On March 12th the Irish Minister for the environment, community and local government, Phil Hogan, presented his Heads of Bill to other Government Ministers. The Heads of Bill is a draft of the future Irish climate legislation. It was met with disappointment and frustration from organisations like Trócaire and Friends of the Earth, who had hoped for a much stronger bill. They agreed that the fact that there are no targets stated in this piece of draft legislation is the biggest issue.
However, the bill has not been published yet, and so there is still time to make the changes necessary. For this to happen the public needs to step in and let the government know that this is not the legislation we want.
I got in touch with Molly Walsh, FoE and Ciara Kirrane, Trócaire, to discuss the bill and the bigger picture: the very real impacts of climate change. Climate change is not something that will happen in the future. On the contrary, it is a very current reality for people in developing countries, trying to make a living from agriculture in already vulnerable societies. For example: see my podcast about Malawi. Climate change can be observed in Ireland as well, Molly Walsh mentioned the cold winters and recent floods as examples of impacts of climate change in our part of the world.
Remember this? Floods in Dublin October 2011
Researchers estimated that a 2 degree increase in global temperature would be manageable, but even then we would see dire consequences for the ecosystems of the planet. We are on track to a 4 degree increase in temperature, if it even stops there. The consequences would be unimaginable.
Thinking about all this, I decided to try to do my part. In a very ‘hands on’ kind of way I simply made a film. The film is meant to encourage action, because all is not lost yet. There are still things we can do, you and I, to stop this from happening. For starters, we can contact our local TD’s and let them know that we feel this issue is important and that Ireland needs a better bill than the one on the table right now. To find your TD’s click here.
By clicking on this link you will get to Trócaire’s web page where they have made it really easy to send an email to Phil Hogan. Stop Climate Chaos is a coalition of organisations working against climate change in Ireland, click here to get to their site where they have assembled some really good material.
A film I made on the topic.