Tuesday, 14 May 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
Richard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
The school student climate strikers have chosen 24 May, the same day as the European and local elections, for their next major mobilisation to demand emergency action on climate change. While they are delighted that a climate emergency has been declared, they want to see the action follow the symbolism. The need to do so has been further underlined today by the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii showing that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have reached all time highs. There is now more CO2 in the atmosphere than there has been for 3 million years and at any time in which human life has existed on the planet. We are way beyond emergency levels.
I suggest to the Taoiseach that before 24 May the students would welcome a signal from the Government that it takes this emergency and such shocking news seriously. In that context, I suggest the Taoiseach signal before then that he will drop his opposition to the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) (Climate Emergency Measures) Bill 2018 which seeks to keep fossil fuels in the ground. The Taoiseach should not say that will not make any difference because we are merely one small country.