Irish people are in world's top 10 of worst polluters


Ireland produces almost double the EU average of carbon emissions per person each year, an Irish climatology expert has said.

The current EU average is about eight tonnes of carbon emissions per capita, but Ireland’s emissions hit almost 16 tonnes per capita, Prof John Sweeney said.

Prof Sweeney, who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with other climatologists for his work on a climate change report, was speaking yesterday at the launch of a new report on climate change.

‘‘We’re up there with the big boys in terms of the oil-producing states and the US in terms of our per capita contribution. In terms of the causation of the problem at an individual level we are as guilty in Ireland as almost any other country in the world. We’re up in the top 10 per capita polluters in the world,’’ he added. Ireland produces more per capita than China (6.8), France (5.9), the UK (8.1) and Germany (10).

Mary Robinson, president of Foundation – Climate Justice, said: ‘‘Initiatives such as this will help to bring home the reality of climate justice to the public and will encourage debate about the best ways to combat the harmful affects of climate change.’’

The report, Towards Climate Justice: a Strategy Guide for the Community Sector in Responding to Climate Change, suggests poorer sections of society will bear the burden of the effects of climate change.