Extinction Rebellion launches alternative budget

Source: Greennews.ie

October 8th, 2019

Extinction Rebellion Ireland has launched its own climate-specific budget as the Government delivers its budgetfor the upcoming fiscal year. 

The Budget for Climate Justice
calls on the Government to stop adhering to a “business as usual” approach,
which will, the group says, “inevitably lead to a global climate catastrophe,
ecological devastation, economic collapse and mass extinction”. 

The document was read aloud in
front of government buildings beside Merrion Square in Dublin, with protesters
taking turns to read aloud different segments. 

The group calls on the Government
to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and stresses that in order
to do so, the development plans for the Shannon LNG terminal must be
stopped. 

Building the terminal would “lock Ireland into dependence on imported fracked gas for the next 30 years, flooding the market with gas and pushing out the development of renewables”, the group said.

A firebreather performs after the budget is read aloud Photo: Kayle Crosson

List of demands

The document goes on to demand the
immediate implementation of the Citizen’s Assembly recommendations on climate
change and the diversification of agriculture. 

The changes, the group stresses,
must be all made within the context of a just transition, both in Ireland and
globally. 

Such a transition would provide
proper provision for the protection of the rights of the workers impacted by
the transition to a low carbon economy through retraining and the establishment
of a Just Transition Task Force supported by strong funding as recommended by
the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action. 

“We need to ensure a more equitable
future for all Irish citizens, both urban and rural from struggling families
facing fuel poverty to farming communities seeking a living wage for an honest
day’s work,” an Extinction Rebellion spokesperson said. 

After reading aloud the contents of the budget, climate poet Lucy Holmes read her poem “Silence”, imploring the government to act and not remain silent on the climate crisis, asking, “how will you deal with the truth when the world ends in silence?” 

Lucy Holmes reading porm ‘Silence’ Photo: Kayle Crosson

Week of Rebellion 

The climate budget came on the
second day of Rebellion Week, which is an international week-long event to
highlight climate breakdown and the biodiversity crisis. 

The group is remaining coy on
further actions to take place across the remainder of the week, only stating
that they will employ family-friendly non-violent civil disobedience to “bring
society to a standstill” and force the Government to respond to the climate
emergency. 

The international movement
began with 10 people in the UK last summer, rising to prominence in November
2018 when thousands blocked bridges and glued themselves to public
buildings. 

The Irish branch of the global XR
movement began over a year ago with a public meeting in the Teachers Club in Co
Dublin. Since then the group has grown rapidly with local groups set up across
the country. 

Writing in The
Green News
last week, one of the Irish founding members Dr Ciarán Ó
Carroll said that the group is taking to the streets as decades of conventional
activities such as voting, lobbying, and petition writing has failed to ignite
political and public will to tackle the climate crisis. 

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