Climate change and the weather

Sir, – There’s nothing like the art of selective quotation

Sir, – There’s nothing like the art of selective quotation. John Hamill (July 2nd) quotes me as saying in 2007 that climate change would bring “summer droughts” to Ireland. I actually said, “Extreme weather events such as flooding will become more common, and staple crops such as potatoes will become less viable. Changes in rainfall will leave water supplies vulnerable to weather extremes such as winter flooding and summer droughts.”

In my defence, the Environmental Protection Agency report Climate Change – Refining the Impacts for Ireland states: “ . . . winter rainfall in Ireland by the 2050s is projected to increase by approximately 10 per cent while reductions in summer of 12–17 per cent are projected by the same time”. Mr Hamill should not confuse weather with climate.

I went on to say, “We must reduce our own emissions and prepare for the effects of climate change through proper planning and preparation. As a first step we must ensure that new developments are not allowed on flood plains, or in vulnerable coastal areas. We must also ensure that Ireland’s emissions are reduced through sensible planning policies that reduce the need to travel. We also must invest in public transport projects around the country that build on the success of Luas in Dublin. All new buildings must be built to the highest energy efficiency standards.”

Some progress was made on this during our time in government, but sadly the current Government has shelved our Climate Change Response Bill.


Radical steps to tackle our emissions and green the economy are still required. – Yours, etc,


Green Party,

Suffolk Street, Dublin 2.