November 29th, 2019
Students came out in numbers
today in the capital to demand once more that the government take greater
action on addressing the climate crisis.
The lunchtime protest was set to
be held before the gates of the Dail, but due to crowd size and road safety,
Gardai directed the demonstration down towards Kildare Place.
School strikers spoke before the
crowd, demanding that the Government take both holistic and specific action.
They repeatedly called on it to halt all plans to support liquefied natural gas
terminals in both Shannon and Cork.
Brooke Dwyer, who participated in the RTE Climate Youth Assembly earlier this month, said that she refused to let the broadcasted event “be used solely for PR, put in a false light, and used as an excuse by the Government”.
“I’m sick and tired and scared of
the excuses and blatant dismissiveness, lack of education, ignorance and
passiveness towards the crisis in climate crisis,” she added.
She then went on to read the ten recommendations the Assembly put forward to the Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton, which included banning imported fracked gas and the redirecting of all energy investing into solar power.
The strike was led by the Fridays
for Future movement and coincided with a global climate strike just a week
before the annual UN Climate Conference is set to take place in Madrid.
Swedish teenage climate activist
Greta Thunberg is currently crossing the Atlantic by carbon-neutral boat in
order to attend the conference.
Today’s strike is the fourth of
its kind this year, with similar global mobilizations happening in March, May
and September. Protests also took place across the country, including in Cork,
Ennis, Limerick and Letterkenny.
Ireland remains well-off track in
meeting its 2020 and 2030 targets according to EPA data and the 2019 Climate
Change Performance Index released this time last year.
Most recently, Climate Action
Network (CAN) Europe stressed that Ireland must do more on
climate action within the next month.
The report from the European climate body found that Ireland was performing poorly in a number of areas, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate ambition.
School Striker Demands
The movement is asking the
Government to communicate the severity of the climate crisis to the public and
to build school curriculums that convey it adequately to students of all
The transition to
carbon-neutrality must be fair, and stronger corporate regulation on those
directly responsible for the climate crisis must be implemented, they say.
Students are also asking the
government to deeply reduce emissions from the state’s largest emitting sector,
agriculture, and all fossil fuel supplies be left in the ground.
By 2030, school strikers want a 100 per cent renewable electricity supply, which supersedes the government’s current 2030 target of 70 per cent.
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