Neutral response from Government to latest climate change report

Opposition politicians warn of dangers of impact on Ireland if urgent steps not taken

 Emer Costello: The Dublin  MEP  called for the urgent publication of the final heads of the new climate change Bill. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Emer Costello: The Dublin MEP called for the urgent publication of the final heads of the new climate change Bill. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 21:55


The stark warnings of global warming in the latest UN report have drawn a neutral response from the Government, has which described it as a “vital piece of scientific policy analysis”.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan yesterday gave the Government’s official response to the report, which warns of melting Arctic ice, heatwaves, flooding and increasing dangers to human food supply.

Mr Hogan said the report would inform the Government’s response and contended that Ireland was engaged and committed, both domestically and internationally, to advance this work. He said the heads of the long-awaited Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development Bill would be published within weeks.

Others warned of the threats to Ireland.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said the science was certain and dramatic and argued that Ireland was not prepared for the climate-related risks it faced.

“Ireland is threatened by an inevitable rise in sea levels and flooding unless we act now. We know that we have to create new energy, transport, food and industrial systems that reduce waste and cut out pollution . . .

“We need to embrace this call to action with hope rather than just fear,” Mr Ryan added. “We do not have a lot of time, but if we respond with a calm determination and with a willingness to experiment and admit it will take time to get things right, we can make it work.”

Dublin Labour MEP Emer Costello called for the urgent publication of the final heads of the new climate change Bill. “Today’s important report from the UN’s expert panel on climate change provides more stark evidence of the potential devastating impact of global climate change if it is not tackled.

“Communities in Dublin and around the country have already experienced some of the ominous signs that climate change is happening in Ireland as extreme weather events over recent years have battered our coastline, flooded coastal cities and inundated thousands of acres of farmland,” Ms Costello said.