Climate protests planned in Ireland to coincide with Cop26

Groups of activists to hold demonstrations in Dublin and other cities on November 6th

Students protest in Dublin demanding action on the climate crisis in 2019.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Students protest in Dublin demanding action on the climate crisis in 2019. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Climate activists are planning to hold demonstrations in a number of Irish cities to call for further action to tackle the climate crisis, while a key United Nations conference is taking place.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (Cop26) is to start on Saturday in Glasgow, with the crucial summit lasting for nearly two weeks.

Activists are planning demonstrations across the world for November 6th, with protests to take place in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Belfast.

Cop26 Coalition Ireland, an umbrella group of climate activists and trade unions, is organising demonstrations for several Irish cities.

The main demonstration will take place in Dublin, starting at the Garden of Remembrance at midday.

Fiona O’Malley of Climate Case Ireland, said the Government’s record on climate action was “entirely unconvincing”, and statements and speeches needed to be backed with actions.

“We are attending the march on November 6th to support the national and international call on governments to step up and deliver real change to a greener, sustainable future,” she said.

Ms O’Malley said required reforms would include a ban on new fossil fuel projects, and a “rapid” increase in efforts to pivot to “a greener future and economy”.

Ailbhe Smyth, a prominent feminist campaigner, said it was “imperative” that people “put pressure” on governments to take urgent steps to address climate change.

Other groups involved in the protest include Extinction Rebellion, Unite the Union, and the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

Betty Tyrrell-Collard, head of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, said it was supporting the march as the “poorest will be hit worst by climate change”.

“The emissions from big fossil fuel corporations must be cut back, because there are no jobs on a dead planet,” she said.

Darryl Horan, University College Dublin (UCD) students’ union campaigns officer said an impending “climate catastrophe” threatened the possibility of “a good future for all young people”.

Separately, a new campaign group, Active Travel Coalition, has called for the Government to improve cycling routes and infrastructure.

The group includes cycling campaigners, as well as the Irish Heart Foundation, Irish College of General Practitioners, and environmental group Friends of the Earth.

In a statement in the days before Cop26, the group called on the Government to improve cycling routes to schools.

The group said it was seeking funding for more “networks” of cycling routes, rather than “one-off” lanes that were not connected.

Colm Ryder of the Rural Cycling Collective said improving cycle routes would require “a reallocation of road space from the motor vehicle”.