Solidarity TDs call for Government action on climate change

Solidarity TDs Paul Murphy and Mick Barry have today called for large-scale investment in tackling climate change but also in preparing cities and towns for increased flooding.

Their comments come after the publication of a study carried out by researchers at Newcastle University has highlighted the increased threat of flooding, drought and heat waves over the next decades and how Ireland will be affected by them.

Commenting on the report, Paul Murphy TD said: "This important research demonstrates how exposed Ireland is to the effects of climate change.

"Three of our major cities and population areas are at high risk of extreme flooding events in the near future.

''This report should act as a major wake-up call for the Government that they cannot continue with their business-as-usual approach when it comes to climate change.

''Because of the lack of action by the Irish government and capitalist governments across the globe to tackle rising CO2 emissions we have to be prepared for more extreme weather events which are now inevitable.

"This means taking measures now to prevent the potentially devastating effects of sea-level rises and increased occurrences of river flooding.

"Transport emissions in Ireland account for about 20% of all emissions. Currently 75% of all journeys made in Ireland are made in private cars.

"Solidarity have proposed a number of measures relating to public transport to encourage people from their cars onto buses and trains. These include a halving of fares, increasing routes and having more frequent services."

Mick Barry TD said: "The government must begin investing immediately in increased flood defence protections. This means providing funding now for measures like the tidal barrier in Cork and new flood prevention measures upriver on the Lee.

"Defence measures like this need to be rolled out across the country in all the major towns and cities.

''Secondly, they must begin to take climate change seriously by tackling emissions. This means major investment in areas like transport, retro-fitting of homes and to tackle the industries which are major emitters.

"The Irish Academy of Engineers have estimated that it would cost €35 billion to take measures to reach the 2030 emissions targets, which themselves are not enough.

"We need to take radical measures to re-shape the economy to one that protects the environment and provides for people's needs."

- Digital desk

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