Irish government has heads in the sand on climate

4 July 2015

150 people gathered on a beach in Dublin to stick their heads in the sand, calling on the Irish government to not, metaphorically, do the same on climate change. The stunt, organised in the shadow of the chimneys of a disused power station by Friends of the Earth Ireland as part of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, was to highlight the government's lack of action on climate change.

The Irish government has published a long awaited climate change bill, but has yet to pass it into law. This lack of urgency displayed is partly what has prompted accusations that politicians are burying their heads in the sand. There is also no action plan to address Ireland's rising emissions, despite being among the worst in Europe, and Ireland was one of only two developed countries not to pledge financial assistance to the Green Climate Fund in Peru last year.

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition argued that the Irish government has been missing out on social, economic and local environmental benefits of climate action, too. "Instead, we risk significant fines for missing EU targets as well as considerable reputational damage in view of the international climate negotiations in Paris at the end of this year" said Sorley McCaughey, head of policy and advocacy at Christian Aid.