Climate Change and Global Warming
There is no doubt remaining that Global Warming is a very real and immediate threat to our way of life. The need to protect our environment from climate change for future generations is now well accepted all over the world. In global terms, the last 6 years have been the hottest on record. Extreme weather events are occurring on a regular basis now and this is projected not only to continue but to get significantly worse.
On the 17th June 2019, the Irish government announced an ambitious but realistic Climate Action Plan aimed at ‘tackling climate breakdown’. This plan highlights that the window of opportunity to take effective climate action is fast closing and that as a country, we are way off course. The aim ‘is to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate disruption’ and a core part of this Climate Action Plan is to ensure that we generate 70% of our electricity from renewables by 2030.
Examples of extreme weather events in Ireland over the past number of years:
- April ’19 – Storm Hannah – Red wind warnings in Clare and Kerry
- April ’19 – 20oC temperatures in mid-April
- Sept’ 18 – Storm Ali led to 2 fatalities in Ireland
- June ’18 – Severe drought conditions and 40-year temperature highs.
- March ’18 – The Beast from the East – Blizzard Conditions and snow drifts.
- October ’17 – Storm Ophelia caused extensive damage across the country.
97% of scientists are agreed that human activity is causing recent global warming. The burning of fossil fuels has been the single largest contributor to global warming and climate change and steps have to be taken to prevent significant further global temperature increases.
“Global warming has to be limited to below 2°C compared to the average temperature in pre-industrial times to prevent the most severe impacts of climate change and possibly catastrophic changes in the global environment”
European Commission Climate Action
Our climate has changed and unless we take steps to limit these effects, both individually and collectively, we will face far more frequent and severe weather events into the future!
This affects us all. Each one of us has a responsibility to look at what role we can play in protecting our environment for future generations. We all need to look at not only how we use energy in our homes and daily lives but also where this energy comes from.
Where there are opportunities available for our communities to explore the potential development of renewable energy projects we need to assess these on their merits so that suitable and appropriate projects can be identified and developed which not only provide green energy but which also promote positive climate action through bringing benefits to the people who are living in those local areas.
“There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.” Former U.S. President Barack Obama, UN Climate Change Summit