
Cork Quaker Eco Congregation Group, Patrick Street, Cork
TCD Environment Society, Dublin
Concern - Limerick
Concern - Trim
Concern - Cavan
Concern - Kerry
Church of Ireland Groups, Nationwide
Lucan, Co. Dublin
NASC, Immigrant Support Centre, Cork City.
Rathfarnham Church of Ireland
Kinsale, Co. Cork
Church Groups in Portlaoise
Patagonia, Exchequer Street, D2
Three Rock Churches Environmental Group, Dundrum
Rathmines, Dublin 6
Naas, Co. Kildare
Midleton Transition Group, Co. Cork
Boreenmanna, Cork
Laremorris, Co Mayo.
Oxfam Shops, Nationwide
St James Prebyterian Church and the Methodist Church both in Ballymoney Town
Friends of the Earth Fermanagh and Fermanagh Church's Forum, Ennikillen
Friends of the Earth Bannside, Coleraine
Whitehead Carbon Club, Whitehead
Killinchy and Killmood in County Down
Church of Ireland in Ballinamallard, County Fermanagh
Waterford
Clane, Co. Kildare
Tullamore, Co. Offaly
Clonakilty, Co. Cork
Clonmel,Co. Tipperary.
Navan, Co. Meath
Young Greens Society, NUI Maynooth
Dublin 14
Sacred Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty
Transition Initiative Bandon, Co. Cork
Clonakilty Methodist Church, Astna Square, Clonakilty
Galway
Silgo
Dowra, Co. Leitrim
Arklow, Co. Wicklow
TCD Environment Society, Dublin
Church of Ireland Groups, Nationwide
Howth, Co. Dublin
Friends Meeting House, Dublin 14
Dominican college, Dublin 9

New IIEA/RDS Report Confirms that Irish Agriculture and Forestry Policy Needs to be Re-Directed

July 15 2016, 02:31pm

Stop Climate Chaos
For immediate release
Friday 15 July 2016

New IIEA/RDS Report Confirms that Irish Agriculture and Forestry Policy Needs to be Re-Directed to be Climate Smart, Contribute to Global Food Security and Reduce Biodiversity and Water Pollution Impacts

Stop Climate Chaos has said that a new report on ‘climate smart agriculture’, published on Thursday by the IIEA and RDS, makes it clear that agriculture and livestock agriculture are major drivers of ‘dangerous’ climate change and that Irish exports do not contribute to solving global food insecurity.

Spokesperson for the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, Oisin Coghlan, said:

“The detailed evidence presented by the IIEA/RDS report can chart a new course for Ireland’s agriculture, forestry and land-use policy to produce more and healthier food with much reduced impacts on climate and the environment. It is unacceptable that Ireland’s agricultural emissions are projected to increase and remain high for decades to come.

“As this report finds, concentrating on efficiency gains and aiming for productivity increases are entirely insufficient policies for reducing Ireland’s very high agricultural emissions, increasing food security for the world’s poorest, or reversing past damage to biodiversity and water due to poor farming and forestry practices.

“The evidence provided strongly supports a re-alignment of policy toward reducing dependence on beef and dairy for export aligned with promoting diets away from foods with very high greenhouse gas emissions such as beef. At present, Ireland’s food exports are feeding wealthier consumers and are not helping feed the world’s poorest.”

Commenting upon the biodiversity implications highlighted in the report, Oonagh Duggan of Birdwatch Ireland, said:

"We welcome the recognition of the impact of increased afforestation on birds and biodiversity. If afforestation plans for Ireland are to have environmental integrity, then additional policies and action are needed not just to stem the losses of bird populations, biodiversity or water quality but to restore them."

Absolute reductions in agricultural emissions are needed year on year from now on if the sector is to play a fair part in meeting Ireland’s EU and Paris Agreement climate targets. The IIEA/RDS report states that relative efficiency gains can only reduce the sector’s total emissions if production of high-emissions food does not rise. However, Irish policy is to increase cattle numbers thereby increasing climate pollution due to methane from digestion and from the large amounts of nitrogen used to grow more grass. Climate smart policy requires a change in direction.

Stop Climate Chaos will publish its own analysis of Ireland’s agriculture and land-use policy in the coming days.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1) The IIEA / RDS report is online here.

2) About Stop Climate Chaos:

Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) is a coalition of 31 civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. It was launched in 2007 and is the largest network of organisations campaigning for action on climate change in Ireland. Its membership includes development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. The members of SCC are: Afri, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlámh, Community Workers’ Cooperative, Concern, Cultivate, Cyclist.ie, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Liberia Solidarity Group, Methodist Church of Ireland – Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Peoples Climate Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Sustain West Cork, Trócaire, An Taisce, VITA and V.O.I.C.E. Further information is available at: www.stopclimatechaos.ie.

Join the #GE2020 Candidate Hunt on Saturday!

It’s no secret that climate has been missing from the narrative of the general election.

January 30 2020, 01:22pm

So what should we do? We at the One Future campaign think it’s time we collectively made sure climate is a part of this election!


Take part in the One Future Candidate Hunt on Saturday February 1st and put climate on the agenda of #GE2020 candidates and voters alike.

What does it involve?

This is a climate-themed treasure hunt, with a list of challenges for you as an individual or as part of a group to complete and share on social media. Each team that takes part and sends photo evidence gets a prize, with silver, gold and platinum level prizes!

Download the challenge sheet here!

15208_OneFuture_CandidateHunt_r4

Let's spread the message!

Please also follow One Future on TwitterInstagram and Facebook to be kept up to date on the campaign!

We have made a short video which you can share on Twitter in order to encourage people to sign up to canvass and be part of the Candidate Hunt.


Convergence moments like this are key for any campaign that seeks to make a nationwide splash. If you're anything like most people right now in Ireland that care about climate change, you're likely frustrated that it hasn't been given the attention it deserves and has been downright ignored by a worryingly high level of our potential future leaders.

There's just over a week to go until polling day.

Every interaction counts. Let's do this.

The One Future Mobilisation Team

#CandidateHunt #GE2020 #ClimateVote2020 - hashtags to use on social media

 

P.S. Check out this great video about how to have constructive Climate Conversations!

P.P.S. You can find upcoming canvasses and One Future materials collection hubs on the map here.

Stakeholders accuse the Government of double standards on the Climate Bill

June 11 2013, 02:45pm


Stop Climate Chaos, a coalition of environmental, development and faith-based organisations, has today said the Government is operating double standards when it comes to the draft climate legislation. The Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht, tasked with consulting and reporting on the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill before it goes through the Houses of the Oireachtas, is failing to provide stakeholders and the public with an inclusive and transparent process.

Stop Climate Chaos, as well as some members of the Committee, has been calling for the publication of the submissions received by the Committee at the end of April, a request that has been flatly rejected by the Chair of the Committee. With the hearings due to be held in two weeks time, there is no indication of who will be invited to present to the Committee or what their proposals are.

Ciara Kirrane of Trócaire said 'We understood that the Joint Committee was eager and enthusiastic to work on the Climate Bill, that they looked forward to engaging with a range of stakeholders and having a real impact on the legislation. However, the impression we are now getting is very different, as if meaningful debate on the Bill is no longer a goal of the Committee. This process lacks any transparency and is without credibility.'

David Healy of Oxfam said 'Making the submissions publicly available would allow a greater level of engagement and scrutiny by interested parties and the public. The whole point of this process is to encourage positive and fruitful dialogue with the range of views that exist on this issue across society. It is an opportunity to build consensus, understanding and a sense of participation.'

Last Friday, the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government launched a public consultation on the Aarhus Convention. The Convention is about ensuring meaningful public participation in environmental decision-making. Judith Turbyne of Progressio said 'In his statement Minister Hogan recognised the role the public, including environmental NGOs, can play in environmental protection and decision-making. If the precedent being set by the current process is anything to go by, the prospects for the implementation of Aarhus are dismal'.

Stop Climate Chaos also point to the lack of interest the Government has shown in listening to public opinion on climate legislation to date. Last year 623 citizens responded to a public consultation, over 80% of whom felt it was very important to set statutory emission reduction targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050. No such targets have been included in the draft legislation, confirming what Stop Climate Chaos say is a 'disregard for peoples' views on how to tackle the climate crisis'.

 

Climate Coalition publishes priorities for proposed Energy Security Review

Next Government must ensure Review addresses Ireland’s climate obligations

March 22 2020, 08:00am

Ireland’s largest climate coalition, Stop Climate Chaos, has published a Terms of Reference outlining what they believe must be addressed by the next Government in the energy security review promised by the outgoing Government in late 2019. The Terms of Reference is supported by a detailed, background technical analysis which sets out the rationale underpinning the key priorities identified as being crucial to the objectives of the review.

The review into the security and sustainability of Ireland’s energy supply was announced in late 2019, by the Minister with responsibility for Climate Action, Richard Bruton following public outcry over the Shannon LNG project. Many environmental organisations expressed a concern that the Review, as announced, was established to justify the Government’s support for the LNG terminal. The Irish Government confirmed support for the fracked gas import facility in Shannon without a sustainability or climate assessment of the project. The project has also been challenged in the High Court which referred the case to the European Court of Justice. The Minister stated before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action last December that independent consultants would be appointed following a public procurement exercise and that the full terms of reference for the technical analysis underpinning the review would be finalised in early 2020. Due to the General Election earlier this year, it is unclear what stage this procurement process has reached.

In the absence of a transparent process by which this Review will be conducted that facilitates public engagement, Stop Climate Chaos commissioned an independent external expert to draw up a Terms of Reference that sets out five key priority objectives that the Review must address. The Review must:

  1. Undertake an impartial and transparent assessment of Ireland’s energy security and sustainability through an appointed independent steering group, drawing on relevant technical analysis and public consultation.
  2. Examine and make recommendations on how Ireland as an isolated grid with declining indigenous fossil fuel resources achieve full decarbonisation by 2050 at the latest while remaining energy secure.
  3. Examine and make recommendations regarding the additional renewable energy resources, energy storage, distribution and interconnection infrastructure that will be required to ensure Ireland is energy secure as we move towards 100% renewable electricity, and decarbonisation of all other sectors.
  4. Examine and make recommendations on how to manage a phase-out of natural gas in order to avoid stranded assets while ensuring security of gas supply and preventing further carbon lock-in along with supply disruption.
  5. Examine the primary risks and challenges for Ireland’s energy security and sustainability in the short, medium and long-term and how relevant state actors should respond accordingly.

In light of the direction this Review is likely to give to climate and energy policy and investment over the coming decade, the Coalition has called on the next Government to progress with commissioning the Review, and to ensure that it sets out exactly what role there will be for fossil fuels in Ireland’s energy mix as we transition to a zero carbon future before 2050.

Sadhbh O’Neill, policy advisor with the Stop Climate Chaos, commented, 

“As we begin a decade in which global emissions must decrease by half if the 1.5°C limit set out in the Paris Agreement is to remain viable, there is no scientific justification for  investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure. This Review should set the energy and climate agenda for Ireland for the coming decades, as we transition to a zero carbon future. It needs to show how we can decarbonise our economy whilst keeping the lights on, by ensuring sufficient interconnection and energy storage infrastructure.”

“It is imperative that the Review must be carried out in a truly independent manner, based on evidence and best practice. It is also essential that the Review addresses the twin priorities of achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, whilst maximising the sustainability of Ireland’s energy system to ensure that ‘the lights stay on’. We need to see a review which will seek to fully maximise energy efficiency and renewable energy, interconnection, battery storage and smart technologies.”

 

The Coalition also called for a public consultation process to feed into the review process. Ms. O’Neill emphasised, 

“We are also calling for a broad public consultation on the Review, with a reasonable period of time allowed for interested stakeholders to provide feedback, given the importance of the Terms of Reference in guiding the whole Review process.”

“Once finalised, the Terms of Reference, the body assigned with conducting the review, and the methodology should be made public on the Department of Climate Action website.”

 

ENDS

Notes to Editors: 

  1. The published Terms of Reference for the Energy Security and Sustainability Review is available here. A detailed background analysis document to guide the Terms of Reference is available here
  2. Stop Climate Chaos  is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.

Naughten's climate plan a moral and legal failure

21 recommendations to fix it

April 26 2017, 09:57am

Naughten's climate plan a moral and legal failure
Campaigners publish 21 recommendations to fix it

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition, together with the Environmental Pillar, has published a damning critique of the Government's draft climate change plan. Having studied the plan in detail, the two coalitions, which include aid agencies such as Trocaire and Christian Aid and environmental organizations such as Friends of the Earth and An Taisce, conclude it fails to fulfill Ireland's international obligations or the Government's legal obligations under the climate law passed in 2015. They are calling on Minister Naughten to come back with a new plan, and they make 21 recommendations to ensure a revised plan is fit for purpose. A six week public consultation on the draft plan closes today. Under the climate law, Minister Naughten has until 10th June to submit a final plan to Government.

Catherine Devitt of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, policy coordinator for Stop Climate Chaos, commented

"The draft plan is tinkering when we need transformation. "At the Paris climate summit, Enda Kenny promised Ireland was "determined to play its part" but this plan amounts to Ireland looking for a free ride in the face of the greatest challenge humanity faces. "It is planning for failure, proposing nothing like enough action to meet our 2020, 2030 our 2050 targets. No one is asking Ireland to do more than its fair share to tackle climate change but we are asking for Ireland do its fair share."

Professor John Sweeney, who acted as rapporteur for the Oireachtas Committee that worked on the Climate Act, commented "This is a devastating critique of the Government's draft climate plan, exposing its weaknesses in a forensic manner. What's most striking is the way in which the Climate and Low Carbon Development Bill has been sidestepped. It would seem that the explicit provisions in the Bill have been ignored and this may open up all sorts of implications if the draft is not corrected along the lines suggested in this submission."

Eamonn Meehan, Executive Director of Trocaire, said: "The impacts of climate change are already having a serious impact on people in the developing world. The window of opportunity to tackle this crisis is rapidly closing. Ireland needs a strong national climate action plan that takes into account our responsibilities not only to ourselves but to the world’s poorest people. The consequences of inaction would be devastating.”

Summary briefing here: http://bit.ly/SCC-NMPbriefing

Full submission here: http://bit.ly/SCC-NMPsubmission

Key points include:

  • The plan is 5 years late, the last one expired at the end of 2012.
  • The Government's document isn't really a plan at all, it reads more like a discussion document, and picks no new measures to reduce emissions.
  • Irish emissions are rising and, according to the EPA, with current policies they will continue to rise.
  • Our climate targets require a 20% cut in emissions by 2020, a 30% cut by 2030 and an 80% but by 2050.
  • To meet the Government's own national objective for 2050:
    • combined emissions from everything bar agriculture have to decrease by 5% a year, every year from now to 2050.
    • emissions from agriculture will have to be at least halved from now to 2050
  • Our total carbon budget for the period 2016-2050 will be used up by 2030 if emissions continue on their current path.
  • Ireland faces financial penalties if we fail to cut emissions of:
    • up to €600 million by 2020 (22% of projected net fiscal space in 2020)
    • between €3bn and €6bn by 2030 (during the Troika years current expenditure fell by €4.6bn)

ENDS

Climate coalition express concern over vague climate proposals in Framework document

All potential government parties must unite behind the science and act decisively across all sectors to reduce Ireland's climate impact

April 15 2020, 07:41pm

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has today (15th April) welcomed the acknowledgement in the joint Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael framework document that climate change is an existential crisis which requires at least the same determination as efforts to tackle Covid-19. However, the Coalition expressed disappointment and concern that the ten climate action proposals put forward in the framework did not reflect an adequate response to the climate emergency declared by the last Dáil, and if implemented through the Programme for Government, will not help deliver faster and fairer climate action in a decade where ambitious climate action is critical for the future of the planet. 

The framework document will form the basis for a Programme for Government with other smaller parties and groups of independents and includes a proposal for a New Green Deal that puts climate action as one of the ten key ‘missions’. In addition to domestic climate action, the parties propose action on biodiversity alongside support for the EU Green Deal, which will raise ambition for climate action across all member states. 

On the proposals to setting new carbon reduction targets and implement a roadmap for early and significant action, Sadhbh O’Neill, policy advisor with the Coalition commented, 

“Whilst the proposals to set new carbon reduction targets and to identify and implement early and significant climate actions are welcomed, we are concerned that major parties are still not uniting behind the science by proposing more specific annual cuts in emissions and sectoral-specific proposals. To be in line with the science and our climate obligations, the Programme for Government must deliver emissions reductions that average at least 8% a year over its lifetime.”

She also added, 

‘If the next Government is to unite behind the science, climate policies must be implemented at scale and with the necessary urgency in order to close Ireland’s glaring emissions gap. It is disappointing therefore, that Ireland’s obligations to the Paris Agreement and our responsibility to do our fair share of the global effort to avert a planetary crisis were not more signalled explicitly in the framework. This is a missed opportunity for both parties to show their seriousness and commitment to tackling the climate crisis. We need to see new ideas, new policies and new legal instruments to effect real system change over the lifetime of the next government.”

“The Programme for Government must enshrine any new targets into law to ensure policy coherence across the Government. We have been reaching out to all party leaders to demand a new climate bill to address the weaknesses in current legislation which were highlighted in the report of the all-party Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action in its report of March 2019. At a minimum, these recommendations from the all-party committee should be implemented to build on the weaknesses of the outgoing Government’s 2019 Climate Action Plan. Parties entering into Government negotiations must insist that a new, strengthened climate law be passed by the Dáil within 100 days of the formation of a Government”. 

 

On proposals to “ensure that the recovery at domestic and European levels is carried out through a green lens”, the Coalition emphasised that recovery plans delivered through the Green New Deal must be climate proofed. The Coalition added, 

“Using capital spending to “reignite and renew” the economy must not undermine emissions reductions, or contradict Ireland’s climate obligations. Any stimulus plans that are envisaged in the next Programme for Government, if carefully designed and targeted, can place Ireland on a surer path to implementing the Paris Agreement. The opportunity to build a secure, sustainable and equitable future must not be lost or undermined by a short-sighted vision of what economic recovery looks like.” 

Earlier last week, the Coalition wrote to all party leaders urging them to learn from the Covid-19 experience of implementing science-based policies and to deliver a coherent, all of government recovery plan that is consistent with Ireland’s climate obligations:

“We want to see investments in infrastructure that harness the potential for job creation and emissions reduction in renewable energy, retrofitting and public transport as priorities. And all recovery plans and projects must be fully assessed for their climate impacts. The opportunity is here now to ‘green’ those sectors, including construction and agriculture, that are in danger of returning to Business as Usual growth rates that drive up emissions and cement Ireland’s damaging reputation as a climate laggard.”

 

On the proposal to address the biodiversity crisis, Oonagh Duggan, Assistant Head of Advocacy at BirdWatch Ireland which is a member of the Stop Climate Chaos, welcomed the commitment to take immediate action to protect ecosystems on land and at sea, as well as confirmation of Dáil commitment to establish a Citizens’ Assembly on biodiversity loss. Ms. Duggan commented, 

“The Programme for Government that may follow from this framework represents a real and timely opportunity to fully integrate biodiversity and climate goals into policies on agriculture, forestry, fisheries, housing, health, transport and energy so that we can more fully reap societal benefits from these sectors.”

 

As negotiations around Government formation continue, the Coalition emphasised that it will be essential that the ten ‘missions’ are fully expanded upon in greater detail and focus. To put Ireland on track to achieving its climate obligations, expansion of these proposals would need to include, at the very least: 

  • A new and strengthened climate law to be passed by the Dáil within 100 days of the formation of a Government.
  • The phasing out fossil fuels and the implementation of a moratorium on all new fossil fuel infrastructure and LNG terminals.
  • Setting a new 2030 target to be operationalised with 5 year carbon budgets to put Ireland on track to meeting its EU and Paris Agreement obligations and to avoid the mounting costs of non-compliance. 
  • Ensuring that all major capital expenditure plans are assessed for their potential climate impacts including existing proposals under the National Development Plan/ Project Ireland 2040. 
  • Putting the agriculture and land-use sector on a pathway to diversification, localised food production, nature conservation, improved water quality and lower emissions. 

Ends

  1. The Coalition recently sent a Letter to all party leaders emphasizing three key principles which should underpin the policy framework document put forward by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. The Letter is available here: https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/assets/files/pdf/letter_ensuring_the_programme_for_government_delivers_a_fair_recovery_with_faster_climate_actionfv.pdf
  2. Stop Climate Chaos is actively engaging with social partners on the specific elements of a Green New Deal framework for Ireland which would put people and planet at the centre of all recovery plans and ensure that the needs of communities and workers affected by the transition to a zero carbon future are met in a just transition. 

Stop Climate Chaos asks "Just how green is Ireland?"

March 18 2008, 03:08pm


Coalition launches campaign leaflet for Patrick's Day

How Green is Ireland CoverStop Climate Chaos, a coalition of development, environment, youth and faith based organisations, is sending every TD a copy of its new campaign leaflet which graphically illustrates Ireland's shocking pollution record. As our public representatives board the shamrock express this St Patrick's week "So, Just How Green Is Ireland?" highlights how far we have to go to do our fair share to prevent runaway climate change.

Click here to open a flash animation version of the leaflet.

Click here to download a pdf version of the leaflet.

So, just how green is Ireland?

We're so far from green that, per person, we're the sixth most polluting country in the industrialised world.

We're so far from green that if the rest of the world polluted like us, we would need three planet Earths to sustain us. The campaign leaflet shows that Ireland emits more climate-changing pollution per person than China, India and Sweden put together, and is not living up to its green image.

We're so far from green that while poor countries like Malawi suffer the worst effects of climate change, each of us produces100 times more carbon emissions that the average African.

Gavin Harte, a Stop Climate Chaos spokesperson, said: "Unless Ireland does its fair share to cut pollution the green image which government ministers present when flying around the world for St. Patrick's Day will be as genuine as a plastic shamrock.

There is no way out of Ireland's emissions reductions. By 2050 each of us, globally, must emit no more than two tonnes of climate-changing pollution annually if we are to stop the climate becoming dangerously unstable."

Right now each person in Ireland emits 17 tonnes a year.

The Swedes emit 7.4 tonnes per person per year. The Chinese emit 3.9 tonnes, the Indians 1.6. As for the Malawians? They don't even emit one tonne each a year.

Dr. David McNair, Policy and Advocacy Officer for Christian Aid Ireland said: "The Government has a clear moral responsibility to limit greenhouse gas emissions immediately and to ensure that the next international agreement gives the poor the means to cope with the effects of climate change."

Stop Climate Chaos believes Ireland has yet to live up to this responsibility. To press for action each leaflet has a postcard addressed to the Taoiseach calling for legislation to enshrine his government's commitment to reduce Ireland's emissions by 3% a year in law. The postcard also urges Bertie Ahern to make sure the next Budget puts a price on carbon across the whole economy and that developing countries receive sufficient, accessible and additional finance to enable them to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The public can get copies of the leaflets from Stop Climate Chaos, 9 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2, by calling 01-639 4653 or emailing info@stopclimatechaos.ie.

What contribution can agriculture make to climate action?

Join us at our next webinar at 5pm on Thursday 21st May to find out.

May 15 2020, 05:39pm

Ireland needs the agriculture sector to make a real contribution to emissions reduction if we are going to do anything like our fair share to contain climate breakdown and fulfil the Paris Agreement.

But how much? And how? This debate can be fraught with confusing scientific information and no little spinning. Well, we're here to try and untangle it for you.

Ag_Webinar_StaticJoin us for our next webinar on Thursday 21st May at 5pm, where we'll be joined by our policy expert Sadhbh O'Neill to explain what's going on, along with Oonagh Duggan of BirdWatch Ireland and Ailbhe Gerrard of Brookfield Farm.

Register here to get the webinar link.

The news is full of the need for at least 7% a year emissions reductionsBut what does that actually mean for the agriculture sector and land-use more generally? Does it necessarily mean a herd reduction? And what about the role that forestry, hedgerows and soils can make in absorbing carbon? Sadhbh will take us through the science, and discuss some of the ways that agricultural emissions can be reduced. Oonagh will discuss the role that agriculture plays in biodiversity, and Ailbhe will talk about what it means to earn a livelihood from the landand how climate policy needs to contribute to rural development.

This is a chance to sit back, listen in and skill up so that when we get in touch with politicians again, we are ready.

Register here to get the webinar link

As always, I hope that you and yours are safe,

See you on Thursday!

In the shelter of each other people survive

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine

Áine,
Mobilization Coordinator
Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

P.S. Agriculture will be a key part of any Programme for Government and that must include doing its fair share to contain climate breakdown and protect nature and wildlife. Book now for this webinar on Thursday at 5pm to find out more.

Campaigners urge Citizens' Assembly to shake up Irish climate policy

August 11 2017, 12:28pm

Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

For immediate release

11 August 2017

Campaigners urge Citizens' Assembly to shake up Irish climate policy

Joint submission proposes 18 practical actions to tackle climate change

51 organizations have today called on the Citizens’ Assembly to shake up Irish climate policy. In a joint submission to the Assembly the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition and the Environmental Pillar have made 18 practical recommendations that would begin to take Ireland from being “a laggard to a leader” on climate action, according to the two civil society coalitions. The Citizens’ Assembly consultation on “How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change” closes today, Friday, at 5pm. The Assembly will discuss climate change when it next meets on September 30th and, after a second weekend of debate, will vote on recommendations to Government on November 5th.

Speaking of behalf of the two coalitions, Oisín Coghlan said:

“We’re excited that the Citizens’ Assembly is going to debate climate action. For too long Irish climate policy
has been marked by dithering and delay. The Citizens’ Assembly has already shown itself capable of sophisticated analysis and radical recommendations. We hope they will now shake up Irish climate policy in the same way.

“The Oireachtas has asked the Assembly how can Ireland be a leader in tackling climate change. In fact, Ireland has been a laggard not a leader. Our emissions are rising not falling and we are going to miss our 2020 targets. So far, our political leaders have failed us on climate change. The Assembly now has the opportunity to mandate our politicians to act urgently and decisively to cut climate pollution."

In their joint submission the Stop Climate Chaos coalition and the Environmental Pillar make 18 practical recommendations that would (1) bring the years of inaction to an end, (2) move Ireland to the level of most of our EU partners, and (3) take a leadership role in certain areas, notwithstanding our poor record to date. They range across all sectors of the economy and society: energy, buildings, transport and agriculture.

A) Longstanding recommendations that would help Ireland meet its existing targets

1. Confirm now that Ireland will stop burning peat for electricity in 2020.

2. Confirm now that Ireland will stop burning coal for electricity in 2022.

3. Realign investment to achieve the goals of the 2009 Smarter Travel Policy.

4. Mobilize significant funds to offer financing options and project management support to households to upgrade the energy performance of their homes.

B) Best practice from other countries that would kick-start a real transformation

5. Where a developer is proposing a renewable energy project, make it compulsory that they offer 20% of the ownership to the local community through reasonably priced shares.

6. Kick-start community ownership of renewable energy by introducing a fair payment for solar electricity.

7. Decide now that from 2020 all new buildings built in Ireland will produce minimal carbon pollution through energy efficiency measures.

8. Seek to restore Ireland’s peatlands as a means of emissions reduction and carbon storage and to assist in important biodiversity protection and flood protection.

9. The Government should make regular contributions to the UN Green Climate Fund that are in line with Ireland's responsibility for climate change.

C) Areas where Ireland could take a global leadership role

10. 50% of the subsidy for peat-firing of power stations should be ring-fenced in a new ‘Just Transition Fund'.

11. The Oireachtas should pass the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill to divest the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund from fossil fuels as soon as possible.

12. Encourage and support a transition to a more–plant based diet for the sake both of our health and of the climate.

13. Support farmers to gradually transition away from intensive meat and dairy production.

14. End all new oil and gas exploration in Irish waters.

D) Steps that would improve climate policy and action in future

15. Commit Ireland to doing our fair share to meet the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement and update Ireland’s national policy to reflect this.

16. Push the EU to revise and strengthen its targets in light of the Paris Agreement, in line with science and equity.

17. Adopt 5-year climate action plans that contain specific 5-year emissions reduction targets in line with the Government's 2050 transition objective.

18. Ensure decisions taken on major national policies, such as capital investment and spatial planning, align with Ireland’s emission reduction commitments.

ENDS

For more information or to arrange interviews contact Jerry Mac Evilly, Policy Coordinator, the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition at jerry@stopclimatechaos.ie 

Notes for the Editor

  • The joint Stop Climate Chaos Coalition - Environmental Pillar submission is online here: https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/download/pdf/stop_climate_chaos_environmental_pillar_citizens_assembly_submission_2017.pdf
  • All the submissions to the Citizens' Assembly are being published on the Assembly website here: https://www.citizensassembly.ie/en/Submissions/How-the-State-can-make-Ireland-a-leader-in-tackling-climate-change/Submissions-Received/
  • Stop Climate Chaos is a coalition of civil society organisations campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The 33 members include development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations: Afri, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlámh, Community Work Ireland, Concern Worldwide, Cultivate, Cyclist.ie, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Fossil Free TCD, Gorta, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre, Liberia Solidarity Group, Methodist Church of Ireland – Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group, National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Peoples Climate Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Tearfund Ireland, Trócaire, An Taisce, Vita, VOICE, Young Friends of the Earth.
  • The Environmental Pillar is a national social partner, comprising 26 national environmental organisations.  It works to promote the protection and enhancement of the environment, together with the creation of a viable economy and a just society, without compromising the viability of the planet on which we live for current and future generations of all species and ecosystems. The 26 members are: An Taisce, Bat Conservation Ireland, BirdWatch Ireland, Centre for Environmental Living and Training, Cloughjordan Ecovillage, CoastWatch, Coomhola Salmon Trust, ECO-UNESCO, FEASTA, Forest Friends, Friends of the Earth, Global Action Plan, Gluaiseacht, Good Energies Alliance, Green Economy Foundation, Irish Wildlife Trust, Hedge Laying Association of Ireland, Irish Peatland Conservation Council, Irish Seed Savers Association, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Native Woodland Trust, Sonairte, Sustainable Ireland Cooperative (Cultivate), The Organic Centre, VOICE, Zero Waste Alliance.

 

PfG Your questions answered

July 1 2020, 02:21pm

In advance of our webinar on the Programme for Government (June 23rd), we asked our supporters to submit questions about the proposed Programme that we could put to our panellists. We received over 300 questions, which were grouped into topics that then formed the basis of our webinar discussion. Unfortunately, we didn’t get time during the webinar to address every question or topic, but here is a flavour of what issues did come up, and what was particularly important for our supporters to have more information on. 

 

Most of our supporters wanted to know more about the 7% greenhouse gas emissions figure - what was actually committed to in the Programme for Government and what this meant for emissions reductions over the lifetime of the incoming Government and beyond to 2030.  Have a listen to the useful insights from Dr. Hannah Daly from University College Cork on the emissions implications of what is being proposed. You might like to revisit this blog from Friends of the Earth on “Seven things you should know about the 7% emissions reduction rate everyone is talking about”.

 

Questions were raised in relation to commitments on ending support for LNG infrastructure and the banning of importing fracked gas. Other concerns related to the carbon tax proposals and measures to ensure the protection of people who are experiencing energy poverty, or who are locked into having to use fossil fuels to heat their homes and/or for transport. Some of our supporters felt that the Programme failed to deliver measures to address Ireland’s housing crisis. During the webinar, Ciara Murphy from the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice gave her perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of what is being proposed to ensure broader social justice priorities are achieved, including the provision of affordable and accessible housing. 

 

Many of you asked about how political accountability can be ensured over the lifetime of the new Government to guarantee delivery of the climate measures proposed. Sadhbh O’Neill, policy advisor with Stop Climate Chaos, pointed to the importance of the provisions included in the Programme for a strengthened robust governance framework to ensure transparency and accountability, and lock in sustained climate action. A new climate change amendment bill is proposed to be introduced into the Dáil within 100 days, which was a key demand of the One Future campaign coordinated by Stop Climate Chaos in advance of the General Election. 

 

Damien O’Tuama of the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network addressed a small number of questions related to what’s being proposed on cycling and active travel infrastructure, and sustainable transport more generally. Stop Climate Chaos welcomed the measures in the Programme on sustainable transport. Interestingly, we did not receive any questions related to Ireland’s responsibilities to helping poorer countries adapt to a changing climate. During the webinar, Niamh Garvey of Trócaire outlined how commitments on climate finance contained within the Programme for Government were particularly weak and that further clarification was required from the incoming Government. 

 

Finally, a number of questions were also submitted in relation to what the Programme has to say on reducing emissions from the agriculture and land use sector, and helping to protect and restore Ireland’s biodiversity. Unfortunately, we didn’t get time during the webinar to discuss commitments on agriculture, but you might like to revisit our webinar on “What contribution Irish agriculture can make to climate action” and read our latest briefing on the topic “Agricultural emissions in Irish climate change mitigation policy: Science and Solutions

 

A key conclusion from the webinar was that the now vibrant and diverse climate movement, including the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition and its members, must continue to play a vital role in ensuring that the climate commitments made in the Programme for Government are delivered upon on-time and in full, whilst continuing to advocate for more transformative climate action over the next five years.

Stop Climate Chaos Responds to IPCC Report

September 27 2013, 10:00am

-Ireland's leading campaigners on climate change give reaction to major international report -

Ireland will face major economic and demographic upheaval unless the Government acts now to introduce ambitious climate laws. That's according to Stop Climate Chaos (SCC), a coalition of 28 civil society organisations.

SCC was responding today (27.09.13) to the publication of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body for the assessment of climate change. The report was prepared by over 800 leading scientists from 39 different countries over the past two years.

According to SCC, the findings of the report could spell chaos for Ireland's economy.

"We often downplay the risks from climate change in Ireland because we enjoy a temperate climate, we're a small island nation, and we feel we won't be directly affected," said Oisín Coghlan, a spokesperson for SCC. "But the truth is that, unless our Government takes immediate steps to address climate change, not only will the environment in Ireland suffer, but so too will our economy and our quality of life.

"If climate change continues unchecked, the weather in Ireland will become more volatile. Extremes of heat and cold - such as we experienced in 2010 and 2011 - would be much more frequent. Our summers would be warmer, but our autumns would be wetter, and floods would be commonplace.

"The consequences for major economic sectors - such as agriculture and food production - would be huge. We have a very open, export-led economy, which is highly vulnerable to global factors. Runaway climate change would will cause major disruption to world trade and the global economy, and Ireland would be affected as a result.

"In the parts of the world most affected by climate change - for example, low-lying states like Bangladesh - there will be major movements of people. The phenomenon of 'climate refugees' will grow, and Ireland - with its temperate climate - is likely to be viewed as a safe haven. So, in addition to the impact on our economy of climate change disruption in other parts of the world, we could also be looking at unprecedented levels of migration, and at supporting a larger population here."

Mr. Coghlan called on the Government to strengthen its proposed climate legislation in response to the IPCC report.

"The Government published Heads of a new Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill earlier this year. In advancing this legislation, they must ensure there are clear targets for emissions reductions and provision for a properly independent committee to oversee progress. Otherwise, any new law will only be paying lip-service to tackling climate change."

Public Briefing at Lunchtime Today

Stop Climate Chaos is holding a public briefing on the IPCC report at 1pm today in the Science Gallery in Dublin. Ireland's leading climate scientist, Professor John Sweeney, will address the event.

Speaking in advance, Professor Sweeney said: "The IPCC report is the most comprehensive, authoritative and scrutinised report on climate change that has ever been written. Scientists are now as positive that climate change is real and caused by humans as they are that smoking causes cancer.

"The report shows that global surface temperatures have risen by almost a degree in the last century. In the 250 years since the Industrial Revolution, mankind had emitted half a trillion tonnes of carbon by burning fossil fuels - a process that has caused atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to rise by 40 per cent. We are on track to release another half trillion tonnes in the next few decades, and this would result in a major jump in global temperatures.

"The focus must now be on ensuring comprehensive government action that averts the worst impacts of climate change. Governments throughout the world must urgently implement plans to reduce emissions, encourage clean energy and discourage the use of fossil fuels."

Opportunities for Ireland

"It is also important to stress that there is an opportunity for Ireland here," added Professor Sweeney. "We should incentivise private investment in a low-carbon economy and encourage our highly-skilled and entrepreneurial tech sector to focus on developing alternatives to fossil fuels.

"Our current depressed economic state presents a chance to rebuild in a more sustainable way. We are a small, nimble country that can react quickly, take advantage of opportunities and position ourselves to make sure we're not a big loser because of climate change. We have the talent and the potential to become leaders in a new, low-carbon industrial revolution, powered by innovative technologies."

Further information about the public briefing on the IPCC report, which is taking place at the Science Gallery from 1pm to 2pm today, is available at www.stopclimatechaos.ie. The electricity needed for the briefing will be generated by a group of cyclists in the Science Gallery, who will 'pedal power' the event using a six-bicycle human power station.

Full details of the IPCC report released today are available at: www.ipcc.ch

 

Notes to Editors:
The report published in Stockholm this morning is the first part of the IPCC's fifth assessment report. It is a 22-page summary for policymakers, focused on the physical science aspects of climate change. Follow-up reports on impacts, adaptation and mitigation are due next year.

About Stop Climate Chaos
Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) is a coalition of 28 civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. It was launched in 2007 and is the largest network of organisations campaigning for action on climate change in Ireland. Its membership includes development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. The members of SCC are: Afri, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlámh, Community Workers' Cooperative, Concern, Cultivate, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Liberia Solidarity Group, Methodist Church of Ireland - Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Progressio Ireland, Sustain West Cork, Trócaire, An Taisce, VITA and V.O.I.C.E. Further information is available at: www.stopclimatechaos.ie.

Social Media
- Follow SCC on Twitter @SCC_Ireland and on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/stopclimatechaosireland.
- The Twitter hashtag for the publication of the IPCC report this coming Friday is #IPCCAR5.

 

Watch it Back

Two webinars on Irish Climate Law

October 2 2020, 09:00am

We saw the power of legislation to hold the Government to account in August when the Supreme Court struck down the Government’s hopelessly inadequate 2017 climate action plan because it didn’t comply with the provisions of the 2015 Climate Action Act. That 2015 law was the result of 8 years of campaigning by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition.

Now, at our urging, the Government parties have promised to publish a new, stronger climate law within the first 100 days of their administration, by 5th October. Ahead of this milestone, we hosted two webinars to delve into Irish climate law and legislation. 

Our first webinar examined that Supreme Court judgement from August - and what it means for climate action in Ireland. We were delighted to be joined by Dr. Andrew Jackson, on behalf of the Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) legal team, who played a leading role in the Climate Case Ireland legal action which led to the Supreme Court Judgement.  We also heard from Sadhbh O’Neill, Stop Climate Chaos Policy Coordinator, who contributed to the Climate Case as a member of FIE. The webinar examined the groundbreaking nature of this case - noting that Ireland is one of only two countries to see a successful challenge to government climate policy in the courts. Dr Jackson also provided a fascinating insight into how the case was successfully argued, and commented on what should be included in Ireland’s new climate law. You can watch a recording of the webinar here.


 

Our second webinar focused on what should be in Ireland’s new climate law and explored where the law fits in the broader push for faster and fairer climate action. Speakers included Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth and  Sadhbh O’Neill, Stop Climate Chaos Policy Coordinator. We were also delighted to welcome Dr Diarmuid Torney as a guest speaker. An associate professor at the DCU School of Law and Government, Dr Torney specialises in climate governance and global climate politics. He has written about Ireland’s Climate Law in the Irish Times and contributed to the 2017 Citizens' Assembly as an expert adviser. You can watch this second webinar here.

Ireland taking a shameful approach to today's EU climate talks

Government talks climate leadership at home but pushes for loopholes in Brussels deal 

October 13 2017, 10:58am

Ireland’s two-faced game on climate change in the spotlight as EU Environment Ministers meet

Government talks climate leadership at home but pushes for loopholes in Brussels deal 

Irish Times coverage here
Our letter to Minister Naughten here
EU Council live webcast here

As Minister Naughten meets with other Environment Ministers today (13th October 2017) to discuss key EU climate change legislation, the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has called the Government’s approach to EU negotiations shameful and hypocritical. Ireland has pushed for the inclusion of several loopholes in proposed legislation concerning reductions in polluting emissions to be made by EU Member States between 2021 and 2030. Staggeringly these weak provisions as currently proposed would see Ireland’s required efforts going from a 10% additional reduction in emissions to just 1%. This embarrassing result has been noted by experts in Brussels, serving to further damage Ireland’s reputation.

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has written to Minister Naughten this week to express their alarm at Ireland’s approach and has highlighted a range of risks at both Irish and EU-level associated with the inclusion of such loopholes.

Professor John Sweeney of Maynooth University commented:

The Government’s focus on loopholes to avoid actual emissions cuts will only increase Ireland’s overall 2050 mitigation challenge, as well as drive up the financial, political and social costs of severe climate impacts and persistent non-compliance. The text as it currently stands will also be a missed opportunity for Ireland to reap the many co-benefits of reduced emissions, such as improved soil, lower health costs and enhanced air quality.”

 Jennifer Higgins, policy and advocacy advisor at Christian Aid Ireland, commented: 

The Government’s efforts to water down this climate legislation flies in the face of its international climate obligations. Ireland’s strong support for a weak EU climate law sits in stark contrast to the Taoiseach’s commitment to tackle climate change through the Paris Agreement. The Government’s strong lobby for loopholes and concessions, which would allow it to avoid action, reveals the hypocrisy of talk at home of becoming ‘a leader in tackling climate change’.

The 2015 Paris Agreement marked a major step in global efforts to tackle climate change, committing countries to urgently and drastically reduce polluting emissions. In July this year, the Taoiseach stated that ‘Ireland is committed to concerted multilateral action to tackle climate change through the Paris Agreement…’ A key part of this multilateral action is cooperation at EU-level in order to translate the Paris Agreement commitments into policies at home. Environment Ministers are expected to agree their position on one of the EU’s main tools for climate action between 2021 and 2030, the Effort Sharing Regulation, which sets targets for Member States to reduce pollution from transport, waste, agriculture, buildings and small industry.

However, Ireland is continuing to play a deeply two-faced game on climate change in the negotiation of this proposed legislation. Despite efforts by Germany to save the weak text, Ireland is shamefully pushing for the inclusion of a series of accounting tricks and loopholes that would see not only Ireland but the entire EU reduce their efforts.  

Friday’s EU Council meeting is an opportunity to bring the proposed climate law into line with our Paris Agreement commitments and is the last chance for Minister Naughten to reverse Ireland’s damaging, hypocritical approach.

ENDS

 

1.Stop Climate Chaos is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. Our 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.

2. At the Environment Council on the 13th of October, Ministers will discuss the text of the proposed Effort Sharing Regulation and the Regulation on Land-Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry ‘with a view to agreeing on a general approach for each of the files.’ See http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/env/2017/10/13/

 3.The EU Effort Sharing Regulation sets binding annual emission reduction targets for Member States for the period 2021–2030. These targets address emissions from transport, waste, agriculture, buildings and small industry (the ‘non-ETS sector’), covering more than a half of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Regulation also addresses related accounting and monitoring rules for these targets. 

4.The overall EU-wide target to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels and the national targets are not in line with the temperature objectives of the Paris Agreement.

5.The proposed text includes a number of fundamental weaknesses which permit delayed or reduced emission reductions. This includes the following loopholes:

- An incorrect starting point (for Member States emission reduction efforts over the period 2021 to 2030), which fails to reflect actual emission levels.

- The ability to carry-over unused pollution permits from the period to 2020 to the period 2021 to 2030 (called an "early action reserve" )

- A lenient approach to the use of credits for emissions contained or taken in by land (e.g. from forestry). See the proposed Regulation on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry which is also under negotiation.

- The use of surplus emissions allowances from the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme for Ireland and eight other Member States.

6. Ireland’s target for 2020 is to reduce non-ETS emissions by 20%. Our headline reduction target for 2030 is 30%. If all of the proposed loopholes are factored in, Ireland’s effective reduction target for 2030 would be just 21%, giving Ireland a decade to move one percentage point beyond our 2020 target. For further information on these calculations and projections is available here and here.

7. The German government has proposed to use the 2020 targets as a starting point for those Member States that are expected to miss their 2020 targets (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and Luxembourg, according to European Environment Agency's 2016 "Trends and projections" report). This would save around 100 MT CO2 emissions and ensure that laggards cannot avoid meeting their binding targets but the proposal is opposed by Ireland. See CAN Europe’s latest press release,

8. See also Can Europe’s op-ed on the state of the play of the Effort Sharing Regulation negotiations, and Infographic: "No cheating from the start", which shows that a misguided starting point for the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) would increase EU emissions by 500M+ tonnes compared to starting from real emission levels

9. Ireland is only one of five EU Member States which is set to miss its 2020 emission reduction targets under the EU Effort Sharing Decision, and the only one of these five States where emissions are predicted to continue to rise. See analysis from European Environment Agency here

10. In order to achieve the Government’s own National Policy Position (the ‘national transition objective’) analysis by the Coalition has shown that Ireland must reduce pollution 5% a year, every year from now to 2050. See analysis by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition here.

11. Ireland’s reputation among EU partners has suffered as the Irish Government has repeatedly called for less demanding obligations rather than planning on how to meet them, thereby undermining rather than supporting EU collective action on climate change. See Editorial by the Times here (final section). See articles by the Irish Times, the Irish Examiner, two articles by Politico (here and here), as well as Climate Change News.

Ireland remains a low performer in latest international climate rankings, despite slight improvement

The Climate Change Performance Index has ranked Ireland in 39th position this year. 

December 7 2020, 03:09pm

Stop Climate Chaos Coalition
For Immediate Release
Monday 7th December 2020

 

The latest Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) of how well 57 countries are tackling climate change has been published today [1]. Ireland has been ranked in 39th position, moving up two places from 41st position last year [2]. Ireland remains in the “low” category of the Index for the second year running, following two years in the “very low” category [3].  The CCPI is the  international ranking that led then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to admit to the European Parliament in 2018 that Ireland was a “laggard” on climate change [4]. In December 2018, Ireland was ranked the worst performing country in the EU, for the second year running. In the new rankings release today, Ireland is in 19th place among the 27 EU countries. 


In their note accompanying the analysis of Ireland (full note below) the authors, the New Climate Institute, the Climate Action Network and Germanwatch, note “This improvement is largely rooted in changes to government policies, and if these are translated into concrete actions then Ireland has considerable potential for improvement.” 


Commenting, Sadhbh O’Neill, Stop Climate Chaos Policy Coordinator said:

 

"Ireland’s slight improvement is based on policy promises. Now we must see the action plan to actually start eliminating polluting emissions.

Otherwise we’ll continue to languish in the bottom half of the climate league table and fail to do our fair share under the Paris Agreement.

Today over 1,200 people from all around the country are meeting their TDs online to call for faster and fairer climate action. The first response should be for the Government to close the loopholes in the Climate Bill so it's strong enough to drive the changes we need to see.”

 

The publication of the Index today coincides with Stop Climate Chaos’ TD Lobby with over 1200 local people signed up to talk to over 90 TDs about faster and fairer climate action in an all day “Zooming for Zero Pollution” event [5].

CCPI commentary on Ireland’s ranking and ratings in the 2021 report

While Ireland moves up two places in the rankings to 39th, overall the country remains in the low performance category in this year’s CCPI. Ireland remains stable in the Renewables category, showing a high performance, and in the Energy Use category, where it receives a medium rating. Ireland ranks very low in the GHG emissions category. The improvement in Ireland’s overall performance therefore is based on the rating national experts gave to Ireland’s new climate policies, leading to an 11-place jump in this category.

This improvement is largely rooted in changes to government policies, and if these are translated into concrete actions then Ireland has considerable potential for improvement. Experts acknowledge the new coalition Government’s commitment to greater climate ambition, beginning with a climate law which will strengthen the governance framework for climate action. This includes five-year emissions budgets and a commitment to cut emissions by 51% by 2030 (7% a year on average). Ireland has a renewable electricity target of 70% by 2030, though experts note that neither small-scale installations nor renewable heat generation have been accelerated as planned.  Furthermore, despite new funding commitments for peat restoration, peatlands are still being mined for horticultural use and fuel. There is no set end date for the coal and peat phase-out and plant closures are taking place on a haphazard basis.


While experts see major deficiencies in the country’s emission reduction efforts in the transport and heat sectors, the biggest laggard sector for Ireland’s low rated national climate policy remains agriculture. State support for the intensification and expansion of dairy production continues, leading to high and increasing use of reactive nitrogen in fertiliser and feed resulting in rising methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Finally, while early indications suggest the new Government is returning Ireland is to a more progressive position on EU climate policy, this is not the case for its position on agriculture, explaining Ireland’s medium rating for international climate policy.

 

CCPI 2021 Scorecard for Ireland

CCPI 2021 (published Dec 2020)

For comparison here is last year’s scorecard (CCPI 2020)

CCPI 2020 (published Dec 2019) Ireland scorecard

ENDS

Notes

  1. The CCPI 2021 report and supporting materials is available at https://ccpi.org/
  2. 80% of Ireland's CCPI ranking is based on publicly available statistics and factual information on Ireland's GHG emissions, renewable energy and energy use. 20% of the ranking is based on a survey of national policy developments in the last year. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition was one of the contributors to this survey. For more on the methodology behind the CCPI visit https://ccpi.org/methodology/
  3. The table below gives more details on the history of Ireland's CCPI rankings.

Index

Date

Ireland Ranking

SCC release

CCPI 2021

7 Dec 2020

39th -low

-

CCPI 2020

10 Dec 2019

41st - low

https://bit.ly/CCPIDec2019

CCPI 2019

Dec 2018

48th - very low

https://bit.ly/CCPIDec2018

CCPI 2018

Dec 2017

49th - very low

https://bit.ly/CCPINov2017


4. For more on Leo Varadkar’s remarks made in the EU Parliament see https://greennews.ie/taoiseach-tells-eu-not-proud-ireland-climate-laggard-role/
5. For more details on the Stop Climate Chaos Zooming to Zero event visit https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/calendar/2020/12/07/td-lobby-for-faster-and-fairer-climate-action/.

 

More about the Climate Change Performance Index

The Climate Change Performance Index by Germanwatch and NewClimate Institute published together with the Climate Action Network (CAN International) is a ranking of the 57 countries and the EU, collectively responsible for about 90% of global GHG emissions. The four categories assessed are: GHG Emissions (40%), Renewable Energy (20%), Energy Use (20%) and Climate Policy (20%). The latter is based on expert assessments by NGOs and think tanks from the respective countries. Within the categories Emissions, Renewable Energy and Energy Use, the CCPI also evaluates to what extent the respective countries are taking adequate action to be on track towards the global Paris-goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C. Therefore, the CCPI is an important tool to enhance transparency in international climate politics and enables comparison of climate protection efforts and progress made by individual countries. It has been published annually since 2005.

More about the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) is a coalition of civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. It was launched in 2007 and is the largest network of organisations campaigning for action on climate change in Ireland. Its membership includes development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. Its members are: Afri, An Taisce, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlámh, Community Work Ireland, Clare PPN, Concern Worldwide, Cultivate, Cyclist.ie, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Fossil Free TCD, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Irish Environment, Goal, Good Energies Alliance Ireland, Irish Climate and Health Alliance, Irish Heart Foundation, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Just Forests, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Liberia Solidarity Group, Methodist Church of Ireland – Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group, National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Peoples’ Climate Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Self Help Africa, Tearfund Ireland, Trócaire, VITA, VOICE, and Young Friends of the Earth.

 

TDs who have signed the Climate Commitment

July 7 2010, 05:59pm

Carlow-Kilkenny

Mary White (GP)

 

Cavan-Monaghan

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (SF)
Margaret Conlon (FF)

 

Clare

Joe Carey (FG)
Pat Breen (FG)
Timmy Dooley (FF)

 

Cork East

David Stanton (FG)
Michael Ahern (FF)
Ned O'Keefe (FF)
Seán Sherlock (Lab)

 

Cork North-Central

Billy Kelleher (FF)
Kathleen Lynch (Lab)

 

Cork North-West

Michael Moynihan (FF)

 

Cork South-Central

Ciarán Lynch (Lab)
Michael McGrath (FF)
Simon Coveney (FG)

 

Cork South-West

None

 

Donegal North-East

None

 

Donegal South-West

Dinny McGinley (FG)

 

Dublin Central

Joe Costello (Lab)
Maureen O'Sullivan (Ind)

 

Dublin Mid-West

Joanna Tuffy (Lab)
Paul Gogarty (GP)

 

Dublin North

Darragh O'Brien (FF)
James Reilly (FG)
Michael Kennedy (FF)
Trevor Sargent (GP)

 

Dublin North-Central

Finian McGrath (Ind)
Seán Haughey (FF)

 

Dublin North-East

Terence Flanagan (FG)
Tommy Broughan (Lab)

 

Dublin North-West

Róisín Shorthall (Lab)

 

Dublin South

Eamon Ryan (GP)
Olivia Mitchell (FG)
Tom Kitt (FF)

 

Dublin South-Central

Aengus Ó Snodaigh (SF)
Catherine Byrne (FG)
Mary Upton (Lab)

 

Dublin South-East

Chris Andrews (FF)
John Gormley (GP)
Lucinda Creighton (FG)
Ruairí Quinn (Lab)

 

Dublin South-West

Brian Hayes (FG)
Charlie O'Connor (FF)
Pat Rabbitte (Lab)

 

Dublin West

Joan Burton (Lab)
Leo Varadkar (FG)

 

Dún Laoghaire

Eamon Gilmore (Lab)
Sean Barrett (FG)

 

Galway East

Michael P. Kitt (FF)
Paul Connaughton (FG)


Galway West

Michael D. Higgins (Lab)
Noel Grealish (Ind)

 

Kerry North

Jimmy Deenihan (FG)
Martin Ferris (SF)

 

Kerry South

None

 

Kildare North

Áine Brady (FF)
Emmet Stagg (Lab)

 

Kildare South

Jack Wall (Lab)

 

Laois-Offaly

Charles Flanagan (FG)
John Moloney (FF)
Olwyn Enright (FG)
Seán Fleming (FF)

 

Limerick East

Jan O'Sullivan (Lab)

 

Limerick West

John Cregan (FF)
Niall Collins (FF)

 

Longford-Westmeath

James Bannon (FG)
Peter Kelly (FF)
Willie Penrose (Lab)

 

Louth

Arthur Morgan (SF)
Fergus O'Dowd (FG)

Mayo

John O'Mahony (FG)
Michael Ring (FG)

 

Meath East

Mary Wallace (FF)
Shane McEntee (FG)
Thomas Byrne (FF)

 

Meath West

Damien English (FG)
John Brady (FF)

 

Roscommon-South Leitrim

Frank Feighan (FG)

 

Sligo-North Leitrim

Eamon Scanlon (FF)
Jimmy Devins (FF)
John Perry (FG)

 

Tipperary North

Máire Hoctor

 

Tipperary South

None

 

Waterford

Brian O'Shea (Lab)

 

Wexford

Brendan Howlin (Lab)
John Browne (FF)

 

Wicklow

Andrew Doyle (FG)
Joe Behan (FF)
Liz McManus (Lab)

Oireachtas Committee recommendations would greatly strengthen Climate Bill

Government should accept recommendations and bring the reworked Bill to the Dáil as soon as possible

December 18 2020, 03:51pm

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition has welcomed today’s publication of the much anticipated report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action (JOCCA) dealing with the draft Climate Action Bill, which underwent pre-legislative scrutiny over the past number of weeks. 

The report puts a spotlight on the weaknesses in the Bill identified by many experts that came before the Committee, and by Stop Climate Chaos when the original draft was published in October. It makes specific recommendations to the Government on fixing those loopholes before the Bill comes to the Dáil to be formally debated in the New Year.

It is good news for climate action that Committee members have agreed a wide-ranging set of recommendations that will greatly strengthen the bill. It is now up to the Government to respond positively to this clear cross-party mandate on the Bill.

Oisín Coghlan, Coordinator of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, commented:

“Committee members from all parties and none and have done a huge amount of work on the Climate Bill over the last two months, and they have clearly listened very carefully to the expert witnesses they heard from.

“We welcome the cross-party recognition that the draft Bill was weak and that it failed to deliver a robust legal framework for climate action. Thankfully, the Committee has recommended that the Bill be redrafted so that it creates clear legal obligations on the Minister, including a duty to ensure that the national climate objective of net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest is actually achieved.

“Crucially, the recommendation that the 5-year emissions ceilings, to be introduced next year, must be consistent with the commitment in the Programme for Government to cut emissions by 7% a year on average will provide a legal imperative for action in all sectors.” 
The Committee has also recommended that the National Climate Objective be amended so that it is achieved by 2050 ‘at the latest’ and that the Climate Change Advisory Council is tasked with reviewing the adequacy of this target against Ireland’s commitments under articles 2 and 4 of the Paris Agreement. 

Michael McCarthy Flynn of Oxfam Ireland commented:

“Climate scientists and global justice organisations have been pointing out that achieving net zero emissions by 2050 is too late to have any hope of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees. If climate justice is to have any practical meaning, it requires developed countries such as Ireland to do their fair share of reducing emissions rapidly and to support vulnerable developing countries with adequate climate finance.
“The Committee recommendation to make provision for loss and damage to and give greater support to developing countries through climate finance is significant. However it is essential that the new climate law and all policies that flow from that law drive emission reductions on the scale of what is required of wealthy countries with high per capita emissions such as Ireland." 

As Prof. Kevin Anderson noted during the Committee hearings, “many people are already dying from climate change and with the 1.5°C to 2°C target, many more people will die”, and they will disproportionately be women and children, black or brown, poorer and more vulnerable, from the Global South, and have done least to cause climate change . 

Ciara Murphy of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice commented:

“The Committee’s recommendations also call for provisions in the Bill relating to biodiversity protection, just transition and climate justice. There are also recommendations to track emissions from shipping and aviation, as well as emissions caused by consumption here of products produced overseas.
"All in all, if the Government accepts these recommendations then the Bill will ensure that Ireland is measuring, reporting and acting on our real climate impact.” 

The 5 tests set by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition
Before the Government published its draft Bill and the Committee began its scrutiny, the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, published 5 tests for the effectiveness of the Bill. Here is our topline analysis of what the Committee recommends on the issues we raised.

1. Does it put Ireland’s 2050 net zero emission’s target into law, and set it as the floor, not the ceiling, of our ambition?
The Committee recommends that the 2050 target is to be achieved ‘at the latest’ with periodic reviews by the CCAC of the adequacy of that target. These reviews will be crucial, as climate scientists and global justice organisations have pointed out that net zero emissions by 2050 is far too late to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.

2. Does it create a fully independent expert Council to advise the Government and monitor progress?
The Committee recommends that the government consider making the CCAC a fully independent body. The JOCCA also recommended some changes to the membership criteria for the Council but proposes to retain the ex officio members (Teagasc, EPA and Met Éireann).

3. Does it mandate the Government to propose 5-year pollution limits or carbon budgets that will be legally binding once adopted by the Dáil?
The Committee recommends enshrining the 2030 emissions reduction target agreed in the Programme for Government in law as interim target on the path to the national climate objective (NCO). And recommends that the 5-year carbon budgets must be consistent with the NCO, the 2030 target and also the Paris Agreement and the latest climate science. 

4. Will the 5-year pollution limits include all greenhouses gases and all sectors of the economy?
The definition of the carbon budget and greenhouse gases that it applied to in the draft Bill is vague and it was not clear if it applied to all 6 GHGs. The Committee recommended that the definition of the carbon budget be clarified to include all GHGs on the basis of their global warming potential. 

5. Does the Bill provide for robust Ministerial accountability to the Oireachtas for keeping within the legally binding pollution limits?
The JOCCA report recommends that all plans of government and public bodies must be consistent with the targets and recommends strengthening the provisions for Ministerial  accountability to the Oireachtas committee, and recommends the creation of a duty on the Minister to ensure that the national climate objective is achieved.

Citizens’ Assembly decisions on climate change a momentous opportunity to shake up Ireland’s backward policies

November 3 2017, 01:28pm

Stop Climate Chaos Coalition
For immediate release

2 November, 2017

 

Citizens’ Assembly decisions on climate change a momentous opportunity to shake up Ireland’s backward policies

 

This weekend, the 4th and 5th of November, the Citizens’ Assembly will conclude a ground-breaking process in democratic decision-making on climate change. Following an inspiring initial meeting in October, the Assembly will return to the topic of ‘How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’.

There will be specific sessions on climate action in the agriculture and transport sectors, as well as on ‘what climate leadership looks like' in Denmark and Scotland. The Assembly will hear presentations from national and international experts, including from the former European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard. On Sunday afternoon, the Assembly will vote on final recommendations to be taken up by the Government.

Speaking on behalf of Ireland’s Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, Jerry Mac Evilly, stated:

“The major issue which emerged during the Citizens’ Assembly’s first weekend of discussions in October was the lack of political leadership in Ireland on climate change. We hope the Assembly will shake up Ireland’s policies on climate change by providing strong recommendations to Government.”

 

Niamh Garvey, Head of Policy in Trócaire, commented:

“While the Assembly has been asked how Ireland can be a leader in tackling climate change, our emissions are rising and we are going to miss our 2020 targets. To make matters worse, while Storm Ophelia was wreaking havoc, the Government was fighting tooth and nail in Brussels for loopholes in 2030 targets which will water down Irish and EU ambition. The Assembly now has the opportunity to make sure the Government’s hypocritical approach comes to an end. This is critical not only for Ireland but also for developing countries which are most impacted by climate change.”

 

While the Assembly has been asked how Ireland can be a leader in tackling climate change, for decades Ireland has been a laggard on climate action. The State’s first national action plan in ten years was released last July, however necessary and urgent reductions in pollution are far from guaranteed.

Recommendations put forward in the joint submission of Stop Climate Chaos and the Environmental Pillar include supporting a transition to an economically and environmentally sustainable model of farming, increasing the share of investment that goes to walking, cycling and clean public transport, setting an end date for peat burning and coal-fired electricity generation, putting concrete support in place for small-scale community renewable projects and providing significant funding for deep retrofitting of Ireland’s housing stock.

In view of the sessions on transport and agriculture, the Stop Climate Chaos website features:

  • 7 questions on transport that we’d like to see the speakers answer, together with background information on the topic.
  • the 5 Key Questions often faced by our members when it comes to climate change and agriculture.


The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition is jointly hosting Dance for Climate Action, a family-friendly climate-themed event in Malahide on Saturday morning (4th of November), which aims to highlight this weekend's proceedings of the Citizens’ Assembly. Thanks to the kind support of Trinity College Dublin and Iarnród Éireann, dancers and members of the public will travel together via DART to Trinity College Dublin where another performance will take place in the afternoon.


ENDS

 

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Mr. Jerry Mac Evilly, Policy Coordinator for the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition. Email: jerry@stopclimatechaos.ie 

 

Civil society will also be tweeting on the following hashtags -

#CitizensAssembly

#LeadOnClimate


The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition is collaborating with the Dublin Youth Dance Company to host Dance for Climate Action . The event will take place on the grass between Coast Road and the sea (dropped pin here) from 11am to 12:30pm, Saturday 4th November. There will be over 60 youth dancers dressed in red, dancing to the song ‘Halfway There’ by Mary and the Pigeons. The dance will consist of strong and simple movements and will be repeated a number of times so that members of the public can join in. The dance will be performed three times, and after each dance there will be open mic and spoken word. Afterwards, dancers and members of the public will travel together via DART to Trinity College Dublin where another performance will take place on the cricket pitch of TCD from 2pm to 2:45pm. 

 

Notes for the Editor:

 

  1. The public sessions of the Assembly meeting will be livestreamed via www.citizensassembly.ie. The recorded presentations and transcripts from the Assembly's sessions are also available via this website.

 

  1. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalitionis the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.

 

  1. Individuals, NGOs and businesses from Ireland and around the world already have had the opportunity to voice their concerns to the Citizens’ Assembly through a major public consultation. The consultation was a great success with the Assembly receiving close to 1,200 submissions, which are available online.

 

  1. In their joint submission the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition and the Environmental Pillar make 18 practical recommendations that would (1) bring the years of inaction to an end, (2) move Ireland to the level of most of our EU partners, and (3) take a leadership role in certain areas, notwithstanding our poor record to date. They range across all sectors of the economy and society: energy, buildings, transport and agriculture.

 

  1. The Government has pushed for the inclusion of several loopholes in EU legislation currently under negotiation concerning reductions in polluting emissions to be made by Member States between 2021 and 2030. The weak provisions as currently proposed would see Ireland’s required efforts going from a 10% additional reduction in emissions to just 1%. In relation to renewable energy legislation also being negotiation in Brussels, the Government is proposing that our 2030 target should be no higher than our 2020 target and is resisting EU initiatives to get us to do more. 

 

  1. The Government is lagging behind the public on support for climate action. In a recent Eurobarometer poll, of all 28 EU member states Irish people responded most favourably to the statement "Fighting climate change and using energy more efficiently can boost the economy and jobs in the EU" (88%). The poll shows that Ireland is 4th strongest on the need for our own government to "increase the amount of renewable energy used, such as wind or solar power, by 2030". 96% of 1,021 respondents in Ireland said that was important or very important.

 

  1. Ireland is the third highest producer of emissions per person in the EU, and eighth in the OECD with polluting emissions increasing by 3.7% in 2015. Ireland is only one of five EU Member States which is set to miss its 2020 emission reduction targets under the EU Effort Sharing Decision, and the only one of these five States where emissions are predicted to continue to rise. See analysis from European Environment Agency available here.

 

Climate consultation is a step towards people centred climate action

Climate organisations welcome call for public engagement to shape climate action plans, despite concerns about consultation’s short duration

March 24 2021, 05:08pm

Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

For immediate release

Wednesday 24th March 2021


The Stop Climate Chaos coalition has welcomed the pilot public consultation on the 2021 Climate Action Plan, recognising that the voices of ordinary people must be at the centre of climate action [1,2]. Stop Climate Chaos encourages members of the public to participate in the consultation. To aid this public engagement, Stop Climate Chaos will host several free webinars to explore actions that Ireland can take to reduce its polluting emissions urgently, in a way that is fair, leaves no one behind and creates a better Ireland for all of us who live here.

We want to see a model of public engagement that goes beyond individual behaviour change towards models of social and system change based on dialogue, where people are empowered with solutions to become advocates for climate action in their communities and workplaces - as business people, consumers, friends, teachers, and community members amongst others.

 

Theresa O'Donohoe from An Taisce commented:

"It has been 4 years since the last formal opportunity for the public to contribute to the shaping of climate policy in Ireland. The climate action we urgently need must support the livelihoods of people across the country. Changes to our energy infrastructure and land use will greatly impact rural communities and those most marginalised. Extra effort must go into engaging everybody in rural Ireland and underrepresented communities in order to facilitate their inclusion in the decision making process."

 

Áine O’ Gorman of Stop Climate Chaos said: 

“For many households, reducing emissions and living sustainably is not an easy or affordable choice. The Government needs to take radical action so that people in Ireland can easily live in a way that’s good for their health and the health of the planet. This consultation is an opportunity for people to tell the Government what they need them to do. Issues are likely to include ending reliance on fossil fuels,  supporting community energy projects, increasing public transport in rural Ireland and introducing affordable retrofitting schemes among others.”

 

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition has expressed concern about the short duration of the consultation, which will be open for just 8 weeks before closing on the 18th of May.  It is challenging to support people to participate meaningfully in such a short time. Members of the coalition have particular concerns that if youth, rural and underrepresented communities are not meaningfully engaged with, critical time will be lost getting buy in from these communities for ambitious climate action and may result in legal battles. 

 

Valery Molay from the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) said:

"Young people today will bear the brunt of climate impacts over the coming years. It is essential that young people are equal partners in this consultation, that they have a strong voice, and are involved in all processes related to this issue. We welcome the call for public engagement but worry that not all young people who wish to be involved will be able to participate given some of the age and consultation restrictions. For those young people who have the opportunity to, we would actively encourage them to engage with this consultation."


The Stop Climate Chaos webinar series to support engagement with the consultation will cover a range of topics such as the rural economy and climate action, making retrofitting accessible to all, tackling fuel poverty, Just Transition for all workers, greening the energy sector and pollution and public health.  More details will be made available at www.stopclimatechaos.ie


ENDS

Notes:

  1. Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) is a coalition of civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part to prevent runaway climate change. It was launched in 2007 and is the largest network of organisations campaigning for action on climate change in Ireland. Its membership includes development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. Its members are: Afri, An Taisce, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlámh, Community Work Ireland, Clare PPN, Concern Worldwide, Cultivate, Cyclist.ie, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Fossil Free TCD, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Irish Environment, Goal, Good Energies Alliance Ireland, Irish Climate and Health Alliance, Irish Heart Foundation, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Just Forests, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Liberia Solidarity Group, Methodist Church of Ireland – Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group, National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Peoples’ Climate Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Self Help Africa, Tearfund Ireland, The Union of Students in Ireland, Trócaire, VITA, VOICE, and Young Friends of the Earth Ireland. 
  2. The consultation can be found online at this link: https://climateconversations.citizenspace.com/decc/climateactionplan2021/

Stop Climate Chaos Responds to Oireachtas Committee Report on Climate Change Bill

November 20 2013, 12:30pm

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition has welcomed a report on climate change legislation, published today (20.11.13) by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Community and Local Government. However, the coalition said the report "missed an opportunity" by not suggesting specific carbon emissions reduction targets should be set for 2050.

Today's report was published by the Oireachtas Committee following an intensive series of hearings with stakeholders in recent months. It focuses on the outline heads of the Climate Change and Low Carbon Development Bill, and includes a number of observations on how the draft Bill can be amended and strengthened.

Commenting today, Oisín Coghlan, spokesperson for Stop Climate Chaos, said: "We very much welcome this report, and the fact that it proposes a number of improvements to the draft Climate Bill. It concludes that the advisory committee overseeing Ireland's progress on tackling climate change should have a stronger role than that proposed in the draft legislation. This is something Stop Climate Chaos has consistently said: the new climate law must provide for a properly independent oversight committee.

"The report also contains welcome suggestions on how to ensure our climate policies are rolled out in an efficient and effective manner. In particular, it's good to see suggestions to reduce the timeframe for national action plans from seven years to five, and to develop a national roadmap for tackling climate change in advance of sectoral roadmaps.

"However, one disappointing aspect of the report is that it falls shy of proposing that specific carbon emissions reduction targets should be set for 2050. Stop Climate Chaos remains convinced that the simplest and most effective way to ensure Ireland adheres to its commitment to reduce carbon emissions is by enshrining a numeric target in law. The fact that this hasn't been proposed in this report is a missed opportunity."

Stop Climate Chaos also said the publication of the report was a test of the Government's commitment to political reform.

"Minister Phil Hogan and his Government colleagues have consistently said Oireachtas Committees will play a central role in developing legislation in the future, and in consulting with relevant stakeholders in doing so," said Oisín Coghlan. "This is the process through which today's report has been developed. Therefore, we expect the Government to take this report's conclusions on board in preparing the final Bill. This will be a real test of their commitment to political reform."

Stop Climate Chaos is a coalition of 28 civil society organisations, including leading NGOs such as Trócaire, Concern, Oxfam, Christian Aid and Friends of the Earth. Further information is available at www.stopclimatechaos.ie.

ENDS

Contact: Martina Quinn / Emily Kelly, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-6522033 / 087-9759248

Notes to Editors:
About Stop Climate Chaos
Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) is a coalition of 28 civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. It was launched in 2007 and is the largest network of organisations campaigning for action on climate change in Ireland. Its membership includes development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. The members of SCC are: Afri, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlámh, Community Workers' Cooperative, Concern, Cultivate, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Liberia Solidarity Group, Methodist Church of Ireland - Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Progressio Ireland, Sustain West Cork, Trócaire, An Taisce, VITA and V.O.I.C.E. Further information is available at: www.stopclimatechaos.ie. Follow SCC on Twitter @SCC_Ireland and on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/stopclimatechaosireland .

 

Have your voice on climate action heard!

Submit to the Climate Consultation - using our handy guide

May 12 2021, 04:44pm

The climate movement has been calling for greater public consultation on climate action for years. Now we’ve finally got a precious opportunity to make our voices on climate action heard. Let’s make sure it doesn’t slip by! 

Use our handy guide - or cheatsheet - to make an individual submission to the Government’s climate action consultation as an individual. The consultation’s official name is the Climate Conversation - Climate Action Plan 2021 and it can be accessed here. This should not be confused with a different consultation that groups and organisations can submit to - called the Call for Evidence. 

You don’t need to be an expert to submit to this consultation! And you can keep your answers short if you’re tight on time.

Click here to read the cheat sheet and get started on your submission - before the consultation closes on 18th May.

The two minute submission option

Don't have time to answer all the questions? You don't have to - just answer as many as you have time for! And if you're really stuck for time, here's a 2 minute answering option. 
Go direct to the consultation here and add your details in the “About You” section. Then answer the first two questions in the “Taking Action on Climate Change” section - about how seriously you take climate change and how much action you want to see. Just answering these two questions adds to the pressure on Government to act!

Minister’s UN climate change speech says little and delivers less

Political rhetoric again masks sad reality of Government inaction on climate change

November 16 2017, 04:58pm


Political rhetoric again masks sad reality of Government inaction on climate change


After being ranked the worst country in Europe for action on climate change, Minister Naughten delivered a predictable and underwhelming statement on Ireland’s response at the UN climate talks in Bonn. In line with Government statements in previous years, the Minister’s speech was clear on the collective challenge but exceptionally weak on real climate action at home.

  

Jerry Mac Evilly, Policy Coordinator for the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, commented:

While the Minister’s strong support for greater coordination at UN level is to be welcomed, it is extremely disappointing to again hear the tired line of Ireland lacking “capacity or resources” , instead of focusing on what the Government has actually committed to do.

The state’s key strategy for climate action, the National Mitigation Plan, received only a passing reference and the various opportunities included in the recent recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly were not mentioned at all.

 

Dr. Cara Augustenborg, Head of Science and Communications at Friends of the Earth Ireland, commented:

Minister Naughten stated that small countries like Ireland “cannot do everything”, but the issue isn’t having “do everything”, it’s that Ireland is failing to do anything like its fair share.

He also claimed that we could do some things to reduce emissions well and be an example to other countries. However, it was disappointing that none of his examples – efforts to genotype the beef herd; reduce household food waste; increase broadband coverage across the country; and test ocean energy prototypes – would result in direct and immediate emissions reductions! It's no wonder Ireland was ranked worst in Europe in the 2018 Climate Change Performance Index if our own Minister for Climate Action doesn't even seem to understand that doing our fair share to prevent climate change requires far more than mere tokenism.

 

ENDS

Ireland’s national statement, delivered by Minister Naughten at the COP 23 climate talks in Bonn, is available here.

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Mr. Jerry Mac Evilly, Policy Coordinator, Stop Climate Chaos Coalition: jerry@stopclimatechaos.ie 

   

Notes for the Editor

Stop Climate Chaos is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.

The 2018 Climate Change Performance Index is available to download here. The Index, which was launched at the UN COP 23 climate talks in Bonn, highlights Ireland as being the worst performing country in Europe for action on climate change. The Index is produced annually on the basis of joint analysis by two leading European think-tanks. It places Ireland 49th out of 56 countries, a drop of 28 places from last year. See list of media coverage via this link.

The recommendations, presentations and transcripts from the Citizens’ Assembly's examination of climate change are available at www.citizensassembly.ie

Information on Ireland’s climate action

  • Ireland is the third highest producer of emissions per person in the EU, and eighth in the OECD with polluting emissions increasing by 3.7% in 2015. Ireland is one of seven EU Member States which is set to miss its 2020 emission reduction targets under the EU Effort Sharing Decision and Ireland is the only one of this group where emissions are predicted to continue to rise, even with the use of EU flexibility and accounting procedures. See analysis from European Environment Agency here.
  • The Government has pushed for the inclusion of several loopholes in EU legislation currently under negotiation concerning reductions in polluting emissions to be made by Member States between 2021 and 2030. The weak provisions as currently proposed would see Ireland’s required efforts going from a 10% additional reduction in emissions to just 1%. In relation to renewable energy legislation also being negotiated in Brussels, the Government is proposing that our 2030 target should be no higher than our 2020 target and is resisting EU initiatives to get us to do more.
  • Ireland’s reputation among EU partners has suffered as the Irish Government has repeatedly called for less demanding obligations rather than planning on how to meet them, thereby undermining rather than supporting EU collective action on climate change. See articles by the Irish Times, the Irish Examiner, two articles by Politico (here and here), as well as Climate Change News.
  • The Government is lagging behind the public on support for climate action. In a recent Eurobarometer poll of all 28 EU member states Irish people responded most favourably to the statement "Fighting climate change and using energy more efficiently can boost the economy and jobs in the EU" (88%). The poll shows that Ireland is 4th strongest on the need for our own government to "increase the amount of renewable energy used, such as wind or solar power, by 2030". 96% of 1,021 respondents in Ireland said that was important or very important.

New IPCC report to ring another climate alarm bell

April 1 2022, 05:08pm

Ahead of the report’s publication next week, Stop Climate Chaos highlights four key issues to watch for in it.

On April 4th 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is expected to publish the third part of their 6th Assessment Report. This new report follows the publication of the Working Group I and II reports which raised the alarm on climate breakdown, climate impacts and the closing window for action to address the climate crisis. The Working Group III report will be solution-oriented and is expected to present mitigation pathways that humanity can take to reduce the rate of climate change.  

Ahead of the report’s publication, the Stop Climate Chaos coalition of civil society organisations have identified four key issues the report is likely to address:

  1. The report will emphasise that we need to do more, and quickly. We are on a path to overshoot 2°C of warming even if all countries meet their Paris Agreement emission reduction pledges. [1] This would be catastrophic and will be measured as a massive loss of lives, livelihoods,  biodiversity, ecosystems and food security [2]. The report is expected to support a ramping up of investment in renewables, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and other climate friendly alternatives, as well as urging richer countries to step up climate financing to support adaptation actions, and compensate for losses and damages caused by climate change [3]. Climate campaigners argue that we also need to move away from unsustainable business-as-usual, growth-based economics and embrace transformative systems change that moves us towards climate resilient societies.

  2. Renewable energy and storage must be developed at pace as they are key to climate action and energy security. Renewable energy deployment continues to accelerate and outperform projections. Renewables are also now the cheapest source of power, with costs continuing to fall year on year [4].

  3. Global fossil fuel production must decline immediately and steeply. Existing fossil fuel infrastructure must also be phased out now and new capacity must not be commissioned. We will not be able to remain below 1.5°C of warming by 2030 if existing fossil infrastructure continues to operate [5]. Of particular concern is the fact that governments plan on producing 110% more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with holding warming to 1.5°C, and 45% more than would be consistent with 2°C of warming [6].

  4. The report risks being controversial if the climate mitigation pathways it puts forward rely on risky carbon removal technologies that are unproven at the scale needed. There are limits to the feasibility of carbon dioxide removal and negative emissions technologies remain theoretical and unproven at scale [7]. They have also been associated with serious human rights violations [7]. Climate action must be based on decisive and urgent action to cut emissions at the source. We must not fall into a moral hazard trap where expectations around future carbon dioxide removal and future availability of offsets delay rapid and deep emission reductions now. Carbon dioxide removal will not compensate for failed climate mitigation strategies. 

ENDS

 

Notes to editor:

1. Current Paris Agreement pledges would lead to 2.6°C to 2.7°C warming by 2100 (with an uncertainty range of 2°C to 3.6°C). The most recent Emissions Gap report (2021) shows that updated country pledges only reduce projected 2030 emissions by an additional 7.5%, as compared to previous commitments. Current net-zero policies would produce warming of 1.8°C, but 2030 pledges do not put us on a clear path to this. 

2. The most ambitious “very low emissions” pathway set out in the IPCC WG I sees global temperature rise above 1.5°C for several decades and fall back below this threshold by 2100. Rising about 1.5°C, even temporarily, comes with terrible dangers, and we must do everything possible to avoid it. The faster our climate action, the less time we spend above 1.5°C. Every fraction of a degree matters, and ensuring the lowest amount of warming possible is what really matters.

3. Repeated promises to deliver climate financing have been made at successive UN Climate Talks, and yet the finance gap continues to widen with growing mitigation and adaptation costs not being met by increasing funding flows – in fact funding is either remaining stable or decreasing. In 2019, just under $80bn was made available to poorer countries for mitigation and adaptation, falling well under the promised $100bn a year.

4. In 2021, 290GW of new renewable energy capacity was added, setting another annual record. According to a recent International Renewable Energy Agency report, 62% of the renewable power generated in 2020 was cheaper than the cheapest new fossil fuel. Renewables also outperform fossil fuels on operating costs. Since 2010, the cost of electricity from utility-scale solar PV fell by 85%, onshore wind by 56%, and offshore wind by 48%. 

5. The International Energy Agency has warned that there is no room for new fossil fuel investment or expansion. The global coal fleet grew by 25GW (or 5 times the peak power demand in Ireland) every 6 months between 2000-2019. We are now seeing a declining trend in coal capacity outside of China driven primarily by closures across the EU and UK.

6. We would see demand for fossil fuels peaking by 2025 if countries meet their climate commitments and we would have a 50% chance of holding warming to 1.5°C if the majority of coal, oil, and fossil gas remain in the ground

7. See two reports by Friends of the Earth International which highlight the problems associated with negative emission technologies and carbon offsetting here and here.

 

About Stop Climate Chaos

Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) is a coalition of civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. It was launched in 2007 and is the largest network of organisations campaigning for action on climate change in Ireland. Its membership includes development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. Its members are: Action Aid, Afri, An Taisce, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlámh, Community Work Ireland, Clare PPN, Concern Worldwide, Cultivate, Cyclist.ie, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Irish Environment, Good Energies Alliance Ireland, Irish Climate and Health Alliance, Irish Heart Foundation, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Just Forests, National Women’s Council of Ireland, National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Trócaire, Union of Students in Ireland, and VOICE.

IPCC report will illustrate world in climate breakdown & raise key questions of justice and equity

Ahead of the report’s publication, the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition of civil society organisations has highlighted three key issues the report will address.

February 24 2022, 04:29pm

On Monday 28th February 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will publish the next part of their 6th Assessment Report. The report is expected to summarise the latest scientific understanding on climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, outlining how dangerous climate impacts and risks are increasing with warming and setting out actions that need to be taken to build resilience in the face of increasing climate breakdown. The report is also expected to raise key questions of justice and equity - in light of the fact that rich countries are responsible for the vast majority of excess polluting emissions that are causing climate change [1],[2] while poor countries are suffering from the vast majority of climate impacts [3].

Among other things the report is expected to deal with:

Adaptation to climate impacts:  The report will highlight that adaptation measures [4] are vital to reduce the vulnerability of communities and ecosystems to the impacts of climate change. All countries will need to implement adaptation plans as the climate crisis intensifies. However, the need for adaptation is particularly pressing in the global South, where the vast majority of life changing and life threatening climate impacts are currently taking place. Rich countries, who are responsible for the vast majority of polluting emissions, have an obligation to provide finance to help poorer countries adapt to climate impacts. Repeated promises to deliver financing have been made at successive UN Climate Talks but have not been on the scale required and have not been delivered upon [5].

The limits of adaptation - loss and damage. The report is expected to examine the extent to which climate impacts and risks can be managed and reduced but will also acknowledge that there are limits to adaptation - i.e. there are climate impacts to which we can no longer adapt to, or avoid.  These impacts are referred to as “loss and damage” and include loss of lives, health, property, homes and sense of place and cultural identity when people’s homelands become uninhabitable [6]. At present, poorer countries are having to borrow money to deal with these impacts because rich countries are refusing to provide loss and damage finance [7]. 

Vulnerability - some areas such as cities and coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to climate impacts:  The report will assess who is particularly vulnerable to climate impacts, looking at why they are vulnerable and what risks they face. Among other things, the report is expected to highlight the vulnerability of cities and coastal communities to climate impacts. 70% of the population will live in urban areas by 2050. Cities globally are wholly unprepared to address climate impacts, and as they grow their exposure to climate risk increases. This is especially true for cities in the global South where 90% of urban expansion is near hazard-prone areas. The 500 million urban residents that live in coastal areas face immediate short-term climate threats. 

Speaking ahead of the report’s publication, Dr Bríd Walsh, Stop Climate Chaos Policy Coordinator said:

This report will be a yet another wake up call on the climate crisis - highlighting the urgent need to not only reduce our emissions but to also take action to adapt to climate impacts. 

Some climate impacts have become irreversible, such as loss of lives, livelihoods and homes when a region becomes uninhabitable. We call this loss and damage and it’s placing a huge strain on poorer countries, who have done little or nothing to cause these impacts in the first place.  At the latest round of UN Climate Talks rich countries, including the EU, blocked poor countries' calls for the establishment of a “Loss and Damage Finance Facility” to help deal with climate impacts like this.  I hope this latest IPCC report will push the Irish Government to actively support the development of a Loss and Damage Finance Facility at COP27 and challenge the EU on its blocking stance.

We also need to up our game on adaptation to climate impacts at home. The Irish government is due to update the National Adaptation Framework in 2022, and it is crucial that this update addresses the deficiencies identified by the Climate Change Advisory Council which warned that several sectors had made little to no progress in climate adaptation. It’s vital that Ireland gets this right to avoid exposing more people to greater risk.”

Conor O’Neill, Head of Policy with Christian Aid, a member organisation of Stop Climate Chaos added: 

“The entire continent of Africa, now home to over 1.3 billion people, is responsible for less than 4% of historic global emissions. This glaring inequality is recognised in successive climate treaties, where wealthy states responsible for the crisis pledged to provide financial support to help developing countries adapt, but targets have been badly missed.

Ireland has a good track record in funding adaptation projects, but we’re still falling well short of our fair share. We should be contributing roughly €500m per year, but the current target of €225m set for 2025 is just not enough."

Paul Healy, Somalia Country Director with Trócaire, a member organisation of Stop Climate Chaos said:

"The upcoming IPCC report will be a stark portrayal of the disproportionate impact of climate change in the countries where Trócaire works. The communities we support are in crisis, experiencing drought, floods and heatwaves with devastating consequences on people’s ability to survive. We need to act urgently to protect those who have done least to cause the climate crisis. Richer countries must pay their fair share of climate finance and respond to the loss and damages that people are enduring."

ENDS

Notes to editor:

1.The global North (i.e. United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and Japan) is responsible for 92% of all excess global carbon dioxide emissions. The global South is responsible for only 8% of excess global carbon dioxide emissions. For more see here.

2.Countries in the global North used up their fair share of the global carbon budget many years ago. US citizens used up their fair share by 1936, the UK by 1945, and Germany by 1963. These debts bring responsibility to both quickly transition to zero emissions and finance mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage in the global South.

3. The global South is bearing the brunt of climate impacts - such as droughts, floods, famines, storms, sea level rise and death. The global South suffers more than 90% of the costs of climate breakdown, and 98% of the deaths associated with climate breakdown. See more here and here.

4. Adaptation measures include environmental solutions such as restoring mangroves for coastal protection and governance solutions such as changing planning regulations so that infrastructure is not built in flood or wildfire-prone areas.

5.While adaptation policies and plans are growing, there are serious lags in financing, and the costs of adaptation have been severely underestimated. Many countries have developed national adaptation plans, but most countries in the global South are unable to make the necessary changes without more funding. Repeated promises to deliver financing have been made at successive UN Climate Talks but they have not been delivered upon and the finance gap continues to widen with growing adaptation costs not being met by increasing funding flows – in fact funding is either remaining stable or decreasing. In 2019, just under $80bn was made available to poorer countries for mitigation and adaptation. To put this in context, this is 5 times less than what the world spends subsidising fossil fuels every year. By 2030, 300bn a year will be needed for climate adaptation, growing to 500bn a year by 2050. In the Irish case, analysis by Trócaire and Christian Aid has shown that climate finance needs to be increased from €225m a year by 2025 to €500m.

6.Loss and damage includes a range of climate impacts that can no longer be avoided or adapted to - such as loss of life, access to territory, harm to human health, loss of indigenous knowledge, and damage to biodiversity and habitats.

7.To give one example, Caribbean countries and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are being forced to borrow in order to recover from the effects of climate change disasters, a measure which former chief climate change negotiator for Saint Lucia, Dr James Fletcher, says is "unconscionable". 

 

About Stop Climate Chaos

Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) is a coalition of civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. It was launched in 2007 and is the largest network of organisations campaigning for action on climate change in Ireland. Its membership includes development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. Its members are: Afri, An Taisce, BirdWatch Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlámh, Community Work Ireland, Clare PPN, Concern Worldwide, Cultivate, Cyclist.ie, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Fossil Free TCD, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Irish Environment, Goal, Good Energies Alliance Ireland, Irish Climate and Health Alliance, Irish Heart Foundation, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Just Forests, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Liberia Solidarity Group, Methodist Church of Ireland – Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group, National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Peoples’ Climate Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Self Help Africa, Tearfund Ireland, Trócaire, Union of Students in Ireland, VITA, VOICE, and Young Friends of the Earth. 

Ending Fossil Fuel Exploration in Ireland

A Briefing by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

February 6 2018, 02:57pm

On the 7th of February, the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) (Climate Emergency Measures) Bill 2018 will reach second stage in the Dáil. This is a Private Members Bill introduced by People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith in November 2017. The Bill proposes to amend the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act 1960 by prohibiting the issuing of licences for exploration of fossil fuels.

The Bill sets out that such action must be taken given the dangerously high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels. The science shows that the vast majority of already-known fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground. The Climate Emergency Measures Bill recognises and legislates for the scientific reality that we must stop looking for more carbon-based energy; it is also fully in line with Ireland’s climate and energy obligations and security of supply requirements. The Stop Climate Chaos coalition is calling on all parties to support the Bill on the 7th of February, to allow it move forward for detailed scrutiny by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action.

When the final stages of the bill to ban fracking were being debated in summer 2017, amendments to extend the ban to offshore drilling were parked in order to achieve a strong and urgent consensus. At the time those TDs urging the withdrawal of the offshore amendments stated the Oireachtas could return to consider the issue of offshore drilling at a later date. Voting in favour of the Climate Emergency Measures Bill to receive detailed scrutiny by the Committee is the opportunity to fulfil this commitment.

You can read the entire briefing here.

Irish parliament set to vote for Bill to end new licences for oil and gas drilling

Government risks being left behind as parties come together to support climate action

February 7 2018, 02:38pm

As the Dáil prepares to debate the Climate Emergency Measures Bill this afternoon, the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has called on the Government to join the cross-party consensus to support the Bill. Fianna Fáil, Sinn Fein, Labour, the Greens and the Social Democrats have all said they will support the Solidarity / People Before Profit Bill, which would end the issuing of new licences for the exploration and extraction of fossil fuels in Ireland, onshore and offshore. Stop Climate Chaos, a coalition of aid agencies and environmental, youth and faith groups, demonstrated their support for the Bill outside the Dáil at 1pm today. 

Commenting, Jerry Mac Evilly, Policy Coordinator for Stop Climate Chaos said 

"If we are serious about meeting the Paris climate goals, at most we can burn just one third of existing fossil fuel reserves. If we can't afford to burn them what's the point in drilling for them?
"Our research shows that Ireland's energy security does not depend on locking-in more gas and oil. In fact, we are far better off investing in local renewables and warmer homes that use less fuel." 

Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth added: 

"The Government's attitude seems to be 'we know we have to stop burning them but let's just find as much oil and gas as possible first'. It's like stockpiling chocolate just before you give it up for lent.
"Ireland was one of the first countries to ban fracking. This is a chance to take another step towards leadership on the path to a fossil free future. We know the Taoiseach would like to seen as the Irish Macron. Well France have already taken this step. Today Leo has a choice, back the Bill or get left behind"  

Cliona Sharkey, Policy Advisor with Trócaire, said: 

"The impacts of climate change are being felt increasingly in Ireland and in the countries Trocaire is working the impacts are already at crisis levels.  In East Africa today, persistent drought is devastating millions of lives. The poorest countries in the world are being hit hardest. Climate change is rolling back decades of progress in efforts to eliminate extreme poverty". 

The second stage debate on the Climate Emergency Measures Bill starts at 3.35pm in the Dáil and runs for two hours. If the Government opposes it and forces a vote, the vote will be Thursday lunchtime. If the Government doesn't oppose it it will pass second stage today and be referred to Committee for "detailed scrutiny". 

Notes 

1. Details of the Bill are here: http://bit.ly/CEMBill18 

2. The Stop Climate Chaos brieifing on the Bill and the issues it addresses are here: http://bit.ly/SCC010218 

3. Over 2,000 people have written to their local TDs in the last week asking them to support the Bill. The pivotal breakthrough came on Tuesday evening when Timmy Dooley tweeted that Fianna Fail would be supporting the Bill, joining all the other opposition parties.

Stop Climate Chaos coalition tells John Gormley he must publish the Climate Bill before leaving office

November 28 2010, 03:22pm

Gormley has one more thing to do


As the UN climate conference opens in Cancun, Stop Climate Chaos coalition today demanded that Minister Gormley must deliver the Climate Bill before leaving office. Characters dressed as John Gormley and Brian Cowen displayed Gormey's to do list outside Government Buildings.

Photos at http://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/gallery

This week the Government agreed to hold a general election in the new year. The Green Party leader and Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, indicated three Green Party priorities before leaving office- produce a four year plan, pass the Budget on December 7th and secure funding from the EU and IMF. However, he failed to prioritise one of the Greens main motivations for going into Government- Climate Change.

He now has one more thing 'to do'

Gavin Harte of Stop Climate Chaos said
"The Greens must publish the Climate Bill before leaving office. Climate was top of their agenda going into Government in 2007 and if they leave office without publishing and progressing the Climate Bill their legacy will be one of bailing out the banks, and not delivering on Climate."

Sorely McCaughey of Christian Aid said
"We are presenting Brian Cowen and John Gormley with a To Do List as the UN Climate Conference in Cancun gets underway. Climate change has to remain on the government's to-do list. It is not enough to just deal with the current crisis. The government must also act to prevent a future climate crisis .The Green Party's climate legacy hangs by a thread, they must pass the Climate Bill before they leave office"

Colin Roche of Oxfam Ireland said
"It is not too late for this Government to deliver the Climate Bill. We must put a policy framework in place that shows Ireland is finally ready to do its fair share and plan ahead for its climate future. This, together with support for people whose lives are already being destroyed by climate change, is the biggest contribution we can make to get the international negotiations back on track."

It is a year since the Framework Document on Climate Legislation was published by the Government prior to the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen. The Framework for Climate Change Bill 2010 indicated the Government intention to publish the Bill before the end of this year. Stop Climate Chaos are calling on the Taoiseach and Minister Gormley to ensure this happens.

ENDS

Citizens’ Assembly report a mandate for revolutionising Ireland’s climate policy

In-depth examination by a dedicated Oireachtas Committee an essential next step

April 18 2018, 07:33am

The Citizens’ Assembly has published its report on climate change (Report here, Assembly press release here). The report includes the Assembly’s 13 recommendations on ‘how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’. These were agreed by the Assembly after four days of expert presentations in 2017 and following a major public consultation which received close to 2000 submissions.

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition* is calling on the Government to respect the mandate of the Assembly by immediately establishing a dedicated Oireachtas Committee to take the report's recommendations forward, as was done with the Assembly report on the eight amendment to the Constitution.

Commenting on the report, a Stop Climate Chaos spokesperson, Oisin Coghlan, said:

"The Government must take the Citizens' Assembly report on climate as seriously as it took its report on the Eight Amendment.

"A dedicated Oireachtas Committee should be established immediately to take the report forward in line with the constructive approach of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment.

"If implemented, the recommendations for climate action in the Assembly’s report would move Ireland from its current position as a laggard not a leader, as the Taoiseach told the European Parliament in January."

Sorley McCaughey, Head of Advocacy and Policy at Christian Aid Ireland commented:

“Climate change is already having devastating effects on vulnerable communities around the world who have done the least to fuel the crisis.

"If the Government is truly committed to national and EU climate change obligations, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals, the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations must be immediately developed into constructive policies in order to drastically reduce our polluting emissions and reverse our position as the climate laggard of Europe.”

In line with the Eighth Amendment process, the creation of a new Committee would ensure that the Oireachtas is given the opportunity to thoroughly examine the Assembly’s recommendations and to produce specific proposals to significantly improve current policies. Ireland’s deteriorating climate record has been consistently raised by national and international authorities in the past year with the Taoiseach most recently acknowledging Ireland’s position as a climate laggard at the European Parliament.

Stop Climate Chaos has written to the Dáil Business Committee asking that the Assembly's report be referred an Oireachtas Committee.

The most striking recommendations to the Government from the Citizens’ Assembly include:

  • Prioritise public transport investment over new road infrastructure spending at a ratio of no less than 2-to-1. Currently the majority of state investment goes to road building which means more cars and more emissions. 
  • An end to all State subsidies for peat extraction on a phased basis over the next five years. That would bring peat-firing for electricity to an end a lot sooner than 2030, which is Bord Na Mona’s current plan. An end to subsidies for peat extraction would cover not just the subsidies for burning peat for electricity but the subsidies for burning biomass with peat as well.
  • Establishment of an independent watchdog with clear powers to make sure the State sets and meets five-yearly targets for emissions reductions. The introduction of such targets were removed from climate legislation by the government before it passed in 2015.
  • The Citizens’ own willingness to pay higher taxes on carbon pollution and their recommendation that the agriculture sector should also apply the ‘polluter pays principle’ to its emissions, such that the resulting revenue is reinvested to support climate friendly agricultural practices for farmers.

ENDS

* Stop Climate Chaos Coalition is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.

The final report, as well as presentations and transcripts from the Assembly's sessions, are available at www.citizensassembly.ie

Notes for the Editor:

  1. Ireland is the third highest producer of emissions per person in the EU, and eighth in the OECD with polluting emissions increasing by 3.7% in 2015. Ireland is only one of five EU Member States which is set to miss its 2020 emission reduction targets under the EU Effort Sharing Decision, and the only one of these five States where emissions are predicted to continue to rise. See analysis from European Environment Agency available here.
  1. In January 2018 at the European Parliament, the Taoiseach responded to criticism of Ireland’s climate record and stated'As far as I am concerned, we are a laggard. I am not proud of Ireland’s performance on climate change....There are lots of things that we intend to do so that we can meet those targets. It’s something that I am very committed to, and certainly my generation of politicians is committed to. It’s not just the right thing to do; it makes sense economically, I think, in the longer term as well.'
  1. In December 2017 at the Dublin Food Wise 2025 conference the EU Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan emphasised that ‘Ireland needs to wake up, and fast, to the reality that we are part of a European Union that has assumed the role of global leader in the climate challenge’ and warned that ‘…the day has gone where we can pay lip service to sustainability and climate action”.
  1. In November 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency released its latest analysis which shows that Ireland’s emissions increased markedly in 2016, following another substantial increase in 2015. The EPA noted that ‘Achieving Ireland’s long-term decarbonisation objective can only take place with a transformation of our energy, agriculture and transport systems.’ and highlighted that the largescale expansion of dairy and cattle production in particular ‘…points to very significant risks in relation to meeting our decarbonisation objectives’.
  1. In December 2017, Ireland’s Climate Change Advisory Council produced its first Annual Review report, which provides an independent, expert assessment of Ireland’s performance on climate change. The Council highlighted that 'By 2020, transport and agriculture are projected to account for 74% of emissions outside of electricity generation and heavy industry. Simply put, Ireland will miss its [EU] target of reducing emissions by 20% by 2020 by a large margin.'
  1. Analysis by the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform, and by UCC, has shown that without new, immediate and substantive efforts to cut emissions, Ireland faces financial penalties in the region of €500 million by 2020 for failing to comply with our EU climate and renewable energy commitments Analysis by the IIEA estimates that Ireland may face non-compliance costs of between €3bn and €6bn by 2030 for failing to reduce emissions unless further action is taken.
  1. In November 2017, Ireland was ranked the worst performing country in Europe for action on climate change. The Climate Change Performance Index, which is produced annually on the basis of joint analysis by two leading European think-tanks, placed Ireland 49th out of 56 countries, a drop of 28 places from last year.
  1. As reported in several media articles**, the Government has called for weaker climate obligations at international level, including support for the addition of exemptions and allowances in EU legislation relating to climate and energy. The inclusion of such loopholes in EU legislation does not merely ensure that Ireland is not tasked with doing its fair share but also negatively impacts all Member States, undermining rather than supporting greater EU collective action. Exemptions allowed to Ireland have most recently been described as ‘scandalous’ by the major Brussels think-tank, Transport and Environment.

[**See Editorial by the Times here (final section), the Irish Times, the Irish Examiner, two articles by Politico (here and here), as well as Climate Change News and Euractiv.]

  1. The Government is lagging behind the public on support for climate action. In a Eurobarometer poll carried out in 2017, of all 28 EU member states Irish people responded most favourably to the statement "Fighting climate change and using energy more efficiently can boost the economy and jobs in the EU" (88%). The poll shows that Ireland is 4th strongest on the need for our own government to "increase the amount of renewable energy used, such as wind or solar power, by 2030". 96% of 1,021 respondents in Ireland said that was important or very important.

Civil society organisations disappointed that the Climate Bill does not go far enough

April 23 2014, 04:45pm

Stop Climate Chaos today acknowledges the publication of the long awaited revised Heads of the climate Bill but says the minimal changes that have been made since its release last year are disappointing. The coalition says the next stages will be essential to strengthen the Bill.


Stop Climate Chaos, a coalition of 28 civil society organisations campaigning on climate change, have been calling for the introduction of climate legislation since 2007. Last year the Government introduced draft Heads of Bill that Stop Climate Chaos believed was 'too weak to work'. The NGO coalition had high hopes for the revised Heads published today, given the thorough consultation process facilitated by the Environment Committee last year.


Commenting today, Ciara Kirrane of Stop Climate Chaos, said "We are disappointed that the revised Heads do not show significant improvements in the areas most needed. The Body tasked with giving advice to government on climate change matters is not independent, despite the advice from the Environment Committee that all members should be independent of State or stakeholder interests. And while the revised Heads allows for the Expert Advisory Body to publish its own reports, this is merely good practice in a transparent and functioning system."


"The government hasn't taken the opportunity to provide a clear vision of what Ireland wants to achieve by 2050. The language used is of a 'low carbon transition' but nowhere in the Bill is this defined. A three page policy document also published today gives us some guidance, but this had no legal standing and can be ignored or disregarded by any government that sees fit."


The revised Heads of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill come at a time of mounting pressure, with warnings from the scientific community that business as usual will lead us to catastrophic climate change. Ms Kirrane continued "The warnings show that no country will be untouched by climate change, and in Ireland unfortunately we are set to experience more flooding, with the associated economic and emotional costs, if we do not cut our emissions dramatically. While we will all be more vulnerable to extreme weather it is the poorest and most marginalised around the world who will suffer most. Left unchecked, climate change will continue to negatively affect food production and human health, and has the potential to reverse many of the gains made in reducing poverty over the last decades."

Irish Climate Case

What can you do to support it?

May 8 2018, 11:19am

Campaigners at Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) have filed an historic climate change lawsuit against the Government.

Will you be part of it?

Click here to add your name to the list of people who stand in support of this case. Tell the Government that this Climate Case is in your name too.

Background

Ireland’s emissions per person are among the highest in the EU. Overall, emissions in Ireland are set to have increased by almost 10% between 1990 and 2020. This is way out of step with the big cuts in emissions that the Government itself has acknowledged are necessary to help stop dangerous climate change. It’s especially alarming that the Government is failing to act with the required ambition when the consequences of climate change, like ex-Hurricane Ophelia, are already hitting home. That’s why the Government is being taken to court.

The case is inspired by global climate litigation, including a landmark case in which Dutch citizens successfully sued their Government for climate inaction, and is the first of its kind in Ireland. It will be heard by the High Court within the next year and will be building on FIE's milestone establishment in 2017 of a Constitutional right to an environment consistent with human dignity.

Three things you can do right now to join and support this groundbreaking campaign:

  1. Share the video below on facebook to promote the case, letting the Government to know that this case is for all of us. Climate Case video2
  2. Share the Climate Case Ireland website on your social media channels.
  3. Retweet the campaign, or tweet yourself. Below are some sample tweets that you can copy and paste. The hashtags to use are #ClimateCaseIreland and #InMyName.

    > Groundbreaking #ClimateCaseIreland: @climatecaseire is holding the Government of Ireland accountable for its climate inaction, this lawsuit is #InMyName www.climatecaseireland.ie

    > Dear @campaignforleo, #ClimateCaseIreland is also #InMyName www.climatecaseireland.ie> Ireland has among the highest per capita carbon emissions in the EU, and they’re still rising. That's why I support #ClimateCaseIreland #InMyName www.climatecaseireland.ie

    > I want Ireland to do its part to stop dangerous climate change. I support #ClimateCaseIreland and this case in #InMyName www.climatecaseireland.ie

Sadhbh O’Neill, Friends of the Irish Environment: "Ireland’s per capita emissions are among the highest in the EU, and our emissions are projected to increase by 7.5-10% by 2020 compared to 1990. This is the opposite of what’s needed: to help avoid dangerous climate change, Ireland has recognised that it needs to reduce its emissions by 25-40% by 2020 compared to 1990. We’re asking the Government to revise its National Mitigation Plan to make it consistent with Ireland's international obligations.”

Dennis van Berkel, Legal Counselto the Urgenda Foundation, stated, “Our case proved that all governments have a legal duty to protect their citizens against climate change by doing their part to lower emissions. Governments all over the world, including in Belgium, Switzerland, the UK, the US, Colombia, and New Zealand are being held legally accountable for their climate inaction, and all eyes will now be on what unfolds in Ireland.”

Campaigns like this win because of public pressure. A new report from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment counts more than 1,000 climate cases that have been filed worldwide, and confirms that these cases could have a significant impact in holding governments accountable for climate change.

Climate change is happening, and it is impacting most those who have done the least to cause it. Ireland needs to step up and do its fair share.

P.S. For a primer on this case and how it came about, watch this 7 minute video.

Trocaire Climate Change Tour

February 18 2008, 03:26pm


As part of their Lenten campaign, which focuses on those in developing countries who are already being affected by climate change, Trócaire are offering the public throughout Ireland a chance to hear from two speakers with a unique insight and expertise on the real impact of climate change - coming from two of the countries directly affected.

Trócaire is urging the Irish Government to help the poorest adapt and cope with climate change as well as do its fair share to mitigate its causes and stop it running out of control. To bring the harsh realities of climate change home to the Irish public, Trócaire is sponsoring an island-wide tour by two of the leading experts and witnesses of the impact of climate change in the developing world.

The two speakers are Dr. Dominic Walubengo of Kenya and Martha Yvette Aguilar of El Salvador.

Galway
Monday March 3rd 7.30pm Galway City Museum, Spanish Arch. In association with Galway One World Centre

Cork
Tuesday March 4th 7.00 pm Room 1.01, Brookfield Health Science Building, University College Cork. In association with UCC One World Society and Environment Society

Dublin
Wednesday March 5th 7.30 pm Cultivate Centre, Essex St. West, Temple Bar. In association with Cultivate Centre and Trinity One World Society

Belfast
Thursday March 6th 7pm Room GEO/0G/029, School of Geography, Archaeology & Palaeoecology, Queen's University Belfast

All are welcome. For further information contact campaigns@trocaire.ieThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call +353(0)1 5053278.

Martha Yvette Aguilar is a contributing researcher with the IPCC and has over ten years experience in shaping El Salvador's national and international environmental policies. She combines a strong understanding of the current and future impact of climate change on vulnerable communities with a powerful expertise on the policies and possibilities of adaptation.

Dr. Dominic Walubengo is the Director of Forest Action Network Kenya and an expert on institutional reform in the natural resources sector. A former consultant with the Food Agricultural Organisation's 'Forests, Trees and People Programme', he played a key role in the development of Kenya's Forest Policy and Legislation. Emphasising the relationship between poverty, environment and good governance, Dr Walubengo is a committed advocate of participatory approaches to resource management.

Trócaire's ADMIT campaign is asking Ireland and the UK to act now by supporting vital adaptation measures in the developing world and urgently reducing their own emissions. To learn more about the ADMIT campaign visit www.trocaire.org/lent or text ADMIT followed by your email address to 51155

Come join us for the People's Climate Picnic - Sunday Sept 21st

September 4 2014, 03:17pm

In less than three weeks, in cities and towns around the world, people will be getting together to show they care about climate change. You can be part of this worldwide movement by joining us for:

The People's Climate Picnic

Sunday September 21st from 12-2pm @ The Bandstand, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2

Bring a friend, food or just come for fun but make sure you're there to be part of this historic moment. RSVP here!

Two days later, in New York, leaders from around the world will be meeting for a summit on climate change. Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be there and we want to send a strong message to him that people in Ireland care about climate change. We care that climate change will impact upon the things and places we all love. And we care that world leaders are not doing enough.

We'll be providing you with the means to do so on the day so join us on the 21st to make your voice heard.

And if you want to hear more about how climate change is affecting communities around the world right now join Trócaire, Friends of the Earth & Stop Climate Chaos on Thursday 11th September for a public talk on

Climate Justice: Exploring Indian and Kenyan experiences and responses to climate change.

Speakers from India and Kenya will be there on the night to talk first-hand about their experiences of, and solutions to, climate change.

Thursday 11th September, 7pm, Central Hotel, Exchequer Street, Dublin 2.
RSVP: jheavy@trocaire.ie
Numbers are limited so book your seat in advance to avoid disappointment.

We hope that you can join us for both events!

Environment Groups criticise 'filleted' Climate Bill

January 13 2011, 12:00pm


Stop Climate Chaos condemn inadequate emissions cuts as planning for failure

 

Today, as the Second Stage debate of the Climate Bill takes place in the Seanad, Stop Climate Chaos, the coalition of Irish civil society organisations campaigning to halt catastrophic climate change criticised the government's recently published Bill as inadequate to halt climate change.

Gavin Harte of Stop Climate Chaos said:
"The publication of an Irish Climate Change Bill is an important milestone in delivering Ireland's responsibility to deal with climate change but the Bill has been diluted by opposition within government and by special interests. While we welcome the Climate Bill, the legislation as presented fails to address runaway climate change and is recommending emissions cuts far below those identified by science as being necessary."

The target presented in the Bill of 2.5% per annum is less than the 3% per annum cuts promised in the Programme for Government and less than the 30% that the EU has committed to deliver. According to the IPCC, rich countries must cut their emissions by at least 25-40 per cent by 2020 in order to limit warming to safe levels. The emissions cuts in the Bill are consistent with only a 20% cut in emissions. Preserving a good chance of keeping warming below 2oC would require cuts of 40 per cent or more.

Moreover, carbon cuts have been long-fingered until 2020. The lack of carbon budgets and any interim targets mean that this Bill needs to be strengthened to drive early action on climate change.

Colin Roche of Oxfam said:
"The longer we leave it to deliver cuts in carbon emissions the more difficult it will become to halt runaway climate change. The Bill should be strengthened with interim targets and carbon budgets to ensure that every government must take the necessary action on climate change."

The Bill provides for an Expert Advisory Body to advise the government what measures it should undertake to halt climate change. Shockingly there is no provision for it to make its reports public.

Cliona Sharkey of Trócaire said:
"It's staggering that the government could propose hiding its climate advice from both the public and the Oireachtas. What does it fear - perhaps the embarrassment of being seen to fail to take that advice - and endangering this, and future, generations? The Bill should ensure that the expert group can publish its advice without seeking the prior approval of government."

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition plans to make a submission to the public consultation on these issues.

ENDS

Notes:
1. A briefing document on the Climate Change Response Bill is available here
2. The Climate Change Response Bill 2010 is available for download here
3. A list of TDs that have signed the Stop Climate Chaos Climate Commitment to support the Climate Bill is available here
4. The members of Stop Climate Chaos are: Action Aid, Afri, Birdwatch Ireland, Christian Aid, Climate Action Ireland Platform, Comhlámh, Concern, Cultivate, Dublin Friends of Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre, Methodist Church of Ireland- Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Students Against Climate Change, Sustain West Cork, An Taisce, Trócaire, VITA, V.O.I.C.E.

On World Food Day climate campaigners criticise government for seeking special treatment for agriculture in EU climate negotiations

October 16 2014, 06:28pm

Ahead of next week's crucial EU summit, where the EU's 2030 climate package will be agreed, Stop Climate Chaos has criticised the government for seeking special treatment for Irish agriculture. The coalition of 28 development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations are concerned that the proposed text for the European Council meeting on 23rd October (leaked on 14th October) will result in an exception being made for Irish agriculture on the false assumption that Irish exports contribute to solving global food insecurity. 

SCC Coordinator Ciara Kirrane pointed out:

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that climate change poses very significant challenges to food security. However, the Irish government has tended to suggest that action to tackle climate change, rather than climate change itself, threatens food security by restricting production here in Ireland. The notion that Irish exports of beef and diary contribute to global food security has been consistently refuted by overseas aid agencies. It is very worrying to read the leaked text which implies a such a link."

Ciara Kirrane also criticised the lack of reference to sustainable food consumption in the draft conclusions:

“Reference to intensification of food production fails to take account of the social and environmental impacts of production including the climate impact.  The leaked text ignores the role of sustainable food consumption, particularly reducing food waste and eating low-carbon food."

Stop Climate Chaos is calling on Heads of State and Government attending the European Council next week to make the following changes to the draft text:

- Recognise that climate change is the overwhelming threat to food security, not climate mitigation policies.

- Commit to sustainable food production and consumption, including minimisation of food waste and promoting sustainable diets.

Seanad Debate on Climate Protection Bill

October 3 2007, 02:57pm


On Wednesday 3rd October the Seanad debated a Climate Protection Bill tabled by 5 independent senators. The Government, for the first time, accepted the principle of legislation and have given more time for the bill to be debated in December. Should the bill be passed it would be a huge step for Irish climate change policy, giving one part of Stop Climate Chaos' call to action the force of law.

Negotiations in a less than progressive place - Lima, Peru

December 7 2014, 04:14pm

COP PC 6.12.14Arriving at my first ever international climate change negotiations had all the markings of a daunting and overwhelming experience. Thousands of delegates, numerous negotiation streams, countless meetings and side events – not to mention the 28°C temperatures adding to the pressure inside the negotiation halls.

From Ciara Kirrane, Stop Climate Chaos Coordinator, in Lima, Peru.

I arrived on Saturday which, although still a formal day of negotiations, was a quieter and more subdued day compared to previous days, according to my colleagues who had been here since 1 December. As a way of getting to grips with the main sticking points in the negotiations, I attended a press conference organised by Third World Network and Friends of the Earth International.

The split between developed and developing countries seems, as ever, immense and is proving to be a significant stumbling block so far in the negotiations. Developing countries are calling for adaptation (the process of coping and living with the impacts of climate change) to be included in the new agreement on an equal footing to mitigation (emission reductions). This would be a big difference to the Kyoto Protocol, which focused only on mitigation obligations. Adapting to the impacts of climate change requires resources – both financial and technological – and developing countries are calling for this because they are already dealing with the impacts of a warmer world, a world that has already warmed by 0.8°C and will see a further 0.6°C increase in temperatures irrespective of what we do in the coming decades to reduce emissions.

Of course developed countries are resisting this, and are actively trying to reduce their responsibility for the climate crisis by introducing new terms and concepts which are not a part of the framework convention on climate change, such as ‘evolving’ Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR is a principle in the convention which recognises historic responsibility and varying levels of capacity to act). Developed countries seem to be employing not so subtle methods of intimidation, making threats that if developing countries push these issues too hard the talks could fail. Whether this situation will improve over the coming 5 days remains to be seen.

Aside from this somewhat dismal situation, the week ahead looks fascinating. Tomorrow, the Cumbre de los Pueblos – an alternative People’s Summit demanding climate justice, kicks off. It is being organised by Peruvian and international civil society organisations and will host a massive march on 10 December. Meanwhile an event tomorrow hosted by Shell will no doubt attract attention (stayed tuned for more info). Minister Alex White also arrives from Ireland tomorrow in advance of the high-level ministerial meetings happening from Tuesday to Thursday.

All parties commit to passing climate legislation

February 17 2011, 12:00pm

All parties have now committed to passing climate legislation in the new Dáil.

Fine Gael

The Fine Gael manifesto includes the following on page 42:

Climate Change Legislation: Fine Gael will legislate for a climate change law that sets the Kyoto and EU2020 targets in national legislation but only on the basis of all party agreement.

Download the Fine Gael manifesto here.

Labour

The Labour manifesto includes the following on page 27:

Labour's Climate Change Bill will provide certainty about government policy, and a clear pathway for emissions reduction, in line with negotiated EU targets. Labour will also work at EU level to set up a national programme for forest carbon offsets.

Ireland also needs a coordinated approach to the two-pronged challenge of reducing our carbon output and growing our energy independence, with responsibility at the highest level of government. The Department of the Taoiseach will coordinate both our domestic and international policy on climate change.

Download the Labour manifesto.

Fianna Fáil

The Fianna Fáil manifesto focuses soley on the public finances, jobs and political reform, but Micheal Martin has written to Friends of the Earth to say Fianna Fail remains committed to the climate Bill the FF/Green coalition published in December:

"We are committed to an ambitious environmental programme which includes tackling climate change. We published the Climate Change Response Bill 2010 on the 23rd December 2010 which passed first stage in the Seanad before the Dail was dissolved. The Bill set out Fianna Fáil's commitment to legislating for a process that allows us to plan for greenhouse emissions reduction and adaptation to climate change, as the Bill makes clear ...The Climate Change Bill should enable us to pursue a smart economy which is highly productive, competitive, resource-efficient and environmentally sustainable."

Read the full letter here

Green Party

The Green Party manifesto also re-affrims its commitment to the climate Bill they published in Government with Fianna Fáil, and outlines it's main features on page 31. It then says:

"As part of the next government, the Green Party will prioritise the passage of this vital piece of legislation through the Houses of the Oireachtas."

Download the Green Party manifesto.

Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin party president has signed the Stop Climate Chaos candidate commitment, which includes a commitment to a climate law that provides for 5 year tagets, not to be met by buying offsets overseas and an independent commission to advise Government, with the power to publish it's own reports.

Read the commitment here.

Socialist Party

Socialist Party leader, Joe Higgins MEP, has signed the Stop Climate Chaos candidate commitment outlined above.

Read the commitment here.

Fossil Free Future Speakers Tour

13 - 17 June 2018

June 7 2018, 12:28pm

We know that climate change is here, and the time for action is now. But governments are still pushing fossil gas...!

Fossil gas is just as lethal for our world as oil or coal [1], but governments across Europe want more investment in fossil gas projects such as the Trans Adriatic Pipeline [2], the MidCat pipeline in Spain and France [3], and Ireland’s Shannon LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminals.

But why is fossil gas still being termed a cleaner ‘transition fuel’? And how do we respond?

This June, leading environmental campaigner Andy Gheorghiu from Food and Water Europe comes to Ireland to talk about how we can transition without this dangerous ‘transition fuel’, as well as how we can adapt to change and develop resilience, both locally and globally. Andy has been heading the campaign against the proposed building of Shannon LNG, a processing plant for imported fracked gas in the Shannon Estuary.

The events of the Speakers Tour will also focus on the transition to renewable energy, and how we can support it in our own communities. The tour will feature local campaigners and scientists working with real alternatives for a sustainable future, and we will hear from a number of Irish groups about local campaigns where you can get involved, including Not Here Not Anywhere, Galway Greens, People’s Climate Clare, Clare Climate Champions and UCC Environmental Society. Expect contributions from local groups, refreshments and lively discussion at these unmissable talks.

‘For a Fossil Free Future’ speakers tour dates and locations:

  • Wed 13th June: Galway, Museum Café, 6pm. Tickets here

  • Thurs 14th June: Ennis, Glór Theatre, 7:30pm. Tickets here

  • Sat 16th June: Cork, University College Cork, Kane Theatre, 5:30pm. Tickets here

  • Sun 17th June: Dublin city centre, Tailor's Hall, 6pm. Tickets here

Come along to find out more about how we can transition to a fossil free future!

[1] Can the Climate Afford Europe's Gas Addiction?

[2] Resisting the Trans Adriatic Pipeline

[3] Midcat pipeline

Quote 1 - Paris Agreement

UN climate negotiations fail to deliver for the poorest

December 14 2014, 02:09pm

Stop Climate Chaos has today criticised the outcome of the UN climate negotiations, which concluded early on Sunday morning. The negotiations began on 1 December in Lima, Peru and ran two days over schedule.

Commenting Ciara Kirrane, Coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos, said:

 “The outcome today does nothing to support the poorest people around the world who are on the frontline of the climate crisis, a crisis they did not create. For the past two weeks, developed countries have been trying to undermine the negotiations by eroding core principles related to their historic responsibility for the climate change. They have succeeded in this regard and have pulled back on providing support to developing countries. The process was supposed to build momentum towards an equitable agreement next year in Paris but unfortunately the foundations for this have not been laid in Lima.

 “As well as failing to ensure developed countries contribute the necessary financial and technological resources to developing countries to help them cope with climate impacts, the agreement also fails us all given the scale of the climate crisis. The science on climate change is irrefutable but the Lima Accord does not put us on a pathway to keep global temperatures below 2°C, a threshold beyond which dangerous climate impacts are expected.

 “World governments remain far from where they need to be if they are to make an adequate equitable agreement to tackle climate change in Paris 12 months from now. Ireland did not show leadership this week in Lima. It was one of the only countries not to pledge support to the Green Climate Fund, something that must be addressed in the coming months. They have a chance to show they are serious about tackling climate change when they publish the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill this week, but it will depend on how strong the elements of the Bill are.” 

The CAN report that finds Ireland ranks second last IN EU on climate action is hitting home

The expert report which sees Ireland ahead only of Poland gets significant media coverage.

June 22 2018, 05:44pm

You may have already seen this reported extensively in the Irish and EU press yesterday (see list below), but we wanted to draw your attention to a new report "Off Target: Ranking of EU countries' ambition and progress in fighting climate change" published by the Climate Action Network Europe (CAN-E). 

The topline finding as it relates to Ireland is that we are ranked second last, just ahead of Poland, something of a rogue state on climate action in Europe. Obviously, our rising emissions are cited as a cause for concern. But for the first time, Brussels watchers are explicitly calling Ireland out for our obstructionist approach at EU level, having "played a negative role in the negotiations of the EU 2030 climate and energy legislation, pushing for loopholes to dilute the laws." 

One bright spot it the welcome the report gives to the Citizens' Assembly process and report on climate change. The test of course is do we implement the recommendations. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has called for the political system to take the Assembly's report on climate change as seriously as it took the Assembly's report on the 8th amendment. We are pleased to hear that there is a proposal now before the Dáil Reform Committee to establish an all-party committee to take the recommendations forward. We would urge that that Committee be set us as quickly as possible and resourced to allow it to complete its work before the end of the year. 

Below you will find links to the press coverage of the report and some summary infographics. 

The report is online here.
The Stop Climate Chaos reaction press release is here.
The Climate Action Network press release is here 

Irish Media Coverage

The Irish Times - Ireland second-worst in EU on climate change action

Irish Independent - Ireland ranked among 'the bad and the ugly' in EU for climate change action

Examiner - Ireland among the worst on tackling climate change

Irish Times editorial

Irish Examiner editorial

The Journal - Ireland ranked second worst in Europe for tackling climate change

Silicone Republic - Ireland shamed as a ‘laggard’ after dismal EU climate action ranking

Joe.ie - Ireland ranked as one of the worst European countries in fight for climate change

The Irish Times - ‘Extremely concerning’ Ireland labelled a ‘laggard’ over climate action – An Taisce

BreakingNews.ie - Ireland second-worst European country for tackling climate change

Graphics from the report

CAN Europe - Ireland second last

 

CAN Ireland recs

Unprecedented cross-party support for Stop Climate Chaos Call to Action

November 25 2007, 03:37pm

eamonn gilmore with local constituents

Photo (Helen Cantrell): Labour Party Leader Eamonn Gilmore talks to local constituents from Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown.

On November 13th at Buswells Hotel over 90 TDs and Senators from across the political spectrum met their local constituents and Stop Climate Chaos supporters to discuss climate change and measures that must be taken to address it. Constituents from across Ireland urged their local TDs to support and implement the Stop Climate Chaos Call to Action.

Over 70 TD's in attendance signed the Call to Action, highlighting the growing political consensus that the Ireland must urgently reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by an average of three percent a year and enact legislation to underpin climate change policy. A commitment was also made by TDs to support developing countries to cope with the impacts of climate change that we have already caused.

Today's turn out at the 'Carbon Date' event and the unprecedented cross party support for the Stop Climate Chaos Call To Action will provide a platform for Ireland to do its fair share to combat climate change.

Among the signatories to the Call to Action were Fianna Fáil TDs Sean Fleming, Michael Ahern, Dara Calleary and Tony Killeen. Fine Gael TDs pledging their support today included Richard Bruton, Sean Barrett, Phil Hogan and Simon Coveney. Labour party TDs who pledged their support include the party leader Eamonn Gilmore, Pat Rabbite and Liz McManus. Others signatories included Green Party TDs Ciaran Cuffe and Mary White, Sinn Fein TDs Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Independent TDs Finian McGrath and Tony Gregory and PD Senator Fiona O'Malley. The full list of those who signed, constituency by constituency, will be published shortly.

sean fleming signs the stop climate chaos call to action

Photo: Fianna Fail TD Sean Fleming signing the Stop Climate Chaos Call to Action

No Room for New Gas in Ireland’s Energy Transition – international study

Drilling for more new gas in Irish waters not compatible with achieving the Paris Agreement

July 10 2018, 06:42am

A new study by Oil Change International* has found that drilling for more new gas in Irish waters is not compatible with achieving the Paris Agreement to limit climate change. The report assesses the role of fossil gas in the energy system against the background of Ireland’s own decarbonisation targets, and our obligations under the Paris Agreement. Its publication comes as Oil Change International’s Research Director, Greg Muttitt, appears before the Oireachtas climate and environment committee as it resumes its hearings on the Climate Emergency Bill, which would prohibit licences for further oil and gas exploration.

Before presenting to the Oireachtas Committee Oil Change Research Director, Greg Muttitt, said:

“Ireland’s targets cannot be achieved without a major reduction in fossil fuel consumption. This report finds that gas is no exception to that rule, and that further development of gas extraction, or import infrastructure, can serve only to undermine the country’s progress toward reaching its climate goals.”  
“More gas obstructs the introduction of renewables for homes and businesses and associated gas infrastructure locks-in even higher emissions. New gas competes with wind and solar rather than coal. Claims that new fossil gas is required to balance peaks and troughs in power supply and demand to not stand up to scrutiny. Renewable energy, battery storage, demand response and energy efficiency should all be prioritized ahead of more gas capacity”  

Reacting to the report, Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth commented:

“This report shows there is no room for new gas in Ireland’s energy transition. New gas is a block not a bridge to clean energy, and could lock us in to pollution for decades after we need to off dirty fossil fuels.

“Gas is not a nicotine patch or an e-cigarette in our struggle to end our addiction to fossil fuels. 'Low-carbon gas' is like those ‘low-tar cigarettes’ that turned out to be marketing spin by big business trying to delay action to protect public health.

“The Oil Change report highlights the importance of the Climate Emergency Measures Bill, currently being discussed in the Oireachtas, which would bring to an end future licences for oil and gas extraction.” 

The report shows that developing new gas production, power stations and infrastructure is not consistent with Paris Agreement commitment. To achieve Paris, the report finds, all new energy development must be zero-carbon. Oil Change International put forward five key reasons on why more fossil gas cannot be part of the energy transition:

  1. Climate goals require the power sector to be decarbonized by mid-century.
  2. New fossil gas holds back renewable energy, displacing wind and solar more than coal.
  3. More gas is not needed in the clean energy transition to balance renewables.
  4. New gas infrastructure locks in polluting missions.
  5. There is already too much fossil fuels being burned globally.

On Tuesday 10 July, Oil Change International will be presenting at the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Change and the Environment, which is holding hearings as part of its detailed scrutiny of the Climate Emergency Measures Bill.

ENDS

Greg Muttitt, one of the report's authors, will be in Ireland on Monday evening and Tuesday 10th July.

* Oil Change International is a leading research, communication, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the coming transition towards clean energy. It produces cutting edge research and analysis on the economic, financial, social, and environmental issues surrounding the fossil fuel industry.

The report ‘Gas is not a Bridge Fuel: Why Ireland’s Climate Goals Cannot be Met with More Gas’ is available to download here: http://bit.ly/OilChange2018

Notes for the Editor

  1. Stop Climate Chaos is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/about/

  1. Details of the Climate Emergency Measures Bill are here: http://bit.ly/CEMBill18

  2. Ireland is the third highest producer of emissions per person in the EU, and eighth in the OECD with polluting emissions increasing by 3.7% in 2015. Ireland is one of seven EU Member States which is set to miss its 2020 emission reduction targets under the EU Effort Sharing Decision. Ireland is also the only one of these seven States where emissions are predicted to continue to rise. See analysis from European Environment Agency here.

  3. In May 2018 the Environmental Protection Agency emphasised the need to urgently move away from fossil fuels. The EPA’s latest projections show that Ireland’s total polluting emissions will increase from current levels to 2020. This is despite an EU target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent on 2005 levels from the non-Emissions Trading Scheme (non-ETS) sector – agriculture, transport, residential, commercial, non-energy intensive industry and waste. Their projections show that, at best, Ireland will only achieve a one per cent reduction by 2020 compared to the 20 per cent reduction target. http://www.epa.ie/newsandevents/news/name,64049,en.html
  1. In June 2018 analysis by Climate Action Network Europe ranked Ireland ranked in second last place for action and ambition on climate change in the EU. See: http://www.caneurope.org/docman/climate-energy-targets/3357-off-target-ranking-of-eu-countries-ambition-and-progress-in-fighting-climate-change/file.

  2. Last year, the Climate Change Performance Index noted Ireland as being the worst performing country in Europe for action on climate change. The Index placed Ireland 49th out of 56 countries. - https://germanwatch.org/en/14639 
  3. Photo credit on this web page: Troy Williams, used under Creative Commons licence. https://www.flickr.com/photos/troy_williams/20404556414

Deeply Disappointing that Climate Bill Ignores Oireachtas Committee Recommendations

January 20 2015, 01:39pm

Absurd that Bill delays climate action for two more years

Stop Climate Chaos has welcomed the publication of the long-awaited Climate Action Bill but described as "deeply disappointing" the Government's rejection of proposals by an Oireachtas committee to strengthen the Bill. According to the coalition of environment, overseas aid, youth and faith groups, three key recommendations of the Oireachtas environment committee, which held comprehensive hearings on the draft Bill and produced an all-party report, have been ignored.
Commenting, Stop Climate Chaos spokesperson, Oisin Coghlan, said:

"It's deeply disappointing that the Government is ignoring the proposals of the all-party Oireachtas Committee.
"This legislation is urgent, Ireland's emissions are already off-track and we are two years without a climate action plan. It's now up to TDs and Senators to fix this Bill and pass it into law as quickly as possible."


The Bill does not include the Government's own definition of low carbon, it doesn't guarantee the independence of the Climate Advisory Council, and it doesn't include the principle of climate justice - all recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee, chaired by Labour TD, Michael McCarthy.
David Healy, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator with Oxfam Ireland, commented:

"The Government hasn't even included a line in the Bill to say the Climate Advisory Council will be 'independent in the performance of it's functions', the formulation used for the Fiscal Advisory Council. If guaranteed independence is good enough for advice on the fiscal budget why not for climate policy?"


The Government has also ignored the Committee's proposal to include climate justice in the Bill.
Niamh Garvey, Environmental Justice Policy Officer with Trócaire, commented:

"The Government has voiced support for the principle of climate justice at the UN and co-hosted a conference on the issue with Mary Robinson as part of Ireland’s EU presidency. Was that just lip service? Why is climate justice left out of the Bill?"


Stop Climate Chaos has been calling for "the principle of climate justice" to be one of the things that Ministers must have regard to when designing the national mitigation plan (section 3.2 of the Bill).
The only substantive change from the draft Bill produced by Phil Hogan a year ago is a negative one. The Government has delayed the adoption of a national mitigation plan with sectoral policy measures by at least another two years. Ireland's last emissions reduction plan expired at the end of 2012 just before our challenging 2020 EU targets came into force. The Government promised a new plan by early 2014. Then, last April Phil, Hogan's draft Bill mandated there be an action plan within 12 months of the climate law coming into force. Now, Minister Kelly's Bill gives the Government two years from the enactment to come up with actual measures to reduce emissions.
Oisin Coghlan concluded:

"It's absurd that the first consequence of the Climate Action Bill would be to delay climate action. It seems the Government wants to long-finger sectoral emissions reduction measures until after the next election. Our EU targets run from 2013-2020 and the Government is saying Ireland will adopt it's action plan to meet them sometime in 2017!"


The Bill now goes to the Oireachtas for debate, scrutiny, amendment and approval. As the Government has ignored the recommendations of the all-party Oireachtas environment committee, Stop Climate Chaos will be calling on TDs and Senators to fix the Bill and pass it into law as quickly as possible.

Notes

  1. The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/ClimateBill2015

  2. Stop Climate Chaos's 4-page briefing on draft Bill should have been improved in this full Bill is here: http://www.foe.ie/download/pdf/scc_briefing_on_improving_the_climate_action_bill_november_2014.pdf

Stop Climate Chaos welcomes kick-off of dedicated Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, signalling new departure for climate policy in Ireland

September 5 2018, 09:37am

Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

For release 5 September 2018

 

Stop Climate Chaos welcomes kick-off of dedicated Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, signalling new departure for climate policy in Ireland

 

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has today [5 September] welcomed the kick-off of the substantive work of the new special Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, calling it a ‘new departure’ for climate change policy in Ireland.  Among the Committee's core tasks is consideration of the recommendations made by the Citizens’ Assembly on ‘How the State can make Ireland a Leader in tackling Climate Change'.  The Committee's first witness will be the ESRI and Justice Laffoy, the former Supreme Court Judge who chaired the Assembly process.

Jennifer Higgins, Policy and Advocacy Advisor for Christina Aid, commented:
"It is striking that there was strong cross-party support to establish this special Committee on Climate Action following the model of the Committee on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. We hope this level of political engagement will continue through the work of the Committee this year and ensure that the Assembly’s practical proposals are implemented. Given Ireland's current woefully inadequate response to climate change, it is vital that the Committee delivers significantly improved accountability and immediate action among Government Departments.”

Cliona Sharkey, Policy Adviser for Trócaire, commented:

“We have all witnessed in recent months the impacts that increasingly unpredictable and intense weather events due to climate change are having across the globe as well as here on our own doorstep. We cannot but be moved by reports on the tragic loss of lives.  Sadly, this is a glimpse of what has been happening in the poorest countries over the last decades, where climate change impacts from increasingly frequent and intense droughts, flash floods and storms are hitting hardest, and where people have least capacity to cope.  An urgent change in direction on climate action in Ireland is not only in our very basic self-interest as a country, it is a global moral imperative.”

Stop Climate Chaos also welcomes the admission by Minister Naughten last week that Ireland’s current national climate action plan (the National Mitigation Plan) is not working and requires radical revision.  This is abundantly clear with Ireland's polluting emissions continuing to rapidly increase, and given the likelihood of significant fines due to the Government’s knowing failure to deliver on 2020 international climate action obligations.

 

ENDS

 

Information on the new Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action is available here.

 

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact the SCC Policy Coordinator, Jerry Mac Evilly – jerry@stopclimatechaos.ie

 

Notes for the Editor:

1. Stop Climate Chaos is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/about/

2. In March 2018, the Stop Climate Chaos coalition called for the establishment of a dedicated Oireachtas Committee to take the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations forward, as was done with the Assembly report on the eighth amendment to the Constitution. See the Stop Climate Chaos letter to the Oireachtas Business Committee.

3. The Citizens’ Assembly’s published report is available here. This includes the Assembly’s 13 recommendations on ‘how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’. These were agreed by the Assembly after four days of expert presentations in 2017 and following a major public consultation which received close to 2000 submissions.

4. In relation to weaknesses in the National Mitigation Plan, see Irish Times interview with Minister Naughten here. See original analysis of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition here. See reports of the Climate Change Advisory Council here and the European Commission here.

5. In January 2018 at the European Parliament, the Taoiseach responded to criticism of Ireland’s climate record and stated: "As far as I am concerned, we are a laggard. I am not proud of Ireland’s performance on climate change....There are lots of things that we intend to do so that we can meet those targets. It’s something that I am very committed to, and certainly my generation of politicians is committed to. It’s not just the right thing to do; it makes sense economically, I think, in the longer term as well."

6. In June 2018, analysis by Climate Action Network Europe put Ireland in second last place in the EU for action and ambition on climate change.

7. Last year, the Climate Change Performance Index noted Ireland as being the worst performing country in Europe for action on climate change. The Index placed Ireland 49th out of 56 countries. - https://germanwatch.org/en/14639  

8. Ireland is the third highest producer of emissions per person in the EU, and eighth in the OECD with polluting emissions increasing by 3.7% in 2015. Ireland is one of seven EU Member States which is set to miss its 2020 emission reduction targets under the EU Effort Sharing Decision. Ireland is also the only one of these seven States where emissions are predicted to continue to rise. See analysis from European Environment Agency here

Stop Climate Chaos welcomes Climate Law inclusion in Programme for Government

March 7 2011, 06:00pm

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition, the alliance of Irish development, environment, youth and faith-based groups, welcomed today the commitment to climate legislation in the new Programme for Government.

Molly Walsh, Policy Officer with Friends of the Earth said, 'This is another clear demonstration of the cross-Party support for a climate law. We look forward to engaging with the new government and the Dáil to ensure the bill brought forward is a strong and effective one'.

The coalition is calling for the legislation to be introduced without delay to ensure it is an integral part of Ireland's path to sustainable economic recovery.

'There are significant economic and employment gains to be had by ensuring Ireland establishes itself as an international hub of innovation in sustainability', added Ms Walsh.

Cliona Sharkey, Environmental Justice Officer with Trócaire added, 'The need for climate change action goes beyond our international obligations and the prospect of economic advantage. Ireland has a disproportionately high level of Greenhouse Gas emissions for our population size; a climate law can help ensure that our recovery will not be at the further expense of vulnerable people in developing countries who are already struggling with the impacts of climate change'.

ENDS

 

Notes

  1. The members of Stop Climate Chaos are: Action Aid, Afri, Birdwatch, Christian Aid, Climate Action Ireland Platform, Comhlámh, Concern, Cultivate, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Methodist Church of Ireland- Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Sustain West Cork, Trócaire, An Taisce, VITA, V.O.I.C.E.

 

Cyclists call for Increased Cycle Funding in Budget Process

Allocate4Cycling

September 21 2018, 12:41pm

Cyclist.ie members, including Dublin Cycling Campaign, have put together a strong budget submission addressed to Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure Paschal Donohue, outlining the deficiency in government funding supports to enable cycling to grow. Essentially we are calling for an immediate 10% of Land Transport Funding to be allocated to Cycling, to enable the government to meet its own target of 10% of modal share by cycling by 2020. Right now that modal share stands at only approximately 3% of trips by bike, and funding levels are at approximately 2% of Land Transport Funding!

The Cyclist.ie submission points out that the appropriate funding for cycling aligns with numerous government policies and initiatives across a variety of sectors such as Transport, Environment, Climate Change, Health, Business, and Education. Our summary introduction below Cycling, as a mode of transport, offers numerous well documented benefits to society, including:


• improved public health
• reduced congestion
• reduced greenhouse gas emissions
• reduced air and noise pollution
• more liveable and sociable streets and communities, and
• High rates of economic return


Unlocking these benefits requires targeted and sustained investment, and international evidence demonstrates that investing in cycling provides excellent value for money.


From available data we estimate that spending on cycling currently only amounts to approximately 2% of Transport capital spending. This compares to recommended targets of 10% for cycling, and present European levels of between 5% and 8%. This very low proportion is not commensurate with the benefits offered by cycling, or with the significant economic costs which car dependence imposes on Irish society. To encourage people to make more journeys by bicycle;
We call for 10% of the capital budget for land transport to be invested in cycling.


At the same time, an increase in current spending on a range of different objectives which can support a transition to a cycling friendly society is also required.

The full budget submission and a short summary document are attached below. We need YOU to contact your local representatives and make the case to increase funding for cycling. See https://www.whoismytd.com/ for the names and contact details of your local TDs.

Four key tests to determine whether the Climate Bill is worth the paper it’s written on

April 22 2014, 02:45pm

As the government prepares to publish the long awaited revised heads of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill tomorrow,Stop Climate Chaos has developed four key tests to determine whether it will be worth the paper it’s written on.

The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill, published in February last year, was described at the time by Stop Climate Chaos as ‘too weak to work’. Having undergone a period of stakeholder consultation and Oireachtas scrutiny in 2013, the coalition is now expecting significant revisions to the Bill.

Commenting today Ciara Kirrane, Coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos, said “Last year the government tasked the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht with the job of consulting with and considering the views of stakeholders on the draft climate Bill. The Committee did so and produced a report that suggested changes that needed to be made to strengthen the Bill. Whether the government has listened to the Committee’s advice or chosen to ignore the work of their colleagues will become clear tomorrow.”

“The point of climate legislation is to help each sector of society reduce the emissions it creates by providing an overall objective for the country and by putting in place the mechanisms to help us achieve that objective. If the Bill does not do this then it is little more than a box-ticking exercise.”

Stop Climate Chaos says the following four tests should be applied to the revised Bill to determine whether the government has introduced an effective Bill:

  1. Does the Bill state what it intends to achieve by 2050? Minister Hogan has said that the ‘national objective’ should be to have near zero emissions in the buildings, energy and transport sectors and carbon neutrality in the agricultural sector by 2050. The Environment Committee recommended this as the definition of ‘low carbon development’. Is this reflected in the revised Bill?
  2. Does the Bill provide for a robust advisory committee, whose members are independent of stakeholder interests and whose powers include the ability to publish their own reports
  3. Does the Bill ensure a national plan is developed in advance of sectoral plans, which sets the overall direction for action and serves as a guide for the sectors to follow?
  4. Does the Bill include the principle of climate justice as a consideration which must be taken into account? This would ensure Ireland does its fair share to combat a crisis it helped to create.

New scientific report: "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented" action required to limit global warming to 1.5ºC

Ireland needs to step up climate action dramatically to deliver Paris Agreement

October 8 2018, 06:43am

IPCC scientists deliver unequivocal evidence for the need to keep global warming below 1.5°C

Today [Monday 8 October], the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a special report which offers the most comprehensive and authoritative assessment of the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and the action needed to stay below this threshold. The IPPC says in a press release: "Limiting global warming to 1.5ºC would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society." The report also proves beyond doubt that staying below 1.5°C will significantly reduce the damage of climate change, not just for the poorest and most vulnerable countries, but for Ireland and other developed countries as well.

Jennifer Higgins, Policy and Advocacy Advisor at Christian Aid Ireland, stated:

“This report clearly demonstrates that we can still limit temperature increases to 1.5°C, but to do so governments must act with urgency to bring about deep emissions cuts.   “Ireland, and the EU, must sign up to increasing their climate ambition by 2020 at this December's UN Climate Negotiations in Poland, and commit to sustainable pathways to staying below 1.5°C, while it is still possible.”

The IPCC special report on global warming of 1.5°C, launched at a press conference in Korea at 2am Irish Time on Monday 8th, is the most important climate science report of the decade. Ordered and endorsed by all states including Ireland, it shows that many of the dire consequences of future warming can be avoided by respecting this limit. The importance  of  this report lies in its assessment  of  current  knowledge  on  global and regional climate change. It provides new insights on the  impacts and  risks  at  1.5°C global warming above pre-industrial levels compared to 2°C or higher.

Phil Kearney, Chair of An Taisce's Climate Change Committee, said:

“This report sends a message of both urgency and hope. Keeping global warming to 1.5°C requires an unprecedented shift, a rapid and far-reaching change across energy, land, urban and industry sectors.   “1.5°C is still feasible, but only if policy makers act now. We need a fundamental shift from incremental to transformational change to have a more secure and sustainable future.”

Crucially, the IPCC report confirms that limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C is still possible and highlights potential policy and technical solutions and their links to overall sustainable development and poverty eradication.

John Sweeney, Professor Emeritus from Maynooth University, observed:

“While this landmark report confirms that avoiding a global temperature rise of more than 1.5oC represents an enormous challenge, the failure to face up to the challenge will mean the loss of many low lying island cultures and the displacement of many millions of people in places where they have not contributed significantly to climate change. Major extinctions of plants and animals will accelerate and weather related hazards will increase in frequency almost everywhere.

“For Ireland, overshooting 1.5oC would accentuate our emerging problems of climate extremes and damage the economic prospects of our current young people. The report confirms that only by undertaking radical steps today to decarbonise our societies can we leave a legacy of a sustainable world for the next generation.”

ENDS

The IPCC report an related documents are here: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/ 

The IPPC press release is here: https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

The Guardian Live coverage is here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2018/oct/08/ipcc-climate-change-report-urgent-action-fossil-fuels-live

Notes for the Editor:

1. About the IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. It has 195 member states.

 

IPCC assessments provide governments, at all levels, with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies. IPCC assessments are a key input into the international negotiations to tackle climate change. IPCC reports are drafted and reviewed in several stages, thus guaranteeing objectivity and transparency. The IPCC assesses the thousands of scientific papers published each year to tell policymakers what we know and don’t know about the risks related to climate change. The IPCC identifies where there is agreement in the scientific community, where there are differences of opinion, and where further research is needed. It does not conduct its own research. Further information about the IPCC and Special Report on 1.5 degrees see here

 

2. CAN Europe’s infographic Costs of inaction on climate change that shows that climate-related extreme weather events already cost Europe dearly and that staying below 1.5C would significantly reduce the future costs

3. Stop Climate Chaos is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/about/

4. The Citizens’ Assembly’s May 2018 report on necessary climate action in Ireland is available here. This includes the Assembly’s 13 recommendations on ‘how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’. These were agreed by the Assembly after four days of expert presentations in 2017 and following a major public consultation which received close to 2000 submissions.

5. The Stop Climate Chaos coalition called for the establishment of a dedicated Oireachtas Committee to take forward the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations on climate change, as was done with the Assembly report on the eighth amendment to the Constitution. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action has been established is currently meeting to deliberate on these recommendations and report on necessary policy improvements in January 2019. For information on the Committee’s current meetings, see here.

6. In January 2018 at the European Parliament, the Taoiseach responded to criticism of Ireland’s climate record and stated: "As far as I am concerned, we are a laggard. I am not proud of Ireland’s performance on climate change....There are lots of things that we intend to do so that we can meet those targets. It’s something that I am very committed to, and certainly my generation of politicians is committed to. It’s not just the right thing to do; it makes sense economically, I think, in the longer term as well."

7. In June 2018, analysisby Climate Action Network Europe put Ireland in second last place in the EU for action and ambition on climate change. Last year, the Climate Change Performance Index noted Ireland as being the worst performing country in Europe for action on climate change. The Index placed Ireland 49th out of 56 countries. - https://germanwatch.org/en/14639


8. In relation to weaknesses in Ireland’s National Mitigation Plan, see Irish Times interview with Minister Naughten here. See original analysis of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition here. See reports of the Climate Change Advisory Council hereand the European Commission here.

 

9. Ireland is the third highest producer of emissions per person in the EU, and eighth in the OECD with polluting emissions increasing by 3.7% in 2015. Ireland is one of seven EU Member States which is set to miss its 2020 emission reduction targets under the EU Effort Sharing Decision. Ireland is also the only one of these seven States where emissions are predicted to continue to rise. See analysis from European Environment Agency here.

Majority of TDs back call for a law on climate change

December 14 2007, 02:34pm

84 deputies sign Stop Climate Chaos Call to Action

As Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, prepares to fly home from the UN climate conference in Bali, Stop Climate Chaos has announced that a majority of TDs now back their call for a law to make sure Ireland does its fair share to tackle climate change. Minister Gormley has already promised to allow debate on a Climate Protection Bill next week in the Seanad. Stop Climate Chaos is now urging the Government to move the bill to Committee Stage where all parties could work out a basis for it to become law.

Dr David McNair, Policy and Advocacy Officer at Christian Aid Ireland, said:

"It is the poor who are most vulnerable to the effects of Climate Change. Ireland has a great track record on supporting development in Africa and elsewhere, but increased drought, famine and natural disasters will undermine that support. This bill is an opportunity to make sure that Ireland's development aid isn't undermined by our contribution to climate change."

The Stop Climate Chaos Call to Action has received cross-party support since its launch in April. Dara Calleary, the Fianna Fail vice-chair of the new Oireachtas climate change committee became the 83rd TD to sign up this week and Enda Kenny, leader of Fine Gael, was the 84th. All 20 Labour TDs have personally signed the Call to Action as have all Sinn Fein TDs. All the deputies on the Oireachtas committees on Climate Change and Energy Security, and Environment and Local Government have also signed.

Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth, said:

"The Government is committed to an all-party approach to climate change. There could be no better expression of that than an agreed Act of the Oireachtas. The Climate Protection Bill is a good starting point. The 26 organisations in Stop Climate Chaos urge the Government to move the Bill to committee where all sides can get on with the business of agreeing the way forward. We need to give our climate commitments the force of law."

The Climate Protection Bill was tabled by independent Senator Ivana Bacik in October. The second stage debate was adjourned without a vote when Minister Gormley promised government time between the Bali conference and Christmas for further consideration of the Bill. Putting climate policy on a statutory footing is emerging as international best practice. California already has legally binding targets and a climate bill is due before the British parliament in the Spring.

The Stop Climate Chaos Call to Action also commits the signatories to pressing for an international deal to prevent global warming of more than 2 degrees, introducing comprehensive carbon pricing in Ireland and supporting developing countries to cope with the consequences of the climate change we have already caused.

As well as the parliamentary leaders of Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein, three Ministers of State have also signed the Call to Action: Tony Killeen, Michael Ahern and John McGuinness. Tony Killeen is Minister of State with special responsibility for energy and environment. 26 Government backbenchers have signed-up including Barry Andrews, Joe Behan, Ciaran Cuffe, Sean Fleming, Darragh O'Brien and Mary O'Rourke. A petition backing the Call to Action, signed by 22,847 members of the public was presented to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern last week.

ENDS

Notes:

  1. The text of the Call to Action is available here: http://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/uploads/Call_to_Action.pdf
  2. The full list of TDs signed up can be seen here: http://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/content/view/84/1/
  3. Stop Climate Chaos is a coalition of civil society organizations campaigning to ensure Ireland does its fair share to prevent runaway climate change.
  4. The members of Stop Climate Chaos are: ActionAid, Afri, An Taisce, Cap and Share, Christian Aid Ireland, Climate Action Ireland Platform (CAIP), Comhlámh, Concern, Council of Social Responsibility - Methodist Church in Ireland, Cultivate, Eco-Congregation, Eco-Unesco, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Mountmellick Environment Group, National Youth Council Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, People Against Climate Change, Students Action on Climate Change, Sustain West Cork, Trócaire, Voice.

Academic review refutes claim that gas is essential to Ireland's energy security

 Study published as consultation closes on plan Minister says heralds 'a revolution in how we live'

November 12 2018, 05:24pm

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition [1] has published new research [2] which finds the best way to ensure Ireland's energy security is the rapid development of indigenous renewables combined with energy storage technology. This would allow Ireland phase out all fossil fuels, including fossil gas, in line with our commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. The study contradicts a report from the Irish Academy of Engineering in July which claimed that fossil gas is essential to Ireland's energy security [3]. This new research comes on the closing day of a government consultation for what Minister Bruton describes as a new "all of Government plan" to tackle climate change which will "require a revolution in how we live" [4].

Lead author of the report, Professor Barry McMullin of the School of Electronic Engineering of DCU, said:

"The report of the Irish Academy of Engineering is mistaken in severely underestimating the rate at which carbon emissions from the Irish energy system must now be eliminated and in its discounting of the technical and economic feasibility of such rapid decarbonisation.

"Based on Ireland’s large natural resource of renewable energy coupled with the use of large-scale energy storage, rapid fossil fuel phase out is not only technically feasible, but can progressively eliminate the security-of-supply risks associated with all imported fossil fuels, while simultaneously decarbonising at the scale and urgency demanded by good faith participation in the Paris agreement."

Commenting, a spokesperson for the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, Oisin Coghlan said:

"This study is very timely. The recent UN climate science report concludes we need to reduce our climate pollution to zero by 2050. There is no way to achieve that if we continue to invest in and depend on fossil gas. As Minister Bruton prepares a new climate and energy plan for Ireland, this research lights the path to a fossil free energy system that is secure, sustainable and affordable.  

"Too often in the past Ministers say business-as-usual is not an option and then their Department writes a plan that is based on little or no disturbance to business-as-usual. Minister Bruton has said we need a revolution in how we live to tackle climate change. This report makes it clear that that revolution means getting off all fossil fuels, including gas."  

This new research was commissioned by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition in response to the paper published by the Irish Academy of Engineering in July 2018 called "NATURAL GAS: Essential for Ireland’s Future Energy Security". Today's report is an independent analysis of the issues by four academics. The lead author is the DCU Professor of Engineering Barry McMullin, and the co-authors include Prof Kevin Anderson, chair of energy and climate in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering (MACE) at the University of Manchester. Stop Climate Chaos has sent the report to the Department of Climate Action and Environment as part of its submission to the consultation on Ireland's new National Climate and Energy Plan [5].


Notes

1.  Stop Climate Chaos is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations. https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/about/

2. The new study by Prof Barry McMullin et al is online here: https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/download/pdf/is_natural_gas_essential_for_irelands_future_energy_security_scc_study_november_2018.pdf

3. The report of the Irish Academy of Engineering is here: http://iae.ie/publications/iae-report-on-security-of-irelands-gas-supply/

4. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/threat-of-climate-change-requires-revolution-in-how-we-live-says-bruton-1.3689512

5. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition submission to the 1st NECP consultation is here: https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/download/pdf/stop_climate_chaos_coalition_submission_to_dccae_1st_consultation_on_necp.pdf

6. The Key Findings of the study are:

  • The IAE report severely underestimates the rate at which CO₂ emissions from the Irish energy system must now be eliminated — assuming good faith action on the basis of the Paris Climate Agreement. This fundamentally undermines the analysis presented.
  • We agree fully with the IAE that reliance on imported natural gas already raises very serious security-of-supply concerns for the Irish energy system.
  • However: any energy policy involving the displacement of other fossil fuels specifically in favour of natural gas, even on a “transitional” basis (a so-called “natural gas bridge”), as suggested by the IAE, would greatly escalate that security-of-supply risk while simultaneously failing to achieve the required speed of decarbonisation of the Irish energy system. This arises from relying — by design — on a single, high carbon, fuel (natural gas) for critical stability and inter-seasonal balancing of the electricity system, while tacitly assuming progressive electrification of significant proportions of current transport and heating energy demand. Given limited (and rapidly depleting) indigenous natural gas supply, this would introduce, by design, a potential single point of failure for almost the entire energy system in the case of any major international natural gas supply disruption, while simultaneously inhibiting the required scale and speed of energy system decarbonisation.
  • In contrast, we argue that by far the best way to address both Irish energy security and the pressing need for rapid decarbonisation is to constrain and reduce energy consumption (through efficiency measures and/or absolute reductions in energy services) and to directly exit from the use of all fossil fuels, including natural gas, as quickly as is safely feasible, replacing them by indigenous zero- or (potentially) negative-carbon energy resources to the maximum possible extent.
  • In the specific case of Ireland, there are clearly identifiable pathways to transition the great majority of its energy requirement to proven indigenous zero- or negative-carbon energy sources (primarily wind, solar, and sustainably cultivated indigenous bioenergy). This does require, inter alia, the development of large scale (multi-TWh) energy storage facilities to buffer variability on at least an annual basis. We find that such energy storage is technically feasible, using well proven conversion and storage technologies, through the use of gaseous and/or liquid “electrofuels”: hydrogen, ammonia, possibly synthetic hydrocarbons (with carbon cycling), all produced primarily from indigenous variable renewable energy sources.
  • Finally, within the known physical constraints of the Paris Climate Agreement (the “Global Carbon Budget”) we find that there is no credible case to be made for bringing new fossil fuel resources into production: any such additional production would inevitably add to total global atmospheric concentration of CO₂. Short term, not to say fundamentally misplaced, concerns in relation to national energy security cannot ethically be addressed by compromising climate stability for generations to come (cf. Boyd 2018): therefore neither current energy security concerns, nor, especially, a deliberate choice to further impair future energy security (through a mistaken “gas bridge” decarbonisation strategy) can be taken as valid arguments against the immediate cessation of new Irish offshore fossil fuel exploration which has been proposed in the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) (Climate Emergency Measures) Bill 2018.

Taoiseach must push for climate action at EU leaders summit, says Stop Climate Chaos

March 19 2014, 03:53pm

Stop Climate Chaos, a coalition of 28 development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations, are calling on the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to push for more ambitious climate action at a meeting of the European Council, which takes place tomorrow in Brussels. The EU’s climate and energy objectives for 2030 will be a major topic of discussion during the two day meeting of European leaders.

Stop Climate Chaos, Ireland’s largest coalition of organisations campaigning on climate change, is concerned that the current EU proposals do not reflect the science or the level of ambition needed to stay below 2 degrees of warming. ‘Beyond this 2 degree threshold, the impacts of climate change become unmanageable and a lot more dangerous. If we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change we urgently need to put in place measures that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and put us on a path towards decarbonisation’ Ciara Kirrane, Coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos, commented today.

According to the coalition, the coming months are crucial for international climate policy. Two major conferences will take place in 2014 before an international climate agreement is due to be reached at the end of 2015. Ms Kirrane said: ‘This is no time for slowing down EU climate action. European leaders must agree an ambitious climate and energy package without delay, not only for the benefit of EU member states but also to send an encouraging signal to the international community that the EU is serious about combating climate change’.

‘Stop Climate Chaos is urging the Taoiseach to support an emissions reduction target of at least 55% by 2030, as well as binding targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency, during discussions in Brussels over the coming days. We are calling for an EU climate target ahead of the UN Climate Leaders’ Summit in September 2014, as well as a European offer on climate finance that is additional to existing aid budgets to ensure developing countries can cope with the impacts of climate change’.

Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice - December 5th

Meet your TD in Buswells to discuss #ClimateActionNow

November 15 2018, 01:52pm

Worried about climate change? Frustrated by the government's inaction? Eager to do something to get your elected representatives to take #ClimateActionNow?

Then join the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition in Buswells Hotel, Dublin, on Wednesday December 5th, for Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice.

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition is facilitating meetings between you and your TD(s) so that you can speak to them about the crucial, urgent issue of climate action, or in Ireland's case, inaction. We want to provide a space for you to ask them whether they are personally willing to give political leadership on this issue, and if so, how. And if not, why not?

We know that we are collectively engaged in a decades long existential struggle, and are currently losing badly. But the public mood has shifted this year, as has media coverage. The question is, can we get TDs to respond fast enough to this crisis?

If you agree that our elected representatives need to act now, that the Irish government should take the necessary action to prevent climate chaos, then register for this event and email your TDs via the link below:

Register and send an e-mail to your TD(s)

Then what?

Step 1: Once we have a critical mass of TDs* who have given us their available times, we will send you a list of TD attendance times so that you can make an informed decision about when you want to be there on the day. For example, if all of your TDs are only free after 3pm, then we want to give you the chance to arrive at that time as opposed to arriving at 10am when none of your TDs are there!

Step 2: When we send you this information, we need you to tell us exactly when you plan to be in attendance on the day. This is very important so that we can keep track of when constituents from each constituency will actually be in Buswells, as it's a long day and we don't expect you to stay for 9 hours! We will have a link for you to use to input your time(s).

Sounds great! But what should I talk to them about?

All you need to do is share your real concerns about climate change with your TDs. Tell them that as your elected representative, they and their party should do more to reduce Ireland’s emissions, and that we can’t go on being one of the worst polluters per person in Europe.

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition is developing core demands for action, which we’ll be asking TDs to sign-up to. We’ll give you a briefing in advance and we'll be there on the day as you meet your TDs, so you don’t need to be an expert in any of the policy detail – you just need to be an expert at being a human being worried about our shared future!

We have run these events before and those who have participated have found them empowering. Plus, we know that TDs are impacted by meeting groups of their own constituents who care passionately about an issue. A few years ago, running a similar kind of lobby day secured the climate law. Now, we need an action plan that actually cuts greenhouse gas emissions.

***

If you're not active yet, now is the time. Together we can tip the balance.

So will you Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice?

P.S. Energy and momentum for #ClimateActionNow is building in Ireland. A recent protest organised almost entirely online over the course of a week managed to attract hundreds of attendees and make national headlines. And this Saturday November 17th at 2pm, hundreds are expected in Dublin, Galway and Cork as national Extinction Rebellion demonstrations take place to highlight the urgency of the crisis and the scale of action needed to avert climate catastrophe. Can you join too?

*Of course, it will be very difficult for us to get times in advance for every TD! We will do our best to get this information so that you are not waiting too long for them to arrive on the day. However, if we can't get times from your TD in advance then your flexibility on the day would be appreciated. Keep in mind also that it's possible your TD(s) could change their availability closer to the time.

Vuvuzela protest- Climate Change Blows

November 7 2011, 04:32pm

Come and make some noise with us!

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan prepares to travel to Durban in South Africa for the UN conference on Climate Change at the end of this month. Stop Climate Chaos want to send him off knowing climate change matters to people. Come down to the Dáil on Kildare St, Thursday 24th of November at 1pm and join the call.

As Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has caused confusion and uncertainty with his remarks surrounding whether or not the climate change bill is a priority for him. We need him to commit to publishing a climate bill and sending it to the Environment committee early next year.

Email your TDs to ask for the Climate Bill here.

#RiseForClimate - It's Happening

December 5th, Buswells Hotel

December 4 2018, 05:14pm

Over 340 people have signed up to meet their TDs in Buswells Hotel, Dublin tomorrow to talk about climate change. These are the highest numbers we in the Stop Climate Chaos coalition have ever seen for an event of this kind and it's clear that the people of Ireland are ready to demand #ClimateActionNow from those we have put in power. 

I haven't signed up yet, can I still come?

If you're not one of them, don't worry as there's still time for you to register!

Great, but I'm not sure what time I should come?

Over 45 TDs have given us the times they willl be at Buswells, and this will continue to update throughout the evening as more TDs input their availability.

See TD arrival times here so that you can come when your TDs are there.

What if my TD isn't on this list?

If your TD isn't on the list, you can ring their office to ensure they are working on organising a meeting with you on the 5th.

You can call the Dáil switchboard on +353 (0) 1 618 3000 or +353 (0) 76 100 1700, and ask to be put through to your TD's office. Their direct lines are also listed here. Tell them that they have received emails from Stop Climate Chaos and you would appreciate if they could input their availability via the link in that email. Let them know when you're available so they can do their best to be there when you are.

What if my TD isn't there when I'm there?

Hopefully we've done enough to mitigate against this happening, however if your TD isn't there when you arrive, and their timings are not on this list, then we will give you the phone number to ring to ask your TD to come over to meet you. 

What should I talk to them about?

We've produced a handy one-pager for you on what to talk to your TD about, have a read of it here!

I really want to come tomorrow but I can't!

If you can't join tomorrow, here are three ways you can still be involved from afar.

1. Email your TDs to tell them that even though you can't join, you still want them to take #ClimateActionNow and you want them to go to Buswells to meet their constituents.

I'll be there in spirit

2. Use social media to amplify the impact of tomorrow. Find everything you need in this digital toolkit.

3. Are you a student, and too busy studying to join? Then add your name to this petition which will be displayed tomorrow for all TDs to see, so that they know you care even if you can't be there.

Of course, we can't guarantee everyone who registers will meet each of their TDs, but we can guarantee that we'll do our best. 

 earthrise banner

Scientists’ warnings on climate change are the starkest yet

November 2 2014, 04:08pm

The release today of the IPCC’s Synthesis report signals the gravest warnings for people and the planet yet. The 100 page document summarises the findings of over 30,000 scientific papers and comes at the end of a week-long meeting in Copenhagen where scientists have been agreeing on the content.  

Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth, said:

“The findings of this report are unequivocal. It shows that there is now extreme certainty - more than ever before in the history of climate science - that climate change is happening and that humans have caused the majority of it. The evidence presented today also confirms that climate change is already happening and that its impacts are severe, pervasive and irreversible.

However the report also reiterates that it is not too late to reduce the risk climate change poses to our communities - and stay within the internationally agreed danger-threshold - but if we are going to avoid irreversible changes to the climate, we need to leave the vast majority of our fossil fuel reserves in the ground and switch our investments to the clean solutions that are becoming more available, and cheaper, now.”

The report comes at a critical time. Next month government delegations from around the world will meet in Lima, Peru to lay the groundwork for an international agreement to limit climate change due to be signed in Paris, in December 2015.

David Healy, Policy Officer for Oxfam Ireland, commented:

“The report comes just weeks after hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets around the world to demand urgent action on climate change. Governments and policy makers must recognise the calls from citizens and scientists to limit the worst effects of climate change by making the transition to a low-carbon, fossil fuel-free economy.

We are calling on the Irish government to publish and debate the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill immediately, so that Ireland can begin to take the necessary steps towards this transition. It would also be a positive signal of the government’s intention to tackle Ireland’s emissions, ahead of the UN climate change negotiations which begin a month from now in Lima, Peru.”

Video: Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice

Mass Lobby of TDs, December 5th

December 12 2018, 04:44pm

Sound the Alarm for Action on Climate Change

December 1 2007, 03:42pm

What: A public PARADE FOR THE PLANET for action on climate change

Where: From the amphitheatre at Dublin's Civic Offices to the Custom House

When: Saturday 8th December from 1pm

December 8th marks the GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE. As the Bali talks on climate change proceed, ordinary people around the world will be finding different ways of sounding the alarm on climate change so their politicians wake up and do much more about it.

Stop Climate Chaos is hosting a PARADE FOR THE PLANET which will see supporters making their own carbon-neutral way along the route, by foot, bike, skateboard and buggy, ringing bells and blowing whistles to SOUND THE ALARM FOR ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE!

At 2 p.m. the bells of churches from around the city and the country will ring out to signal that the world must warm by no more than two degrees centigrade if mankind is to continue to live here with any level of comfort and safety.

The Government will be invited to receive over 25,000 petition signatures which Stop Climate Chaos has collected during 2007 demanding strong political action to stop the planet burning and give us a future worth having.

Member groups from around the country are also planning to find their own ways of marking the Global Day of Action.

Our House is on Fire

Will you help make 2019 the year for #ClimateAction?

January 28 2019, 04:07pm

Ninety-one TDs and 250+ constituents. That’s who we brought together on December 5th 2018 to discuss pathways for action on climate change. Over 1500 people emailed their TD in advance to ask for a meeting, over 1100 emails were sent by people who couldn’t make it on the day, and almost 300 students who couldn’t join as they were studying hard for exams signed a petition demanding action on climate. Watch the video of the day below.

 

Thank you if you took part, if you e-mailed your TD, if you shared details of the event, if you just said climate change. You are doing your part to turn Ireland from a laggard to a leader on climate.

What’s more, the last month has given cause for optimism:

  1. Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton gave a rousing speech in Croke Park in which he "was talking and acting like someone who takes the climate change threat seriously" [1]
  2. Hundreds of people of all ages children took part in the Children’s Rally for Climate Action outside the Dáil on January 19th [2]
  3. The Irish government were brought to court by Stop Climate Chaos member Friends of the Irish Environment as a result of their appalling inaction on climate change, and every day of proceedings the judge was faced with a courtroom full of faces of all ages, silently demanding adequate action for a safe climate for all [3]

However, it’s not over yet:

  1. On the same day as Minister for Climate Richard Bruton’s speech in Croke Park, Providence Resources received approval from the State to explore new oil prospect off Irish coast [4]. Drilling off the coast of Cork is due to begin in the third quarter of this year.
  2. Mere days after RTE proclaimed they would report more on climate change [5], and the first day the State was being brought to court for negligence on climate, Morning Ireland were discussing the benefit of off-shore oil and gas to the Irish economy [6]
  3. News broke that a US firm is set to fund the Liquefied Natural Gas terminal planned for Ballylongford, Co.Kerry [7]. This terminal would annually process double the amount of gas Ireland needs, exporting most of it to Europe. In November, the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has published new research [8] which finds the best way to ensure Ireland's energy security is the rapid development of indigenous renewables combined with energy storage technology [9]

Of course, with every action, there is an opposing reaction:

  1. Groups have been mobilising up and down the country discussing tactics for stopping the construction of Shannon LNG in Ballylongford, Co.Kerry. Keep an eye on www.stopshannonlng.ie and FutureProof Clare for updates. A case is being heard in the High Court on January 29th at 10am, and it needs as many supporters as possible*
  2. The Irish government has been brought to court by Friends of the Irish Environment with over 16,000 people signing the online petition. If you haven't signed yet, do so here to be kept updated of the events and how you can get involved between now and the outcome of the hearing (which could take as long as 6 months).
  3. People like you are reading emails like this, searching for ways to get involved in this fight for our collective future. 

On behalf of all of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, thank you for all you are doing already.

That said, we regularly receive emails from people like you wondering how they can do more, how they can make a difference. So below is a list of suggestions of where you can take action, if you can. 

1. Hassle your TDs!

Eager to know if your TD(s) showed up to Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice? Click here to see if your TD(s) attended and if they signed the letter. Their email address, Twitter handle, and phone number are listed in this file, so if you have just 1 minute you can hassle them to sign the letter (which you can read here) in whatever format suits you.


Green - Attended and signed! Feel free to thank any of these TDs.
Yellow - Attended but didn’t sign.
Red - These TDs neither arrived or signed...
Blue - These TDs took the letter away ‘to look over’.

2. Join in!

I heard a quote on a podcast that strongly resonated with me, ‘the solution is the struggle’. By connecting to or creating a community, we embody the collective actions we need to make lasting impact. Facing volatile, uncertain and complex existential problems like climate change alone is scary, and sometimes it can be easier to just switch off.  Being part of a group offsets this tendency towards fear.

So if you have an evening a week, or even a month, or even two months – then look below for a list of groups you can join. Or even host a meeting yourself.

Grassroots Climate-Related Groups looking for new members

3. Keep the fight up!

The struggle is the solution, so let’s continue the fight together. We’re running out of time, and Greta Thunberg, 15 year-old climate activist is right when she says our house is on fire.

Our climate is changing with devastating consequences, even though the solutions are available to us. That’s because the people with the power to make changes are holding us back. However, others are active spearheading the climate movement, giving their time and energy towards creating a better future for all. This struggle is time-bound, with 12 years left before unstoppable feedback loops could be triggered. It’s a race against time, so we need everyone, which means you.

For us, for our children, for our children’s children. And for all those who are facing the impacts of climate change right now, will you take #ClimateAction in 2019? 

 

"Many people say that this is not an easy issue, we cannot just say that this is how it is, it's not black and white. But I say that this is black and white. Either we stop the emissions or we don't. There are no gray areas when it comes to survival." – Greta Thunberg at the Davos summit

childrens climate rally

Upcoming events that need your support:

Shannon LNG at the High Court – January 29th

Articles:

[1] Hard choices face every part of society on climate change, Bruton says

[2] Children's Rally for Climate Action 

[3] High Court challenge to Government's climate mitigation plan

[4] Providence receives approval to explore new oil prospect off Irish coast

[5] RTÉ to make climate-change programming ‘a priority’

[6] Report says offshore oil & gas could deliver tax revenue of €11bn

[7] US firm looks to fund Irish LNG terminal 

[8] Academic review refutes claim that gas is essential to Ireland's energy security

[9] Is Natural Gas “Essential for Ireland’s Future Energy Security”?

People’s Climate Picnic Challenges Leaders to Make Progress at Climate Summit

September 21 2014, 04:32pm

Hundreds of people have gathered in St. Stephen’s Green today (21.09.14) at the People’s Climate Picnic, an event organised by Stop Climate Chaos, the Climate Gathering and People’s Climate Ireland, as part of a global protest to call on governments to accelerate climate action.

Heads of state are due to arrive in New York to attend UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s historic Climate Summit on Tuesday, 23rd September. In line with this, marches, events and rallies are planned to take place in cities across the globe, from Dublin to Delhi, under the unifying banner ‘To Change Everything, We Need Everyone’.

Today in Dublin, the People’s Climate Picnic featured an array of activities, including live music, circus performances and interactive arts. At the same time, important issues pertaining to climate change were highlighted in an effort to send the message to Taoiseach Enda Kenny that people in Ireland care about climate change. The Taoiseach will join over 120 world leaders at the UN summit to announce measures that Ireland will be taking to address climate change.

The legislative programme, published last Wednesday, places the Climate Bill as a top priority - the first time a Climate Bill has received such legislative prioritisation in Ireland.

Commenting today, Ciara Kirrane, Coordinator, Stop Climate Chaos, said: “This level of prioritisation of climate change, both at home and internationally, is long overdue. By placing the Climate Bill on the A list the government is signalling its intention to enact climate legislation before the end of 2014. The Taoiseach is on the record as saying this is his hope, and we are calling on him to commit to that deadline at the Climate Summit on Tuesday.

“Stop Climate Chaos is also calling on the Taoiseach to include in the Bill, the principle of climate justice. Climate justice is about recognising the responsibility developed countries, like Ireland, have to those who are on the frontline of climate change in vulnerable communities around the world. The coalition are also calling for the establishment of a Climate Justice Fund, which would provide Ireland’s share of the international finance promised to help poorer countries cope with and contain climate change, and is a simple way of showing our commitment to the principle of climate justice”.

Everything you need to know about the Climate Strike on 15th March

Well, enough to get you started if you want to take part :-)!

March 7 2019, 11:49am

*Anyone organizing a rally at a townhall, a strike at a school, or planning for a school to attend any of the rallies is encouraged to register their group's participation on this map.*


What is happening on the 15 March?

Greta Thunberg, the 16 year-old Swedish climate activist, whose lone weekly climate strike has become a global movement, has called on everyone to join a global climate strike on Friday 15th March. The protests are being led by students striking from school to call for #ClimateActionNow to meet the tempertature goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement . Many others, young and old, intend coming out in solidarity with the children and students.

What's happening in Ireland?

1pm on Friday 15th March is the central moment in Ireland.

Students, and those who support their call for #ClimateActionNow, are being encouraged to gather wherever they can, take a photograph and share in on social media with the hashtags  #FridaysForFuture and #ClimateStrike.

In many cases something will be organized in schools or at school gates. Where possible people will gather outside townhalls.

There are marches and rallies planned in Dublin and Cork, with many other rallies around the country.

Dublin:
12:00 – Gather at St. Stephen’s Green (at Stephen Court - map link)
12:30 – March via Dawson Street to Molesworth Street
13:00 – Rally outside the Dáil (on Molesworth Street)

Cork:
11:00 – Gather in front of the Opera House
11:30 – March via Patrick’s Street, Grand Parade and the Mall to City hall
12:00 – Rally outside City Hall

Anyone organizing a rally at a townhall, a strike at a school, or planning for a school to attend any of the rallies is encouraged to register their group's participation on this map.

Map for Strike.JPG

Where do I find out more about what's being organized?

The climate strike in Ireland is being organized in a bottom-up way in by grassroots groups that are emerging organically and coodinating as best they can.

There are two autonoumous student-led groups that are collaborating closely:
School Strikes 4 Climate and Fridays for Future

http://schoolstrikes4climate.ie/                     https://twitter.com/SchoolStrikesIE

https://www.fridaysforfuture.ie/strikes         https://twitter.com/SchoolStrikesIE

There is a teacher-supported, student-driven schools climate action network

https://www.facebook.com/SchoolStrike4ClimateIreland
schoolstrike4climateIreland@gmail.com
https://twitter.com/pullthebrakes?lang=en

As a student or a teacher you can register with this network here.

And there's a Parent-facilitated Fridays for Future group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ClimateStrikeIreland/

Third-level student organizations have also come out in solidarity

Fossil Free TCD
The All-Ireland Student Activist Network
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI)

Why are people protesting?

The protests across the world and in Ireland are to draw attention to the fact that urgent action is now needed by governments to tackle climate change and ecological collapse. Unless policies are enacted now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures will rise to unsustainable levels by the end of this century. There is only one decade left to prevent this from happening.

But here, listen to one of the students involved in organizing the Irish strike explain it to TDs and Senators: 

What are the students demanding?

The students involved in the Schools Climate Action Network have developed the following demands:

  1. The Government ensures all fossil fuels are left in the ground and should not allow any new fossil fuel infrastructure to be built and that Ireland uses 100% renewable electricity by 2030.

  2. The Government declares a climate emergency, communicates the severity of the ecological crisis to the general public and reforms the primary and post-primary educations systems to address the need for ecological literacy. The government must prioritise the protection of life on Earth, taking active steps to achieve climate justice.

  3. The Government makes transitioning to a CO2-neutral Ireland socially fair. We demand of the government that it takes its responsibility seriously and avoids having regular citizens carry all the burden towards transitioning to a sustainable society.

  4. The Government implements all the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change. As this is a climate emergency, we demand that the recommendations be implemented immediately.

  5. The Government creates and enforces stronger regulations on corporations that are causing the climate crisis and ensure a transformation to reduce emissions from agriculture in Ireland.

  6. The Government implements a Green New Deal and ensures that after leaving school, all young people in Ireland can have livelihoods that don't damage the Earth.

These demands will continue to evolve as the network grows and more students get involved in deciding which demands to prioritise. Students have called on fellow students to complete a short survey to help begin a discussion about prioritising which climate action demands they feel are most important. The survey can be found here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TTHH67C

How are schools supporting it?

It depends on the schools. Some schools have given full support, including Board of Management approval, and intend bringing large groups of students to the marches, supported by their teachers and parents. Other schools have yet to make up their minds, taking various factors into consideration.

Some schools have chosen to facilitate local protests either on school grounds or close by in a public place, in lieu of attending a major protest march.

The Teachers Union of Ireland have given their support to teachers wishing to participate and facilitate their pupils to attend the protests.

Health and safety is of primary concern and this remains the responsibility of the schools bringing students to attend any public event.

What do Irish politicians make of it?

An Taoiseach Leo Varardkar says he is "inspired and enthused" by students taking action:

Not everybody is ready to take him at his word though, here's another one of the student organizers speaking to TDs and Senators on 6th March:

We'll keep updating this page as best we can to give our supporters and the public the latest info on how to take part in the Global Strike on 15th March.

But for now we will give the last word to the 16 year old who started it all, Greta:

 The website for the global #FridaysForFuture movement sparked by Greta is here.

Stop Climate Chaos calls on the Government to tackle climate change ahead of Rio conference

June 19 2012, 03:29pm

Irish and Brazilian footballing hopefuls take to the street to tell the government to tackle climate change and that the future of the planet is no game.

As the conference on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro gets started, school children in Ireland and Brazil football kits kicked around a giant inflatable globe on Dublin's South King Street. The playful depiction of the games being played by political leaders as they debate responses to key global sustainability challenges was organised by Stop Climate Chaos, the national campaigning alliance made up of environment, development, faith and youth groups.

'The slow and inadequate response to climate change is symbolic of the inadequate action we have seen on sustainable development as a whole since the first conference in Rio twenty years ago', said Cliona Sharkey of Trócaire. 'Climate change is already having impacts all over the world, hitting people in developing countries hardest. The climate science and energy investment experts are telling us that we are running out of time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change; these next years are absolutely critical'.

'The new Sustainable Development Framework announced by the government last week is welcome, but we know from the experience of the last two decades, without the accountability of legislation, measures often and easily remain unimplemented. It is crucial that the Government makes good on its commitment to introduce a climate law this year, this will be a key tool to shape and ensure the transition to a low carbon and sustainable economy', said Lizzy Noone of Concern Worldwide.

'The government's commitment to climate legislation should be key to Minister Hogan's message at the Rio conference', said Ciara Gaynor of Oxfam Ireland. Ireland's aid budget is supporting people in developing countries to cope with the impacts of climate change they are already dealing with. This support is critical, but the government must demonstrate its commitment to tackling the causes and not just the consequences of climate change'.

ENDS

Notes:
1. The members of Stop Climate Chaos are: ActionAid, Afri, BirdWatch, Christian Aid, Climate Action Ireland Platform, Comhlámh, Concern, Cultivate, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Methodist Church of Ireland- Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Progressio Ireland, Sustain West Cork, Trócaire, An Taisce, Vita, VOICE.

 

Upcoming Oireachtas Committee Report a critical litmus test of political commitment to climate action

March 11 2019, 01:09pm

Stop Climate Chaos, the coalition campaigning for more than ten years for Ireland to do its fair share to combat climate change, has warned that the final Report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action must fufil the mandate of the Citizens' Assembly for far-reaching action to radically cut Ireland's climate pollution. The warning came as media were reporting on drafts of the report which is due to finalised next week.

Established with cross-party consensus in 2018, the Joint Committee was mandated with considering the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on climate change and how current departmental climate policies could be strengthened. The Committee Report is a key marker for Minister Bruton's new ‘All of Government’ plan on climate action which he has promised before Easter.

The Committee has met since mid-2018, conducting the most intensive and extensive public scrutiny of Irish climate policy the State has ever seen. The urgency and significance of the process, and the importance that the Committee deliver is bolstered by the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which warned that rapid, unprecedented, and far-reaching action across all aspects of society is urgently required to limit global warming to 1.5 °C.

Cliona Sharkey, policy advisor with Trócaire, said:

We, like many other groups and concerned citizens, eagerly await the Joint Committee’s report and recommendations. These must put substantial flesh on the bones provided by the Citizens’ Assembly’s high level recommendations. The outcome of the Committee is a litmus test of whether our political representatives are up to the task of responding to the crisis.

She added:

The Committee must deliver clear recommendations for specific new actions the State should take, and these should be incorporated directly into Minister Bruton’s forthcoming new ‘All of Government’ Action Plan on climate change.  If the Committee delivers, the combined processes of the Citizens’ Assembly and the Joint Committee will be an example of global leadership on public and democratic participation in climate policy making.

Comprising representatives of all Parties, the establishment of the Committee marked a major opportunity for climate policy in Ireland. The Committee process received inputs and proposals from climate scientists, sectoral experts and many other stakeholders on how the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations could be implemented effectively.

Catherine Devitt, policy coordinator with Stop Climate Chaos said: 

Climate action has been side-lined in Irish policy making for decades, resulting in a situation where we face a significant societal challenge to transitioning to a low carbon economy. The considerable increase in public awareness and concern on climate change in recent years now means that anything less than a radical shift in ambition and action will short-change the Irish population, and betray the young people now clamouring for a future with some level of climate stability.’

She continued by adding that,

‘The Citizens’ Assembly was a robust exercise in public participation in policy making, and is the strongest mandate the State and policy makers have ever had for taking specific actions on climate change.’ ‘The Assembly provided a package of practical, yet far reaching recommendations for action on climate change that can go a significant way to closing the gap between Ireland’s growing emissions and our national and international climate obligations. If elected representatives in the Committee want to reject or amend any specific recommendations, it must be replaced with a recommendation equally or more ambitious and effective. 

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has urged that ultimately, the Joint Committee’s recommendations, and the forthcoming ‘All of Government Plan’ must respect and represent the level of ambition called for by the Citizens’ Assembly. This will require a final report which includes substantive, measurable, and immediate policy recommendations to ensure that action from now on is adequate and timely.

Notes

  1. Stop Climate Chaos  is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.

  2. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition’s submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action is available here.

  3. In March 2018, the Stop Climate Chaos coalition called for the establishment of a dedicated Oireachtas Committee to take the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations forward, as was done with the Assembly report on the eighth amendment to the Constitution. See the Stop Climate Chaos letter to theOireachtas Business Committee.

  4. The Citizens’ Assembly’s published report is available here. This includes the Assembly’s 13 recommendations on ‘how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’. The Assembly agreed these recommendations after four days of expert presentations in 2017 and following a major public consultation that received close to 2000 submissions.

  5. The joint Environmental Pillar and Stop Climate Chaos Coalition recommendations to the Citizens’ Assembly are available to download here.

You helped make our Climate Bill Lobby Day a huge success – thank you!

February 16 2015, 03:04pm

On Tuesday 10th February Stop Climate Chaos held a day-long ‘lobby’ event in Buswells Hotel in Dublin, where people had the opportunity to meet TDs and tell them what you thought of the Climate Bill. It was a huge success so thank you for participating in whatever way you could.

Hundreds of people contacted their TDs and asked them to attend. More than half of all TDs showed up, which was an amazing achievement. Thanks especially to those of you who came to Buswells on Tuesday to meet your TDs in person. Some travelled from as far away as Kerry, Mayo, Galway, Clare and Leitrim to support our efforts. It was impressive to see the passion shown by so many people about tackling climate change and making sure the Climate Bill is the best it can be. You can see some great photos of the day here.

We know that TDs are listening. The Bill was debated in the Dail on Wednesday and Thursday and we really saw the impact of our efforts. Both opposition TDs and government backbenchers spoke about the weaknesses in the Bill and the need for a 2050 target, a definition of low carbon, independence of the advisory council and the inclusion of climate justice – all things we have been calling for. Many of them spoke of being contacted by constituents on these issues, so we know your emails and phone calls to them made a big impression. You can watch the debate in the Dail here to see whether your TD spoke out on the Bill. More TDs will be speaking on it next week so don't be too disappointed if your TD hasn't hasn't featured yet!

The Bill will be back in the Dail next week for the conclusion of the Second Stage. After that there are another couple of stages to get through before it can be passed. We’ll be in touch with you at key moments over the coming weeks when we know some more pressure needs to be applied on our elected representatives.


Stop Climate Chaos wouldn’t be effective if we didn’t have people like you supporting us. So thanks again, for whatever action you took on the Climate Bill over the past days, months or years!

SCC supporters     Buswells Lobby Day 10th Feb     Micheal Martin TD and constituents

5 Reasons why the Climate Emergency Measures Bill Must move to Third Stage

March 22 2019, 01:57pm

Read the briefing paper here.

Umbrella Action Day Against Climate Change

June 10 2007, 03:03pm

Martello Tower, Sandymount Strand, Sunday, June 10th, 3 p.m.

  • Do you care about climate change?
  • Does it matter to you that Ireland releases more per person of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change than almost any other nation on earth?
  • Do you want the next government to use your money to pay fines or change the way we live?

Stop Climate Chaos, an umbrella coalition [1] of Irish development, environment, faith and youth agencies, believes the answer is yes. Our Umbrella Action Day gives people the chance to show the new Dáil that we want them to act. We're inviting the public to come along and put up their umbrellas against climate change to make it clear that we care.

It's all happening on Sunday, June 10th, at the Martello Tower on Sandymount Strand at 3 p.m. Choreographer Muirne Bloomer and dancers will lead the crowd in a movement against climate change. We're planning a fun family day out. Bring the kids, a picnic, even the dog. You can do a biodiversity survey on the beach, watch some balloon blowing, sign our petition and have your face painted.

The rich countries of the world release the most greenhouse gases, but it is the poor who bear the cost. About 150,000 people a year already die as a result of diseases attributable to climate change, mostly in the developing world [2]. If we allow runaway climate change to occur, the consequences for the poor will be catastrophic.

But neither will we escape its effects. Climate change will affect everyone across the globe, whether through increasing droughts and floods, extreme storms or mass migrations.

Experts say we have about 10 years to limit the effects of climate change. Our next government will be in power for about half that time. They won't turn to face the challenge of climate change unless the people tell them to. The Umbrella Action Day is a chance to raise your voice and your brolly.

For further information contact Stop Climate Chaos on 086-1744938 or 01-6394653

 

[1] The members of the Stop Climate Chaos Campaign are: ActionAid, Afri, An Taisce, Cap and Share, Christian Aid, Comhlámh, Concern, Cultivate, Eco-Congregation, Eco-Unesco, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Methodist Church in Ireland - Council of Social Responsibility, National Youth Council Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, People Against Climate Change, Students Against Climate Change, Trócaire, Voice.

[2] 'Climate Change and Human Health: Risks and Response', World Health Organisation, 2003

[3] Stop Climate Chaos makes three demands of the incoming government:

  1. Ensure Ireland does its fair share to prevent climate chaos by immediately bringing in a climate change law which provides for an annual carbon budget and 3% year on year reductions in Irish green house gas emissions.
  2. Push for an international agreement to keep the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius or less. This means that global greenhouse gas emissions must reach their peak and begin to decline irreversibly within 10 years.
  3. Support developing countries to adapt to the unavoidable effects of climate change.

 

Cross-party consensus for serious climate action emerges in Oireachtas Committee votes on Wednesday evening

Special all-party Committee deciding its recommendations for its landmark report to be published on Thursday

March 27 2019, 11:56pm

The special all-party Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action voted on Wednesday evening on a series of recommendations for practical, far-reaching policies and measures to cut Ireland's climate polluting emissions. 

After months of public hearings and weeks of inter-party negotiations, the Committee, set up to consider the landmark call to action from the Citizens Assembly on climate change, has moved into public session to formally debate and adopt the recommendations that will part of its report that will be published tomorrow.

The recommendations will comprise a sweeping mandate from the Oireachtas for the Government to finally step-up Ireland's climate action. Minister Richard Bruton has promised a new All-of-Government climate action plan before Easter.

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition welcomes the recommendations and will issue its full comment on the report as it is published tomorrow. 

The landmark recommendations being voted on this evening include:

  • New climate legislation providing for
    • A target for Ireland to have net-zero emissions by 2050 to be put into law
    • The setting of 5-yearly carbon budgets (pollution limits) by the Oireachtas
    • A target of 70% of electricity to be renewable by 2030
  • A stronger Climate Action Council.
  • A new standing committee of the Oireachtas to act as the public accounts committee for carbon.
  • A Just Transition Taskforce involving all stakeholders to deliver security and opportunity for those impacted until the move to a low carbon economy.
  • The establishment of a One-Stop Shop in each county to support citizen and community participation in the transition.
  • Public information campaigns by Government and a more pro-active role for broadcasters and Met Eireann.
  • An appraisal of the emissions impact of all new infrastructure projects including those in Project Ireland 2040.
  • That people and communities should be able to sell micro-gen solar and other renewables to the grid and get paid at least the wholesale price for electricity.
  • Planning restrictions for solar PV on homes, farms and small businesses should be lifted.
  • A target for community owned renewable electricity of 500MW by 2025.
  • The Government should re-evaluate its plans to subsidise biomass to co-fire the peat stations in light of the concerns of the Climate Advisory Council
  • Bord Na Mona and the ESB should re-evaluate its plans to co-fire peat with biomass due to the lack of indigenous supply of biomass.
  • A new plan for agriculture to align it with meeting Ireland's commitments under the Paris Agreement to be drawn up by the end of the year.
  • Reform of the CAP to support that transition.
  • The Government should convene a stakeholder forum on agricultural diversification by June 2019.
  • A new national land-use plan
  • A national hedgerow survey by 2020
  • An independent sustainability audit of Coillte's forest business in 2019
  • A new forestry plan, focused on climate mitigation by end 2020
  • A target of peatlands being net sequesters not emitters of carbon by 2050; a funded programme of rehabilitation and restoration of peatlands by the end of this year.
  • An urgent needs assessment of what is required to retrofit 45,000 homes a year and explore increasing that to 75,000 houses a year over time.
  • That revised building regs would set a Nearly Zero Energy Building standard by end 2020.
  • A huge programme of retrofitting public buildings
  • A ban on new fossil fuel boilers in public buildings
  • A  new implementation plan for the Smarter Travel: A Sustainable Travel Future policy in time for Budget 2020
  • Full implementation of the National Cycle Policy Framework by 2020
  • An expanded rural transport programme

Notes for the Editor

  1. Stop Climate Chaos is the civil society coalition campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share to tackle climate change. The Coalition’s 33 members include overseas aid and development, environmental, youth and faith-based organisations.
  2. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action was established with cross-party consensus in July 2018, charged with considering the thirteen high level recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on climate change, and how current departmental climate policies could be strengthened. The outcomes of the Assembly showed that Irish society is ready for tangible and immediate climate action. The Assembly outcome represented the most explicit, detailed and considered public mandate for an immediate and strong political response. Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has consistently urged the Committee to respect and represent the level of policy ambition called for by the Citizens’ Assembly, by providing new substantive, concrete policy recommendations to ensure that action from now on is adequate and timely, and is line with Ireland’s international climate obligations.
  3. In March 2018, the Stop Climate Chaos coalition called for the establishment of a dedicated Oireachtas Committee to take the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations forward, as was done with the Assembly report on the eighth amendment to the Constitution. See the Stop Climate Chaos letter to the Oireachtas Business Committee.
  4. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition’s submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action is available here.
  5. The Citizens’ Assembly’s published report is available here. This includes the Assembly’s 13 recommendations on ‘how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’. The Assembly agreed these recommendations after four days of expert presentations in 2017 and following a major public consultation that received close to 2000 submissions. 

Government Climate Bill will fail unless critical weaknesses addressed

May 5 2015, 12:01am

The Government's Climate Bill "will fail to deliver the low carbon future its aims to achieve unless critical weaknesses are addressed", according to independent analysis carried out by an international environmental law organisation. ClientEarth compared the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill against climate legislation around Europe. Their report finds that the lack of a 2050 target for reducing emissions produces critical uncertainty for investors and the status and membership of the Expert Advisory Council undermines its independence. Unless revised at Committee Stage in the Dáil, due this month, the Bill will do little to help Ireland meet its international commitments or move the economy onto a less polluting pathway. 

Stop Climate Chaos, a coalition of 28 civil society organisations, commissioned the independent analysis. Commenting, Jim Clarken, CEO of Oxfam Ireland and member of Stop Climate Chaos, said:

“This report should set alarm bells ringing across Government. ClientEarth is the most recent addition to a long line of experts, including government backbenchers and a cross-party committee, to point out the shortcomings of the Bill. The report’s main conclusion is that unless the Bill is revised it will do little to address the fact that Ireland is already struggling to meet its climate commitments. 

"If the Government does not act on this advice and make the necessary amendments to the Bill it will be clear to all that they are not serious about tackling climate change and moving Ireland towards a decarbonised society. And despite the Government's often declared commitment to climate justice the Taoiseach would be going to the Climate Summit in Paris in December with a weak climate law with no targets.”

Drawing on a number of climate laws across Europe, the report highlights the gap between what is proposed in the Irish Climate Bill and examples of best practice. Oisín Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth, said:

“The report shines a light on how poorly the Irish Bill compares to climate laws being designed and passed across Europe. As recently as March Finland passed a Bill that sets a legally binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 (compared to 1990) and creates an independent expert committee to advise the Government in planning climate change strategy. The Irish Climate Bill does neither. But we don’t even need to look outside of Ireland for examples of best practice when it comes to providing government with expert independence advice. The Fiscal Advisory Council is a model that could and should be replicated in the Irish Climate Bill."

Jonathan Church, energy lawyer at ClientEarth and one of the authors of the report, said:

“This Bill is a golden opportunity for Ireland to encourage renewable energy investors by setting long-term, legally binding national targets which support the EU’s targets. It doesn't do this. Furthermore, the UK experience has shown that a climate change committee needs to be independent of Government if it’s to do its job properly. As things stand, the Expert Advisory Council doesn't look independent, and that alone will handicap it from the start. Unless these critical weaknesses are addressed the Bill will fail to deliver the low-carbon future it aims to achieve. Indeed, if this half-hearted Bill gives the false impression of 'job done', it could end up doing more harm than good to Ireland’s efforts to tackle climate change.”

The independent report comes a day before CEOs from Stop Climate Chaos member organisations are due to meet Minister Kelly to discuss the weakness of the Bill and the need to amend it at the Committee stage in the Dáil later this month.

Dail to debate motion to declare Climate Emergency

Stop Climate Chaos has written to every TD urging them to support the motion

May 9 2019, 11:18am

This is what we wrote to every TD this morning:

Dear Deputy,

Tonight the Dáil will have a three hour debate on a motion to declare a Climate Emergency and accept and endorse the report of the special all-party Committee on Climate Action as the basis of our first response to that emergency.

I am writing on behalf of the 33 member organizations of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition to urge you to participate in this landmark debate and to vote in favour of the motion. Our new briefing entitled " The Dáil can make this week an historic turning point in Irish climate policy " is attached online here , and the Executive Summary is below.

Tonight's debate could not be more timely, coming as it does a year on from the Citizens' Assembly report on climate action, six months on from terrifying report from the UN's intergovernmental panel on climate science, and in the wake of the unprecedented School Strike for Climate in March and the Extinction Rebellion on Good Friday.

This is the Dáil's opportunity to rise the challenge climate change and represent the public's increasing desire for urgent action. Declaring a Climate Emergency is a rationale response to the threat level and our failure so far to stem the pollution poisoning our life support system on Earth, our only home. Accepting and endorsing the report of the Joint Committee on Climate Action is a good first response to that emergency, as it lays out a path for Ireland to implement the Paris Agreement. The Committee itself is clear that their recommendations alone will not be enough to cut our emissions enough, or fast enough but the immediate implementation of the report's recommendations in full, and on time, will be a significant downpayment on securing our common future.

100 years ago the Dáil made history by simply meeting, giving all the children of the nation the chance to grow up in a sovereign independent state.  This week the Dáil has the opportunity, and the duty, to make history again, this time by taking the first step to saving the future, giving all the children of the nation the chance to grow up in a safe liveable climate, where people andnature thrive.

In hope and expectation,

Oisín Coghlan

Coordinator, the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

The Dáil can make this week an historic turning point in Irish climate policy

Briefing from Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

May 2019

Executive Summary

  • On Thursday May 9 th , the Dáil will debate a motion to “accept and endorse” the recommendations from Climate Change: A Cross-Party Consensus on Climate Action , the recently published cross-party report from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action. The report is the Committee’s response to the recommendations of the Citizens Assembly on ‘ How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change ’. [1]
  • A recap of the origins and significance of the Report to be debated on Thursday:  Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) strongly welcomed the Citizens’ Assembly deliberations on climate action and its final recommendations. SCC pushed for the Oireachtas to establish a formal process to consider the recommendations of the Assembly.  It welcomed the subsequent establishment of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action (JOCCA) with this mandate, and has engaged with the Committee over the last year.  Taking place over eight months, the Joint Committee process, which the Citizens’ Assembly gave rise to, was the most detailed, evidence-based scrutiny of, and debate on climate change policy this State has ever seen. The process was an intense and challenging one, but one from which representatives from across the Parties and groups did not shy away.
  • Stop Climate Chaos has welcomed the landmark report of the Joint Committee, which will be debated on Thursday May 9 th , and is calling for its implementation in full and on time. [2] That will not be enough on its own, however it will signal a significant shift and lays a robust foundation for further action.
  • Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly model for building consensus around climate action has been lauded internationally over recent months. [3]   If the Joint Committee recommendations are effectively, expeditiously and comprehensively implemented, Ireland can begin to shed its shameful record as a climate laggard and provide a powerful democratic model to the international community for forging national climate action. 
  • Let us be clear.  The recommendations of the Joint Committee, even if implemented in full, will not close the gap between Ireland’s current emissions pathway and our obligations under the Paris Agreement.  They give us a chance. Our last chance. A chance which must be built on swiftly, consistently, equitably, transparently and resolutely over the short decade ahead in which we have to hal ve global and Irish emissions in order to keep global warming below 1.5°C. A stable climate is a prerequisite for all other social, economic and political goals. 

In the debate on Thursday May 9 th , SCC recommends that:

  • All Parties, Groups and TDs demand that the Government incorporates the full suite of recommendations of the Joint Committee in the forthcoming All-of-Government Action Plan on Climate Change, and the National Energy and Climate Plan due to be submitted to the European Union at the end of 2019. 
  • All Parties, Groups and TDs call on the Government to ensure implementation of all the recommendations in line with the deadlines set by the Committee. In particular, to ensure the preparation of the first carbon budget within 12 months as proposed, and to bring legislation before the Dáil before the 2019 summer recess to amend the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 to incorporate the new national target and governance arrangements recommended in Chapter 1 of the Joint Committee Report.

Full Briefing Here

[1] Citizens’ Assembly report on climate change is available at: https://www.citizensassembly.ie/en/How-the-State-can-make-Ireland-a-leader-in-tackling-climate-change/

[2] See the Stop Climate Chaos press release on the publication of the report. ‘Cross-party Oireachtas Committee delivers historic mandate for climate action. Now Government must lead’. Available at: https://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/news/2019/03/29/crossparty-oireachtas-committee-delivers-historic/

[3] For an example of international focus, see: ‘How Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly helped climate action’ (Available at: https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-04-29/how-irelands-citizens-assembly-helped-climate-action ) and ( https://qz.com/1553567/a-democratic-experiment-in-ireland-could-become-the-model-for-fighting-climate-change/ )

Stop Climate Chaos welcomes results of public consultation on climate policy

September 27 2012, 05:00pm

Stop Climate Chaos, the coalition of civil society groups, welcomes the publication of the results of the recent Department of Environment public consultation on climate policy.

The public consultation received 623 responses in total from individual citizens, academics, NGOs, and business.

The results, published on the Department's website, show overwhelming public support for a strong climate law, real action to cut emissions rather than buy permits, and an independent body to advise Government.

Some of the main findings include:

89.8% of respondents think Ireland should be a leader on climate action in the EU, presenting itself as a forward-looking, progressive society with an economy that is sustainable on socio-economic and environmental grounds.
90% of respondents wanted to see climate targets enshrined in national law.
Over 92% supported the establishment of an independent, expert body to advise Government on climate.
62.3% felt there was no role for carbon offsets in meeting our targets, ie that we should cut our emissions here in Ireland rather than spend taxpayers' money overseas on buying pollution permits, known as "carbon credits".
The majority of those responding to a question on targets referred to the need for a legally-binding carbon budget., possibly along the lines of the existing UK model, with monitoring built in.

In January, Minister Hogan published the Roadmap for Climate Policy and Legislation which commits to sending heads of a climate Bill to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht later this year. 82.9 per cent of respondents felt it was very important to set statutory objectives for reducing Ireland's emissions. We look forward to the next step on the Minister Hogan's roadmap towards publishing and passing the climate Bill.

Commenting, Sorley Mc Caughey of Christian Aid said
"The climate law should be strong enough to ensure it is a vital part of building a sustainable and smart Irish economy. Almost 90 per cent of respondents think Ireland should be a leader for climate action within the EU by presenting itself as a forward looking, progressive society with an economy that is sustainable on socio-economic and environmental grounds."

"Climate change is already taking its toll, costing lives and livelihoods and undermining economies around the world, particularly in poor countries that have done least to contribute to the problem. Advancing climate legislation in Ireland will be an important signal of responsibility. The results of this consultation show that many Irish people are looking for political leadership on this issue" said Cliona Sharkey of Trócaire.

A massive 92.2 per cent of respondents want to see an independent commission established to advise the Government on climate issues.

Molly Walsh of Friends of the Earth said
"It is important that any advisory body established under the climate Bill has the power to publish its own reports independently from Government. This is the case in the UK where the Climate Change Commission was established under the Climate Change Act in 2008."

The results of this consultation will feed into the Department of the Environment's proposals for a climate law, due to be published by December. The consultation is also supposed to inform the independent analysis by the NESC (National Economic and Social Council) secretariat on the development of national climate policy. The Roadmap commits to publishing the NESC report, which was sent to the Minister at the end of June, by the end of September.

ENDS

Notes:
1. The members of Stop Climate Chaos are: ActionAid, Afri, BirdWatch, Christian Aid, Climate Action Ireland Platform, Comhlámh, Concern, Cultivate, Dublin Friends of the Earth, Eco Congregation Ireland, ECO UNESCO, Feasta, Friends of the Earth, Gorta, Just Forests, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Latin America Solidarity Centre (LASC), Methodist Church of Ireland- Council of Social Responsibility, Mountmellick Environmental Group (MEG), National Youth Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Presentation Ireland, Progressio Ireland, Sustain West Cork, Trócaire, An Taisce, Vita, VOICE.

2. The results of the public consultation are available on the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government website here.

Dáil Declares Climate Emergency and Endorses Blueprint for Climate Action

May 10 2019, 12:01am

Government must now commit to immediate implementation of the Oireachtas recommendations "in full and on time"

Dáil Eireann has tonight (Thursday 9 May) voted to declare a "Climate Emergency" and " accept and endorse" the blueprint for action developed by the cross-party Committee on Climate Action. [1]

Reacting, Oisin Coghlan, Coordinator of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, said:

"This is a radical mandate for climate action from the Dáil. It really puts it up to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, whose climate action hasn't matched his virtue signalling. Minister Bruton has promised a new all-of-government climate action plan will be published within weeks.

"To respect this declaration of a Climate Emergency the Government's first response must be to commit to the immediate implementation of the Oireachtas's blueprint for action, in full and on time, as part of their own new plan.

"We have a climate emergency because we now have to do in 10 years what we should have started 20 years ago. None of the Oireachtas's recommendations are rocket science. Few are radical or new. All are overdue. But together they put us on the path to implementing the Paris Agreement.

The 41 recommendations of Oireachtas Committee, "accepted and endorsed" by the Dáil tonight, include:

  • New climate legislation to be enacted in 2019 providing for
    • A target for Ireland to have net-zero emissions by 2050 to be put into law
    • The setting of 5-yearly carbon budgets (pollution limits) by the Oireachtas
    • A target of 70% of electricity to be renewable by 2030
  • A stronger Climate Action Council.
  • A new standing committee of the Oireachtas to act as the public accounts committee for carbon.
  • A Just Transition Taskforce involving all stakeholders to deliver security and opportunity for those impacted until the move to a low carbon economy.
  • The establishment of a One-Stop Shop in each county to support citizen and community participation in the transition.
  • Public information campaigns by Government and a more pro-active role for broadcasters and Met Eireann.
  • An appraisal of the emissions impact of all new infrastructure projects including those in Project Ireland 2040.
  • A carbon price trajectory that rises to €80 per tonne by 2030, only be implemented when an evidenced-based plan is in place to increase supports and incentives for climate action measures, including the protection of those vulnerable to fuel poverty.
  • That the proceeds from carbon pricing should be ring-fenced in legislation to ensure this does not go into general Exchequer funding, with a consultation on whether the revenue should be invested in climate action or refunded directly to citizens by way of a "cheque in the post".
  • That people and communities should be able to sell micro-gen solar and other renewables to the grid and get paid at least the wholesale price for electricity.
  • Planning restrictions for solar PV on homes, farms and small businesses should be lifted.
  • A target for community owned renewable electricity of 500MW by 2025.
  • The Government should re-evaluate its plans to subsidise biomass to co-fire the peat stations in light of the concerns of the Climate Advisory Council
  • Bord Na Mona and the ESB should re-evaluate its plans to co-fire peat with biomass due to the lack of indigenous supply of biomass.
  • A new plan for agriculture to align it with meeting Ireland's commitments under the Paris Agreement to be drawn up by the end of the year.
  • Reform of the CAP to support that transition.
  • The Government should convene a stakeholder forum on agricultural diversification by June 2019.
  • A new national land-use plan
  • A national hedgerow survey by 2020
  • An independent sustainability audit of Coillte's forest business in 2019
  • A new forestry plan, focused on climate mitigation by end 2020
  • A target of peatlands being net sequesters not emitters of carbon by 2050; a funded programme of rehabilitation and restoration of peatlands by the end of this year.
  • An urgent needs assessment of what is required to retrofit 45,000 homes a year and explore increasing that to 75,000 houses a year over time.
  • That revised building regs would set a Nearly Zero Energy Building standard by end 2020.
  • A huge programme of retrofitting public buildings
  • A ban on new fossil fuel boilers in public buildings
  • A  new implementation plan for the Smarter Travel: A Sustainable Travel Future policy in time for Budget 2020
  • Full implementation of the National Cycle Policy Framework by 2020
  • An expanded rural transport programme

The special cross-party Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action was set up in 2018 to consider the 13 high-level recommendations of the Citizens' Assembly and to develop specific, time-bound, actions for Government Departments to be included in the National Energy and Climate Plan that the Government has to submit to the European Commission before the end of 2019.
Notes

[1] The motion passed by the Dáil this evening reads: That Dáil Eireann declares a climate and biodiversity emergency and accepts and endorses the Report of the Joint Committee on Climate Action entitled 'Climate Change: A Cross Party Consensus on Climate Action', copies of which were laid before Dáil Eireann on 29th March 2019, and calls for the Citizens' Assembly to examine how the state can improve its response to the issue of biodiversity loss.
[2] The report of the Joint Committee endorsed by the Dáil tonight, 'Climate Change: A Cross Party Consensus on Climate Action', is online here: http://bit.ly/JOCCAreport1.

[3] The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action was established with cross-party consensus in July 2018, charged with considering the 13 high-level recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on climate change, and how current departmental climate policies could be strengthened. 

[4]  The Citizens’ Assembly formal report on climate change was published in April 2018 (available here) and was laid before the houses of the Oireachtas.

[5]  In March 2018, the Stop Climate Chaos coalition called for the establishment of a dedicated Oireachtas Committee to take the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations forward, as was done with the Assembly report on the eighth amendment to the Constitution. See the Stop Climate Chaos letter to the Oireachtas Business Committee.

[6] In 2017 the Citizens' Assembly considered climate change, with a major public consultation that received close to 2000 submissions, and four days of expert presentations and deliberation. The Stop Climate Chaos press release on the adoption of the Assembly's 13 recommendations in November 2017 is here: "Citizens’ Assembly decisions on climate change a momentous opportunity to shake up Ireland’s backward policies". Our submission to the Assembly's public consultation is online here.

Stop Climate Chaos hosts Irish premiere of This Changes Everything this weekend

September 22 2015, 01:30pm

This weekend, as part of a weekend of global climate action, Stop Climate Chaos and Happenings will host the Irish premiere of This Changes Everything. The documentary, based on Naomi Klein's bestselling book on climate change, is a powerful rallying-cry for a global movement to take on the challenge of climate change.

We're one of only a handful of countries getting to screen the film a month before it goes on general release so please join us for this outdoor screening to witness powerful stories from communities on the front line of climate change.

When: Saturday 26th September 5.30 – 9.30pm (film starts when it gets dark!)

Where: Merrion Square Park, Dublin

Tickets: €5 suggested donation on the gate

We will have live music from Mundy and Oliver Cole, the best of Dublin's street food offerings and entertainment in the form of a wandering Molly Malone, Climate Change Croquet, bicycle-demolished smoothies and bicycle-powered projections under the trees, a photo exhibition, hidden messages from Young Friends of the Earth, oh and free Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Will this film change everything? Probably not. But you could, by answering its call to action! So come along on Saturday and tell all your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues about it too.

School Strikes - May 24th

Second Global Strike calls for nationwide support

May 22 2019, 11:38am