Climate emergency and politics


A chara, – Stephen Collins is right to be critical about the lack of action by our politicians on the environment (“Ireland’s politicians are fooling nobody with their ‘climate emergency’”, Opinion & Analysis, May 16th).

Even those whose constituencies are near the Oireachtas are regularly seen driving into Leinster House, where they have a free car park for life.

In addition, most election material for the impending elections has not been printed on recycled and environmentally friendly paper.

Thus it’s hard not to be sceptical about the radical plans mooted by Minister for the Environment Richard Bruton.

If we are to make a change to the environment, we need our leaders to change their own behaviours first before instructing us on how to change ours. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.

Sir, – With so many of the good folks in Dublin’s more affluent neighbourhoods seemingly feverish regarding Ireland’s contribution to climate change while being canvassed by local and EU election candidates, can we take a moment to remind them that Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions account for slightly over one-tenth of one per cent of global emissions – 0.13 per cent.

Only one-third of these originate from our agricultural sector, whose farmers are humbly engaged in the less than glamorous task of feeding the country.

Perhaps some perspective is in order? – Yours, etc,



Sir, – The Urban Tree Challenge Fund aims to plant more than 130,000 trees in English towns and cities in its efforts to counter global warming. In Dublin we plan to fell some of the most beautiful urban trees in Europe to make way for diesel-fuelled buses!

Is this the same country that recently declared a climate emergency? – Yours, etc,




Sir, – It’s heartening to see Green shoots emerging vigorously in opinion polls, and it would be brilliant if they were to spring up profusely on Friday, standing up defiantly to the poisonous pressure of capitalism. – Yours, etc,




Co Dublin.