12th August 2021 | Press Releases

Healthy ecosystems the ‘best line of defence’ as EPA reports warmer temperatures, increasing greenhouse gas concentration and rising sea levels

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The Green Party has said climate change is no longer a problem of the future but is affecting the people of Ireland right now, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Met Éireann (MÉ) and the Marine Institute (MI) publish ‘The Status of Ireland’s Climate’ report. The report finds that global warming has resulted in Ireland’s climate becoming warmer and wetter, and that the concentration of greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – has continued to increase since 2012 with long term implications for our climate.

The Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett said;

“As a farmer, and as someone who lives in rural Ireland, today’s report is not a surprise. The impacts of climate change are already evident and are having a significant effect on lives and livelihoods.  The increased incidences of summer flooding of the Shannon Callows in my own region, for example. We need to focus now on addressing climate change head on. The Government will shortly publish the Climate Action Plan 2021 and I am looking forward to this outlining the measures we need to take to reach our 2030 targets. My particular focus, of course, is on agriculture and land use and I am optimistic this sector will rise to the challenge. But now, more than ever, we need collaboration and constructive engagement. Those promoting a ‘business as usual’ response have will have to, literally, sink or swim on their own.” 

The Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, said;

“This report brings the findings of this week’s IPCC assessment much closer to home. Climate change is not a future problem or a faraway problem – it’s affecting you and me, right here in Ireland, right now. There is a huge task ahead of us, and the Climate Bill has set that out in law. Now, it’s down to all of us – Government, communities, farmers, foresters, businesses, NGOs, everyone – to work together and deliver the change we need. For my part as Minister for Heritage, I know that nature is our greatest ally in our response to climate change. Healthy ecosystems capture and store carbon in bogs, woodlands, and oceans, and are our first and best line of defence against extreme weather events. The challenge is immense, but together, we can do this: for each other, and for all life on earth. We have to.”