Thursday, 14 March 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
Maire Devine (Sinn Fein)
I wish to send out St. Patrick's Day greetings to everyone. I hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend.
Members will be aware that tomorrow at midday striking school students will protest outside Leinster House demanding more action on climate change. Last week the audiovisual room was packed for a presentation by school students who have set up a country-wide network. They are determined to leave their classrooms and to strike tomorrow for climate action. They are asking us as their leaders and elders to be more proactive in addressing what is an urgent issue. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, has estimated that we have about 12 years to act. It is frightening to think that in 12 years we will be facing irreversible climate change if we do not act. The opportunity to act must be grasped today. The students striking tomorrow are part of a world wide youth movement initiated by Ms Greta Thunberg who began protesting alone outside the Swedish Parliament. The movement has grown, particularly in the United States of America, where President Trump's robust climate change denials are a cause for alarm. I urge everyone in the House to support this movement. I disagree with Ms Teresa May's view that the strike is "disruptive". Such action is important in the context of learning and teaching about climate change.