Ireland declares ‘climate emergency’ following Dáil debate

Ireland has become the second country globally to declare a climate emergency following the proposal receiving the backing of the Dáil last night, Thursday, May 9.

Put forward by Fianna Fáil climate action spokesperson Timmy Dooley, the motion received unanimous cross-party support.

The motion was made during a debate on the recommendations of the climate report published last month by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action.

The proposal was passed without vote after receiving backing from both Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton and chairperson of the Oireachtas Special Committee on Climate Action Hildegarde Naughton.

Ireland becomes the second country to declare such an emergency following a similar declaration from the UK at the start of May.

Reaction

The declaration of a climate and biodiversity emergency has been welcomed by the Environmental Pillar.

In a statement on the matter, the Environmental Pillar underlined the severity of the situation in Ireland, noting that around one-third of Ireland’s 98 wild bee species are threatened with extinction, while recent findings show that over 60% of the 202 species of commonly occurring birds in Ireland is now on the red and amber conservation lists.

Over 90% of 58 listed habitats in Ireland also have an ‘inadequate’ or ‘bad’ status and just over half of the 61 European protected species in Ireland have a ‘favourable’ conservation status, the group said.

Oisin Coghlan of the Environmental Pillar said this evening:

This is the Dáil’s opportunity to rise to the challenge climate change and represent the public’s increasing desire for urgent action.

“Declaring a climate emergency is a rational response to the threat level and our failure so far to stem the pollution poisoning our life support system on Earth, our only home.

“Accepting and endorsing the report of the Joint Committee on Climate Action is a good first response to that emergency,” Coghlan concluded.