RTE 1.8 million people have signed a petition demanding the Government do more to fight global warming.
The petition was launched by Climate Action Network Ireland (CANI) and the Irish Climate Action Campaign (ICA) in the run up to the European elections on 5 May.
The group said that a number of the issues they were calling for the Government to tackle in its election manifesto would require the Government’s attention at this critical time.
The Government’s response to climate change will be determined by the will of the people and will require the support of all citizens.
“The world may be on the brink of a major global shift towards an economy based on a fossil fuel based economy and climate change,” said ICA spokesperson Tom McBride.
“If the Government does not take action, we may see another devastating year of climate disaster.”
It is essential that we have an effective response to the urgent needs of the next generation of Irish citizens.””
It would be a shame if we were to be left behind.
“A growing number of Irish people are becoming increasingly aware of the issue of climate change, as the impact of climate disruption has been felt by the Irish population and communities.
The ICA says the Government has failed to act on climate change in its recent manifesto, and that the Government needs to act now.
In a letter sent to the Government last week, ICA national spokesperson John McGuinness said the Government had not done enough to respond to the climate crisis.”
We are calling for urgent action from the Government.
The next government must act now to secure Ireland’s place in the world for future generations.””
Climate change is not a partisan issue, but it is an existential threat to our country.
We are living through a period of unprecedented global and regional impacts, and we cannot continue to allow a climate crisis to become an excuse to delay action.
“The Government has already committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but the ICA said that more needs to be done to address the impacts of climate crisis on Ireland.”
Our citizens are already suffering from extreme weather, the impacts from the devastating flooding of the Galway Bay last summer and the devastation caused by the Derry floods in recent years.
“There is no doubt that the climate issue is a major issue for the future of our nation and our economy,” Mr McGuinness added.
The Coalition has promised to invest €200 million to address climate change by 2020.
A spokesperson for the Department of Environment said the Department had a comprehensive approach to addressing climate change.
“Climate action and its impacts have been well recognised as a priority for the last 10 years and we continue to take climate change seriously,” they said.
“This approach is underpinned by a strong and robust National Climate Strategy that provides clear direction and delivers a clear plan for the implementation of the strategy.”
These climate strategies and actions are in line with the Government and its policy agenda to improve Ireland’s resilience to climate risks and adapt to future climate change.