Friends of the Earth Ireland, with other members of Ireland’s Stop Climate Chaos coalition, staged a demonstration outside government buildings in Dublin today. Dressed as Homer Simpson, activists wanted to show that with the climate discussions next week in Doha, Qatar, it feels more like D’Oh!-a for Irish politicians when it comes to climate action.
Friends of the Earth Ireland has been pushing for a strong Irish climate law as part of the Big Ask campaign, but the previous government collapsed before one could be introduced. The current Irish government has released a roadmap for the development for such a law, which promises that a draft bill will be published before the end of the year. Stop Climate Chaos wanted to show the government that they hadn’t forgotten about the promise of a draft bill, and to highlight how stupid it seems for Ireland to once again be on the world stage at a UN climate change summit without strong climate legislation at home.
Ireland is one of the highest per-capita emitters of CO2 in the world, and is predicted to have great trouble meeting its EU 2020 emissions reduction commitments if something doesn’t change. Friends of the Earth Ireland campaigns for the introduction of legally-binding carbon budgets to ensure a steady path to the reductions necessary, and support for the development of renewable energy systems and increased energy efficiency, to ensure that emissions reductions are made domestically, and not through questionable foreign offsetting.
The European 'Big Ask' campaign is an initiative by Friends of the Earth groups in countries across Europe all with the same big ask – that their governments commit to reduce carbon emissions, year on year, every year. The campaign calls for cuts in emissions equal to a reduction of EU-wide domestic emissions of at least 40%, without offsetting, by 2020.
Stop Climate Chaos is a coalition of 26 organisations, including Friends of the Earth, in Ireland campaigning for Ireland to play its part in preventing runaway climate change.