School Strike sending a clear message on Climate
15 March 2019
Euro Candidate for Ireland South
Speaking from the #SchoolStrike4Climate march in Cork, Labour Euro candidate for Ireland South, Sheila Nunan has welcomed today's action by school children around the country who are joining the climate strike. Sheila was joined at the march by Seán Sherlock TD and local Labour representatives.
"I am very proud to see school children coming out on strike today to send a message to the Government on climate change. What we are seeing today is the generation who will be left living with the mistakes of the past telling us to get ambitious, get focused and get off the fence on climate change.
"The challenge we face is to get Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions down from 60 million tonnes a year to 33 million tonnes by 2030, and to effectively zero by 2050.
"I can see why the Citizens Assembly published ambitious recommendations for meeting our climate obligations. We have to be really ambitious about our ability to transform the economy and to do it in a way that doesn’t put the poorest people and communities into a worse position.
"We know where our emissions come from: 29% from agriculture, 21% each from transport and energy generation, 15% from industry and commerce, 12% from residential energy use and 2% from our waste. The basic principle here is “polluter pays”, and there are practical solutions we can apply under each heading. For example, we need to fully insulate our homes, which will reduce our use of energy while also being a way to reduce energy poverty. We likewise have to ensure electric vehicles become affordable for all. They are win-win proposals, but we have to be willing to put in the initial investment.
"Labour is the party most focused on practical actions that will ultimately reduce people’s cost of living and increase quality of life. Making changes is never easy, but with vision, we can make Ireland’s economy fairer as well as more sustainable, and that would be the best gift we can leave for our children."