Climate Emergency Measures Bill

 

Sir, – Paul Milne (February 15th) is completely right to take issue with my earlier letter (February 12th) criticising the Government’s stance on this proposed legislation. If one wishes to defend Ireland as one of the highest per capita greenhouse gas emitters in Europe and its “worst in Europe” ranking on the Climate Change Performance Index, then this is the way to go. If maintaining our extravagant, fossil fuel-based lifestyles with all of the negative consequences in terms of local weather extremes, devastating impacts on vulnerable populations elsewhere and escalating biodiversity loss is the pre-eminent task of government, then my criticism was misplaced and seriously out of order. If one wishes to deny that we are in a state of climate emergency with profound implications for all ecosystems and future generations, then Mr Milne is right on target.

If, however, one accepts that living within the constraints of the planet’s boundaries is not just a political but also a moral and ecological imperative, then certain consequences in terms of reduced consumption across all sectors, especially by the wealthy, follow with immediate effect and require action and leadership at all levels of society.

An Taisce has a long and well-earned reputation for prioritising the conservation of Ireland’s natural and built heritage for the benefit of future generations. In the context of the existential threats posed by climate change, it has a complementary commitment to ensure that the web of life and the ecosystems that sustain it are preserved, protected and enabled to survive into the future. – Yours, etc,

PHILIP KEARNEY,

Chairman,

Climate Change Committee,

An Taisce,

The National Trust

for Ireland,

Tailors’ Hall,

Dublin 8.